Sunday, June 3, 2007

Memorials--This Pie is for You!

A memorial service will be held at Arlington National Cemetery today for Vicki Heilig, a friend to so many in the Civil War community. Vicki died last month in Salisbury, North Carolina. John McCaslin of the the Washington Times reports that Dick Crozier, who frequently re-enacts Robert E. Lee, will deliver the address. Virginia United Daughters of the Confederacy member Martha M. Boltz said the ceremony to be held for Miss Heilig at 3 p.m. at Jackson Circle. Vicki was an active UDC member as historian and chapter president.

"We'll have ... Tuscarora brass, pipers, the whole shebang, ending with the cannon salute," said Martha.

In the mid-1990s, Congress rejected the federal patent on the UDC insignia. As a thank-you gesture to senators who voted in favor of the patent, Vicki took pecan pies to the Senate. When she encountered a senator on an elevator who asked whether one of the pies was for him, she replied: "No, senator, you did not vote for the UDC, so I have no pie for you." The response captured her humorous character, friends said.

Vicki, who held a master's degree from the College of William & Mary and worked as a programmer at IBM until her retirement in 1997, is credited in her obituary for being the "driving force on the Confederate Memorial Committee," who later led the group's annual ceremony at the memorial located at Arlington. She also led annual ceremonies in the U.S. Capitol's National Statuary Hall commemorating Lee's birthday. Vicki founded the Montgomery County, Maryland, Civil War Roundtable when she tried to join a CWRT only to find women were not allowed. You may read her complete obituary and sign the guestbook at Vicki, you will be so missed by so many!!!

Birthdays. . . .

Today is the birthday of American Serviceman, U. S. Senator, U.S. Congressman, U. S. Secretary of War, and Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, born in 1808.

Today is also the birthday of my grandmother, born in Fries (pronounced freeze), Virginia, in 1900. She told wonderful stories of the New River and the railroads, of mountain lions, and the adventure of growing up in a place filled with history and beauty. Her grandfather was a Confederate cavalry man. I think my love of story-telling comes from her. She would have 12 children; my father was the seventh son. She loved roses, and dreamed of a house with a white picket fence. She made the best strawberry-rhubarb pie I've ever tasted, and when her family was young and her father-in-law moved in, as did her sister-in-law with six children, Grandma cooked greenbeans in a washtub each day for dinner. My white fence with the red roses is for her. A young woman on her wedding day, (above).

Hanging out with the Generals

At the Kansas City CWRT on May 22. . . power has its privileges. Here I am, dining with General Grant (Randy Durbin) and General Meade (Andy Waskie).

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