(Top photo: fog from Lovers Leap Mountain, Patrick County, Virginia, The Enterprise)
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
(Top photo: fog from Lovers Leap Mountain, Patrick County, Virginia, The Enterprise)
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I hate the Federal Government more every day. If there is nothing else in your life experience to convince you that conspiracy theories are real, let the time change be a lesson. Eventually, America, if we don't wake up, they will take that hour away and they will not give it back in the fall!
Folks used to refer to Daylight Savings Time as fast time, and Standard Time as slow time. Granny would sit on the porch in the evening, waiting for it to get dark enough to go to bed, and say, "I hate this fast time!"
So do I. And I cannot wait for it to end! I may just leave the clocks an hour behind. I'm never on time anyway.
The Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library
. . . is phenomenal. As Noel and I walked through this week, I kept asking myself what would I have done differently, and I just can't think of anything. As you step through the stages of the Lincolns' lives, you come to understand how ordinary the family was and what an extraordinary place in history they now occupy. One of my favorite exhibits was "The Permissive Parent" (left). At the far left, stretched out on the sofa, his nose in the paper, is Lincoln the Lawyer. Meanwhile, Tad and Willie busy themselves destroying the office--splattering ink, scattering papers. William Herndon, Lincoln's law partner, was known to drink and who could blame him? He describes Lincoln as oblivious to the boys' behavior.
Topeka Cemetery Tour
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
We have spent many good times in Indiana--a beautiful state that doesn't get a lot of press. My cousin, Beth, lives in Noblesville, which is smack dab in the middle of a trip back home to Virginia. (I try to settle friends and relatives conveniently across America.)
Our bud, Tom Perry, wrote an article about Tom and me for The Surry (NC) Messenger back home in Mount Airy. First person to get in touch was Gray Shelton, now retired from the Mount Airy Police Department. A couple of years ago when I was home for Christmas, I stopped in to visit Gray (below), who was some bigwig, and Ronald Hill, who had somehow managed to become police chief. (Ronald and I went to church together growing up and I knew how really rotten he was! Of course, the flip side is that he also knows how baaad I am!) I think Gray was a lieutenant when I covered court and police for the Mount Airy News years and years ago. It was good to hear from him and to know that his family is well. Gray was an exemplary cop--in his abilities and demeanor. Mount Airy was lucky to have him.
Another voice from the past was on our answering machine: "This is Debbie Coalson's history teacher. I saw the article in the paper and couldn't believe she's writing history! She never came to class!" Bless Bill Hanner's heart! My extracurricular activities, especially the high school newspaper, were always getting in the way of going to class. He indulged me shamelessly. I was "plum spoilt!"
Now is the time of life and death decisions: which plants will be brought in, which will be left to the ravages of cold and ice. The tropical hibiscus with new buds have bright, green, trailing sweet potato vine climbing from the pots and I can't bear to think of their dying; the asparagus fern and the Great Wandering Jew are so full and glorious now that to see them turn brown and wither is too painful to contemplate. I suppose one or more bedrooms may become nurseries this season.
I must close the windows; a cold rain is beginning to fall.
The illustration above is Old Man Winter / Spring Chick by Scott Bakal. From the artist:
I am currently working on a series of personal art that relate to the four seasons, which will be published into a book in late 2006 and exhibited throughout 2006-2007. I wanted to link up the Robert’s Snow snowflake conceptually to the series because the subject matter is so similar. The concept of this snowflake is when there is an ending; there is always a new beginning. In ‘Old Man Winter’, you see the time is just before 12 signifying age and the end of a long cold season or deeper, a pressing issue. On the backside, ‘Spring Chick’, you see the clock just after 12 meaning life and rebirth or the solving of a pressing issue.) http://robert23.fatcow.com/view_copy.php?snowflake=570
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Etta Lundy died. She was 95 -- soft, southern, fluffed, and feisty.
Years ago, Daddy decided to go into the restaurant business. My sister Denise & I would operate said restaurant and we'd all get rich. We rented a space from Charlie Frye on Hwy. 89 near I-77, where the tourists from Ohio headed to Florida would pass by. Charlie Frye was a legendary curmudgeon with a couple of fingers missing. He'd always been good to Daddy though, and Daddy thought he would be able to get along with him. Since Daddy was also Charlie, the name of our restaurant was "Charlie's Country Kitchen." Etta and Rowena Goings fixed breakfast.
Of course, whatever trespasses Gwyn had committed, they were minor aggravations. Etta loved him dearly. I never heard Etta say anything bad about anyone, unless they were really sorry and deserving of such criticism.
After a while, it was plain that not even my Mama could get along with Charlie Frye. He made her so mad one day she thought of knocking him in the head with a shovel, then cried over the fact that she could even think such a wicked thought. We closed the restaurant and pursued other likewise ludicrous pursuits.
Since then, we would run into Etta, mostly at church, at the funeral home, once at the Round Peak Masonic Lodge Pancake Feed, and she would hug me and kiss me, her soft powdered cheeks brushing against mine, and she would squeeze my hands as she talked and tell me how she missed me and thought of me, of all of us.
Thelma Lou Update
DG--Thanks, Freddy, for keeping me updated. You know, Betty Lynn was born out here in Kansas City, Missouri, just an hour east of us. It's a small, small world! Say Hey to Barbara.
A Krick in Kansas City
(I stole this photo from Hal Jespersen's travelogue--http://www.posix.com/CW06/--which is really interesting. Check it out! See all those folks straining to hear every word?)
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Laurel Hill is the second garden cemetery in the country--Mount Auburn in Boston being the first. It is incredible and anyone visiting the City of Brotherly Love should take the time to stroll the picturesque hillside over the Schuykill River. General George Meade and thirty-nine other Civil War-era generals reside here, in addition to six Titanic passengers. One literally trips over the history.
On Friday night, we tripped the light fantastic for preservation's sake.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Tom and I were privileged to be included in the Gen. George Meade Society's trip to Virginia last weekend. The last stop was the grave of Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Norfolk. The legendary soldier, though a military brat himself, considered Norfolk home because it was his mother's home, and after all, Macarthur was a Mama's Boy. She was determined that her son, who would be a great general one day, be born in her home state, but alas, fate determined otherwise. He was born in Arkansas.
Arkansas!!! I'm sure the poor woman never recovered from the blow.
(Thanks to Jim Dover for this photo of me at the sacred shrine of MacArthur!)
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Oh, and maybe we'll get some research done.
Life is good.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
William Alexander Stuart was the older brother of our hometown hero, Gen. J. E. B. Stuart. He moved to Saltville, Virginia, before the war and became rich from the saltworks and land investments. After the war, he took care Jeb's family and just about everyone else it seems.
I have always thought Jeb handsome. We had a photo of him hanging in our office and my friend, Karen, also a Patrick Countian but hailing from Woolwine rather than Ararat, thought the picture was John Travolta in some movie role. Yes! He was that impressive! But he pales in comparison to his older sibling.
Mayberry Days Update
Thelma Lou came to Mount Airy, North Carolina, last weekend to join in the town's celebration. In the AP photo at right, the 81-year-old Betty Lynn poses with the statue of Andy and Opie at the Surry Arts Council. There is a wonderful interview, discussing her feelings about the show and Mount Airy, at this link:
Free State of Patrick
Roger Dale was only 21 years old when he was killed in August, 1968. I was 10. He was an only child and he and his parents lived with his widowed grandmother, Aunt Venie. I loved Aunt Venie. Granny and I would walk through the woods to her house and I would read the newspaper to her, or comb her hair which hung to the floor. When word came that Roger Dale had died, the relatives started pouring in--so many relatives. But Roger Dale was Aunt Venie's favorite grandchild. They adored one another. I believe it was a week or so from the time the family received the news til Roger Dale was buried.
Thank you, Tom, for keeping the memory of these men alive.