Visit to Gram’s Place
The images and poetry presented here are inspired by “Gram’s Place” a hostel in Tampa, FL, named after country/rock musician Gram Parsons. This series began on a visit to Tampa in 1997 when I stayed at Gram’s Place for the first time. Upon arriving and talking with its owner, host and creator, Mark Holland, an understanding of its unique vision began to unfold. Mr. Holland, envisioned a utopia where people from all over the world could come together, relax and enjoy each other’s company. He saw a peaceful society where music and art would flourish. Many of us have dreamed of such a society; Mr. Holland constructed this place himself and anyone is invited to stay here. I was amazed at how he had realized his vision.
After the first visit I continued to return year after year through the present. The images and poetry on this web page are my reactions as a painter and poet to Mr. Holland’s creation over a period of nearly 10 years. The page is divided into two main sections. Magic Time is my first reaction to Gram’s Place written in 1997. I have illustrated each verse with a watercolor. I did not paint the images to match the poems or write poems to accompany paintings. I made the combinations based on what made sense to me. The second section Visit to Gram’s Place is a compilation of paintings of Gram’s Place made during my visits through the years. These are also accompanied by my poetry.
Recognized as one of the most unique hostel destinations in the world,Gram’s Place continues to flourish despite the many challenges it has faced. The subject of numerous articles and several commendations, Gram’s Place, under Mr. Holland’s direction, continues to be a refuge of peace, humanity, and artistic vision in a challenging world.