The motorhome is parked at Thousand Trails Thunderbird RV Resort along the bank of the Skykomish River in Monroe, Washington. I’ve been here a number of times over the past years and always enjoy it here. My scheduled departure date is July 8th.

Mary is at home tending to personal matters…home maintenance, family, friends, rentals, etc..  She has made her flight reservations to meet me July 29th in Bellingham, Washington.

A more relaxed mode..

After our 682 day on-the-go 2011-2013 circumnavigation of the United States, we have decided to slip into a more relaxed mode. In the next few months we will be traveling through areas previously explored. Unless we do something unusual, this Blog will feature a photo album from the circumnavigation and will change daily.

To read about today’s photo album location, click this link… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Gulf_Military_State_Park_%28Mississippi%29

CLICK ON THE BELOW PHOTO. ONCE YOU ARRIVE AT THE PHOTO ALBUM, SIMPLY CLICK “SLIDESHOW” AND ENJOY!

Grand Gulf Military State Park, Mississippi

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE PHOTOS.

Yesterday was a sunny day at 77 degrees. Forecast for today is sunny and 88 degrees.

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Washington. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

MO

Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

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On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.
http://youtu.be/FfZUzEB4rM8

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link… http://www.youtube.com/user/JimJ1579/videos

There are more than 500 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link… https://picasaweb.google.com/jimjrver

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

For more information about my books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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The day before my family reunion, we visited the Shenendoah Valley Museum of Winchester, a complex with a Civil War Site, a full floor of exhibits, and the Glen Burnie House and Gardens, all for a single ticket price of $10. The day was beastly hot, so we stayed inside the entire time.

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The museum is very well laid out,  and had many videos. If you can read along the bottom of this screen, they covered how the war came to the valley, about the divided loyalties, the movement of troops and taking of homes;  and the fiery end. (Not all the videos were about the war.)  The battle changed position- Confederates are winning- Union is winning, 72 times, a terrible, fractious period. As we close in on Memorial Day weekend, it kind of makes you give pause about how much life was lost to mature this country into the United States of America, the beacon of the free world. More people died in the Civil War than all of the subsequent wars combined.

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And, as we think about the free world, just how free are we? Blacks had to carry documents from state to state describing themselves (no pictures), and carry the signature of those who freed them, to become citizens. And, we think our forefathers had religious freedom as well?  Think again. The colonies were governed by their strong affiliation to the Church of England and its rules. In Winchester, the powers that be decided to permit other religions to build churches,  hoping it would encourage settlers. And it did. Eventually, the “undesirable” people of different faiths turned into stalwart, good citizens, successful farmers and business people with good values, so they allowed them to flourish.  That idea spread as well as people moved west.

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The fertile valley is vast and follows the Shenandoah River, community upon community. Corn, wheat and rye were the major crops at one time. Winchester holds the honor of having the first rye harvesting machine,  shown with great fanfare to all who gathered above.

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An interesting poster from World War II.

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The museum has two major collections;  one is a group of miniatures built over a period of 20 years by one man. They are exquisite representations of grand mansions with each room authentically rendered.  The picture above gives you an idea. A strong resemblance to giant dollhouses. One was about four feet tall with 25 rooms.

Their painting collection changes, but is a permanent gallery in the museum.  The exhibit of French Impressionists was being removed and a new exhibit was just being loaded in,  so the gallery was closed to us.

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A temporary display called Moveable Feasts was stuff brought from the Glen Burnie House which is also closed for renovation. Burnie was wildly rich and loved to entertain. People said he invented brunch, but brunch was first mentioned in writing in 1895. Burnie’s picture is in the background.

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A glimpse into the frivolous lives of the ostentatious rich.

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They used 11 different sets of China.

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We can be grateful for the rich because we can appreciate their wonderful material goods, but I wouldn’t trade lifestyles with the Queen of England.

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Beautiful wood in this highly polished sideboard.

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Poor tinkers left their mark.  I like museums and always look for things I’ve never seen before. A Tramp Art bottle for holding poison qualifies.

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As does a steel plate from Victorian times, with the family coat of arms  built into the back of a fireplace.

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Cookie cutters made to last.

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I loved this pitcher.

There was much more of high quality exhibits. Passing through Winchester?  Be sure and stop by.

The motorhome is still parked at Eagles Club #2329 in Ashland, Kentucky. We will depart later this morning.

Yesterday I drove the Bronco the about one mile downtown to the Highland Museum, Here’s their official website link…
http://highlandsmuseum.com/

Here are some of the photos that I took…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

Since Mary is still having problems regarding stairs, we rode the only manually operated elevator remaining in Kentucky to the second floor…

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Some thoughts from Daniel Boone…

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Kentucky long rifles…

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A replica of a one room schoolhouse…

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There was quite a display about the women’s suffragette movement…

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And displays about the Civil War…

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The biggest display was about the history of Country Music from Kentucky…

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Their biggest claim-to-fame is that Ashland is the birthplace and home of The Judds…

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Other famous Kentuckian’s include Loretta Lynn born in Butcher Holler near Van Lear, Kentucky. Here’s a photo of the cabin Loretta was born in that I took when I visited Butcher Holler in 2000…

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Patty Loveless is also from Kentucky…

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And finally a painting of the City of Ashland on the bank of the Ohio River…

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You can read all about Ashland by clicking this Wikipedia link…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashland,_Kentucky

Enjoying interesting museums is another joy of the full-timing lifestyle!

In the afternoon Mary had a one hour massage and then a visit to a Chiropractor trying to relieve her pains. This morning she reports feeling a little wobbly and sore. He’s hoping she will feel better as the day progresses.

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Kentucky. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

USA1ash

Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

3E23M33J85Gb5Fc5M2cc4ab5610239cb71a2b

On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.
http://youtu.be/FfZUzEB4rM8

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…
http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

The motorhome is still parked at VFW Post #4895. We are planning to depart later this morning and will be crossing into Kentucky.

Yesterday was a leisurely day. It was supposed to rain hard…but never did. We decided to visit the Fort Defiance Civil War Park and Interpretive Center. There once was a fort there…but no battle was fought there. The Confederates were thinly staffed and poorly trained. Believing they had not a chance against the expected superior Union forces…they walked away from the fort. When the Yankees arrived…they found white flags flying from the fort and the city surrendered without a shot being fired.

The Interpretive Center tells the story of what life was like in Clarksville, population 5,000, during the Civil War. A 15 minute film presents it from a woman’s point of view. You can read about the Interpretive Center by clicking their official website link…
http://www.cityofclarksville.com/index.aspx?page=161

Here are some of the photos that I took…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

The fort is gone…a pedestrian trail lines the area…

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This is where the fort was…

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Some signs in the area…

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Clarksville…

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Scenes from the film…

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The fort(s) were like magnets for black slaves wanting to join the Union Army…

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Under occupation whites needed passes to go places and had to present these passes to the black Union Soldiers…

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General Grant…

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Under occupation business resumed…

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Confederate dead…

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Regular life returned for the Southerners…

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Exhibits inside the Interpretive Center. Photography was difficult due to dim lighting and mini-spotlights…

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The red line shows the railroad passing through Clarksville…

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Crossing the hidden fingers meant the loyalty oath didn’t count to some. See below…

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The Interpretive Center was a very pleasant different presentation about the times during the Civil War.

After our visit we headed down to the riverfront…

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Where we saw some of the remnants of the recent flooding of the river…

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The rail fence in the river is where people would normally walk…

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On the left in the below photo you can see the river had been into the parking lots by the mud and snags stacked in a pile on the left just beyond the truck…

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Two prized possessions during the Civil War were the rivers and railroads…both means of moving supplies…

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The control house for the swinging bridge…

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Enjoying interesting places and museums is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Tennessee. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

USA1cl

Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

3E23M33J85Gb5Fc5M2cc4ab5610239cb71a2b

On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.
http://youtu.be/FfZUzEB4rM8

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…
http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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The visitors center for the Civil War battlefield at Shiloh is located near Savannah, Tennessee. We stopped there and saw a 45 minute, excellent film re-enactment of this important, strategic battle before venturing into the park. The U.S. National Military Cemetery is close to the Visitors Center.

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A sad but meaningful walk among those who gave all dots the landscape.

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It is a reminder that every state was involved in the Civil War when you see Iowa, Ohio, and Michigan on the tombstones.

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Markers like this, of the unidentified soldier outnumber those identified of the 3500 men buried here.

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Cannon balls and barrels mark this spot where once a huge tree sheltered General Grant.

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Positioned cannon are located and pointed in the direction of the battle. The battle ground covers an area of three miles and we drove from stop to stop.  There are many tombstones along the route that  indicate where the bodies fell. The Confederate bodies were buried in two mass graves.

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The visitors center has pictures of idealistic young men going off to stand for their country. The youngest soldier in this battle according to historians was 16. Most were aged 21 to 30. The youngest person in the battle was not a soldier.

10 year old Drummer

It is hard to believe this ten-year old boy served as a drummer and marched to war, most likely along with his father. Each regiment had a young drummer as part of the corp, most of them were 12 to 15 years old. Incomprehensible to me.

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Visiting the battlefield was meaningful after the film which explained the importance and the strategies both failed and successful of both sides. It re-enacts those people who witnessed, who wrote letters, who survived to tell the tale; and a sad tale of unimaginable carnage is told here. It also makes one remember the word unity that Lincoln spoke so eloquently about at the close of the war. Unfortunately, with his assassination, that unity did not come about and that same problem resonates to this day. History’s lessons are soon forgotten. If you travel along this major waterway, the Tennessee River, make Shiloh a place to stop and remember.

Note: Mary flew from Baton Rouge Airport, Louisiana on March 12 to her home in California. I’m hoping to get her back with me by mid-April. My current plans are to drift SLOWLY north along the Mississippi River to Memphis, Tennessee where I’ll then turn northeast heading for New England for the Summer. Can’t go north too fast because it’s still cold up there! The Mississippi River is rich in history…I expect it to be an interesting passage.
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The motorhome is still parked at the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge #1662 in Natchez, Mississippi.

Natchez remained mostly undamaged from the Civil War. Hence this old city with its narrow and many one-way streets remains a beautiful city. To read about Natchez, click this link…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natchez,_Mississippi

In yesterday’s Blog post, I presented how I came to meet the younger sister of famed rock n roller Jerry Lee Lewis…Frankie Jean Lewis Terrell. If you happen to miss that entry, here’s the link…
http://wp.me/pDCku-7uq

Towards the end of that initial meeting, Frankie Jean got to telling of how, when she was a young child, the Lewis Family would go out to eat at Mammy’s Cupboard…a few miles south of Natchez, Mississippi. Also, that it had been many years since she had been there.

So, I said…”What are you doing tomorrow?”. A few moments later it was agreed that Frankie Jean, Jean the tour guide from the Delta Music Museum and I would go to Mammy’s Cupboard for lunch. They picked me up shortly before noon and a few minutes later we were there…

Here are some of the photos that I took…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

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It’s only open for lunch from 11 to 2 and they were doing a booming business…

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We had to wait about 10 minutes to be seated…

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There was a sign on the wall that said…”Life is short – eat dessert first”…and that just what Frankie Jean did…

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Not being a dessert eater, I had the Saturday special of rice and beans with a layered salad and Mexican Cornbread…

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One of the nearby diners complained that the air conditioning was too cold, so the staff made her a paper hat to help keep her head warm…

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On the way out I saw this sign…

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and a small frame with photos showing the difference from now and 60 years ago when it was also a Shell Gas Station…

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Here’s my attempt at enlarging the old photo…

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and here’s how it looks today…

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The meal was tasty indeed and a good time was had by all. Yesterday I told you that Frankie Jean is a Hoot…and so she was here. She just enjoyed chatting and laughing with everyone…never revealing who she is. She never publicly discloses that personal information.

You can read about Mammy’s Cupboard by reading this Wikipedia link…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammy%27s_Cupboard

I found this short YouTube video about Mammy’s Cupboard on the Internet…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80WjQcbxt54

On the way back to Natchez we went by a place called Forks in the Road which was once the second largest slave-trading location in the South…

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You can read about this place by clicking this link…
http://usslave.blogspot.com/2012/04/forks-of-road-slave-market-at-natchez.html

Another fun and interesting day!

Today is laundry day…not an exciting Blog topic for tomorrow. So I’m saving what I did last (Saturday) night for tomorrow’s Blog posting. See you then!

Enjoying historic places is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows my approximate location in the State of Mississippi. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

USA1NAT

Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

3E23M33J85Gb5Fc5M2cc4ab5610239cb71a2b

On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.
http://youtu.be/FfZUzEB4rM8

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…
http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

TEXAS QUILTING MUSEUM

January 31, 2013

Yesterday was a work day, cleaning, laundry, shopping; I did some hand sewn mending. Our planned move put off another day partly because of high winds. We are still on a picture upload diet until Feb. 4th. Didn’t take one picture yesterday. But, I took a lot of pictures of Quilts at the Civil War Quilt Exhibit. And, I want to tell you about the Texas Quilting Museum.

Quilt exhibits tend to move, they are often shown at a small venue and never seen again. The Texas Quilt Musuem founders wanted a place to showcase quilts for a longer period of time where more people could discover and appreciate quilts as art,both traditional and avant guarde.  La Grange Texas is a small town within driving distance of Houston, Austin and San Antonio, three of the 20 largest cities in the U.S. Here you will find educational opportunities, a library, a peace garden and peace memorial, and the history of quilts and quilt making. La Grange has a cultural center that celebrates its Czech heritage, and wonderful food and views of the Colorado River, according to their brochure. (I hope to visit it on another trip.)

#12Fans&Flowers

My favorite was the French quilt, in the style of Broderie Perse, popular in the early 19th Century, French for Persian Embroidery. DSC01546 (Copy)

Individual blocks show the fine work and beauty.

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The fan blades are made from reproduction Civil War materials along with fine  print pastels from that time.

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This quilt is true to Civil War materials and is called a cheddar quilt, a common color used then. Made by a woman of color, and inspired by a woman of color who learned to quilt when that skill was not allowed to them. The Civil War quilter was a member of the underground railroad.

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In this quilt,the maker wanted to represent Confederate Gray, Union BLue and the red of the battlefield drenched in blood. She was inspired by the horrible number of graves at a preserved battlefield.

A thousand pyramids, border churn dash blocks

The many materials in the pyramids represent grave markers. The churn dash border, a butter churn, was a common pattern of the day.

#18-Friends All Around

This quilt center was made by one person,handed off to another who make the next square surround, the another made a border, and another border and so on until the quilt was finished by six different people.

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A close up f the center of the quilt. Fine, close quilting, applique and nine square blocks. I guess anyone can tell I love quilts and admire the workmanship I see in them. To me, my own quilts, are made from old family clothing, in part, and represent memories of dances attended, party dresses, the boys overalls, and so on. I call them rescue quilts because I don’t have to throw away or recycle favorite materials .

Before I part for the day, I want to insert a factoid from the Galveston Museum. Santos Cruz, head bartender for the famous Balinese Room, invented the margarita in 1948 for actress/songster (Margaret) Peggy Lee.

 

 

HOW TO BECOME A POLITICIAN

September 17, 2011

I get discouraged when I read the headlines each morning and learn what the baboons who are supposedly leading this great country to salvation  have been up to on the many fronts of our “uncivil war”. We, the people are losing this war, there is no doubt about that.  But, now and again, levity comes in my email and instead of ranting, as I’m want to do, I thought I’d reprint this illuminating answer to a question posed to a master politician. It comes at a time when my brother is running for congress, so I have to laugh as I present this piece from the Texas Archives. Don’t know who dug it up but I thank her/him.

In 1952, Armon M. Sweat, Jr. a member of the Texas House of Representatives, was asked about his position on whiskey. Here is his answer:

“If you mean whiskey, the devils brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean that evil drink that topples Christian men and women from the pinnacles of righteous and gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, shame, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness, then, my friend I am opposed to it with every fiber of my being.”

“However, if by whiskey you mean the lubricant of conversation, the philosophic juice, the elixir of life, the liquid that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer, the stimulating sip that puts a little spring in the step of an elderly gentleman on a frosty morning; if you mean that drink that enables him to magnify his joy, and to forget life’s great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrow; if you mean that drink the sale of which pours into Texas treasuries untold millions of dollars each year, that provides tender care for our crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm, to build the finest highways, hospitals, universities, and community colleges in this nation, then my friend, I am absolutely, unequivocally in favor of it.  
This is my position and as always, I refuse to compromise on matters of principal.”

 

 

A Slave’s Grave

May 1, 2010

Jim says:

I’m still visiting with my friends Bob and Judy in Summerton, South Carolina. This morning, Bob asked if I’d like to see a slave’s grave…and I said sure.

Less than a five-minute walk from his house we came upon this headstone. It was substantially overgrown with weeds and we had to clear them away in order to take these two photos.

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Below his name it reads in part…A leader in the African M.E. Church South near…
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A peaceful forest setting…

Bob told me that many years ago this area in which he now lives was a cotton plantation and that this is where the slaves were buried. This was the only headstone we found and I didn’t want to search further because the mosquitoes were really starting to get after me. Fortunately there are no mosquitoes around his house.

It appears this slave was born in 1826 which would have made him about 34 years old when the Civil War began. He was most likely emancipated by Abraham Lincoln’s Proclamation. We also discussed how hard it is to try to envision what the life of a slave was really like. Yesterday was 86 degrees with high humidity. Bob told me by August it will exceed 100 degrees. It’s so hard to picture working in the cotton fields from sun-up to sun-down, six days a week, in those kinds of temperatures. Despite it all, old Joseph apparently lived to be 80 years old.

It was a neat experience, although brief, because not many tourists get to see this site. Another nice RVing happening.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

Nottoway Plantation, the house, 42 slave houses, barns, storage and equipment buildings, was built between 1855 and 1859. John Randolph was the original owner and builder and named it for his native Nottoway County in Virginia. Its pretty hard to imagine what 53,000 square feet of living space is like, even with eleven children  in an era before electricity and flush toilets.  In a word, opulent. Rich furnishings, priceless woods and craftsmanship, spacious rooms, (64 of them), astonishes, especially when you learn this house was continually occupied since it was built. The loving care shows. The house has had only five owners.

From a site of 7,000 acres, fronting the steamboat landing on the Mississippi River, the mansion now is surrounded by 400 acres and serves as a bed and breakfast, restaurant and bar, both of which are open to the public. Above, notice right and left stairs, one side for the men, one side for the women. The women needed a separate stairway so they could lift their skirts slightly while climbing them without showing their ankles to the men. The center niche was a place for the livery slave to stand out of the rain and weather as he waited for approaching guests on horseback.

This is known as a bustle chair, with low rounded arms to allow the women to sit with their flowing garments draped over the arms. In the foyer stands a wood valet with mirrors at calf level to check skirts and shoes to make sure your petticoat and ankles were not showing.

All the rooms have beautiful wainscoting, and chandeliers similar to this from the all white ballroom. John Randall had no mortgage because his slaves made every brick of the estate. They molded clay and spanish moss into the decorations above and produced gas for the gas lights. His architect was from New Orleans and famous in his day and time. The ballroom is now a popular place for weddings and another building is used for receptions.

The dining room table is set and ready for dinner. The plates are hand painted, each with a different scene. The fireplaces in the house are coal burning and have a chute at the bottom for ashes to be pushed down to a chamber for emptying. A metal plate warmer stands by the fireplace for cold days. People who came to the new world, and made their fortunesl, were proud of their wealth and liked to show it off.

This short mattress and four posters was typical of beds of the time. This bed is still used, but with a modern mattress instead of the lumpy spanish moss of old. It is one of the rooms rented for the bed and breakfast and has a modern toilet and shower built into a former closet.

Above the bed is a huge rolling pin that detaches to help take the lumps out of the mattress.

Below the entrance level of the house, a ten pin alley was constructed for the children. It now contains the bed and breakfast bar and lounge, also open to the public. The tour  includes a film that shows the building of the mansion, many of the slaves that worked here and important documents.

This talented woman was one of the most knowledgeable of tour guides. She has been with Nottoway for a long time, according to management. (She introduced herself and I forgot her name.) Randall managed to keep his house through the Civil War by removing himself and most of his slaves to Texas where he grew a less profitable crop of cotton rather than sugar cane. His wife stayed in Louisiana with a few house servants. Before the end of the war, he was offered to sell his slaves and remove them to Cuba where slavery was still legal. He declined, made a contract to hire his slaves to continue working his plantation in Louisiana. Many of them signed on. Some went elsewhere to seek their new future.

The family cemetery is on the grounds. Nottoway was personal to me because Admiral Walter and Marian Whipple, descendants of the Randolphs, were personal friends of mine, (both deceased). As a former feature writer, I did a story on the family and Nottoway many years ago and was delighted to finally have seen the place for myself. I took many pictures and uploaded them if you’d like to view them:

http://picasaweb.google.com/1579penn/32410Nottoway#

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