Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The mother of all antique stores

I'm back on the road after spending time with my brother and his family near Louisville. Just a couple more days and I'll be settled down again for two months in Georgia.

We hit a lot of the highlights in and around Louisville, including Mammoth Cave, Cave Springs Cemetery, a quick exterior view of the Jim Beam distillery, and a rockin' antique store. If they don't have it, you don't need it. 

The place is called Joe Ley Antiques and once upon a time I would have been a shopping fool, but that life is gone. It's still fun to look, though, and I did plenty of that.

It was a cold, miserable, sleety day, a good one to spend inside, but first these spray-painted, um, things, needed their picture taken. They look a bit like jesters to me.

Lots of stained glass, all over the store.

Another set of three, in the background, that goes with the three above.

This also has to be from a church. I've seen windows just like this. No comment about the doll in front.

Isn't this a beautiful thing? If I still had a house I'd be thinking of places to put it.

It's hard to imagine how much effort it takes to keep things even basically organized. There were glass cases, boxes, and crates of house hardware alone, in a full spectrum from shine to rust.

Only one Marilyn, though, as far as I could tell.

Signs were all over the place. And there's another stained glass window to the right of the Exit sign.

This butcher block table took me back to the hellish days of working in our bakery. We had a table that was four feet by eight with depressions worn into both sides from chopping dough. This table had a consistent dip to the middle, pretty useless for rolling anything out or even placing a pan down on, but still a really good conversation piece.

Now be honest. Have you ever seen Stations of the Cross outside a church? No, not me, either.

Three guesses.

Cash registers for real and imaginary transactions.

I remember Fudgicles that we got at the corner drug store for 7 cents.

Yum. Both of them.

Just the kind of piece I would have been looking for a spot for in my house.

Very tempting, but I already have a Walmart toaster, and how much does a girl really need?

This is the kind of thing that gets me thinking, what can I do with this? This time around, though, what I did with them was leave them in the store.

Here's an eclectic mix.

Traveling? If you don't need a suitcase, how about a saddle? Or a wagon? Or a pink firefighter's helmet?

Now here's cool, and it was very tempting, but I have no counter space.

Just in time for dia de los muertos.

Not exactly Louisville Sluggers, but they're in the same family.

If I only had a spare staircase....

Pretty. Just pretty.

Just to give you an idea of the sheer pandemonium of the place.

And here's the one, silly, crazy thing I now wish I'd bought. I have just the spot, too. Maybe it will still be there when I go back.

[added 10/31: I forgot to show this one. There was a pair of these and they were attractive, as ragged as they are, in a sick kind of way]

Thought of the day:

On the other hand, I don't understand the enthusiasm for everything in the antique shop that Grandma threw out. There, the sense of quality has declined; otherwise Grandma wouldn't have thrown it out.  (Arne Jacobsen)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The strange procession which never moves; or, I see dead people

After leaving Springfield, Illinois I continued to head south to Paducah, Kentucky to visit my sister. First on the agenda was the National Quilt Museum, which does not allow photographs, and what a shame that is. I've never really understood that policy, as anyone who shoots without a tripod and the right lighting can't possibly make a publication-worthy image, but it's their ball game so you just have to go along with it. Still, it's a good museum and you don't have to be a quilter to appreciate the exhibits here; they're works of art in their own right.

My sister also took me to Maplewood Cemetery in Mayfield, home to the Wooldridge Monuments. Cemetery fan that I am, it's amazing that I've never heard of these. The statues were built for Colonel Henry G. Wooldridge to commemorate family members and other loved ones of his life.

There's Henry, standing taller than the rest of the family, sculpted from Italian marble. He's the only one buried here. A fox, a deer, and two chasing hounds are included.

Other family members were sculpted in limestone by artisans from Paducah and Mayfield. The female statues represent Wooldridge's mother Keziah, his sisters Minerva, Narcissa, and Susan, and his nieces Maud and Minnie. The male statues that are not of Wooldridge are of his brothers Alfred, John, Josiah, and W.H.

 Henry again, on his horse Fop.

 His mother, Keziah.

Henry on Fop, with one of his two hunting dogs, either Towhead or Bob. I keep running into that name.

One of his nieces, Maud. The scroll bears the letters H.G.W.

 Nice detail on the hair, Pinterest-worthy.

The Wooldridge Monuments were placed on the National Register of Historic places in 1980. The nomination form is interesting because it gives lots of detail about the individual figures. It's a PDF document that you may have to download before it will open.

The gates to the cemetery are also on the National Register. One of the many lists of places I wanted to see when I had to leave my house in March was everything on the National Register of Historic Places and I have found them all over the place. 

The gates are only part of the National Register items. The monuments are actually three pairs of gateposts. When closed the main pair's gate says "The United Daughters of the Confederacy Memorial." I tried to close them but thought they'd fall off the posts so I left them alone. Can you imagine having to explain how and why you broke something on the National Register?

This pair of posts which supports the gates are the only ones to bear bronze plaques.The post on the left honors veterans of the World War, and the one on the right Confederate veterans.

We made a few more tourist stops in and around Paducah, and I headed east-ish to Louisville to see my brother. Much nicer to have the sibs near you in the land of the living, not carved in stone.

Thought of the day:
Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city. (George Burns)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Lincoln's tomb

Springfield, Illinois is home to Oak Ridge Cemetery, the site of Lincoln's tomb, as well as many museums and historic sites, including the top-notch Lincoln Museum. 

Oak Ridge was the first stop on a busy day between Wisconsin and Kentucky, and is yet another place in another city that have both been added to the list of places to return to. For someone whose kids have orders to pull the plug, send me through the crematorium, and scatter the remains, I sure enjoy visiting other folks' final resting places, and the older the better.

Lincoln's tomb is away from the cemetery entrance in a spot chosen by his family in May of 1865 but construction did not begin on it until 1869; it was finally dedicated by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1874. It was named a Registered National Historic Landmark in 1964.

These are two of the four statues that anchor the corners of the monument, which represent the major armed services commanded by Lincoln during the Civil War - artillery, navy, cavalry, infantry. They were cast in part with metal from 65 cannon donated by the U.S. government.

Access to the tomb is through the ground-level door, shown a couple of pictures above. Lincoln is not actually buried in this Arkansas marble monument, but is ten feet below and slightly behind it, encased in steel and concrete. Mary Lincoln and three of their four sons are also buried here in separate crypts; son Robert is at Arlington.

The obelisk is 117 feet tall; fifteen feet were added during a 1899-1901 renovation.

Lincoln holds the Emancipation Proclamation. Shields below the statuary, each representing a state, ring the monument in a solid chain, symbolizing an undivided nation.

This is a beautiful and dignified monument - highly recommended.

Thought of the day:
Now he belongs to the ages. (Secretary of War Edwin Stanton)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Nero fiddled while Rome burned

Spoiler alert: this is a bully pulpit post.

I've been holed up with kids and grands for more than a week but am back on the road, headed to my next volunteer gig at Andersonville National Historic Site in Georgia after short visits in Kentucky with my sister and brother. Headed to Andersonville if, that is, Congress collectively grows a spine, quits its self-serving, posturing malfeasance, and puts this country back to work.

I've been a federal employee, was married to a federal employee, have lived paycheck to paycheck, and grew up in a strong union town, Detroit, so I know what effect this nationwide strike (that's been imposed on everyone by 535 people, by the way) is having on people all across the country. The games Congress has been playing for almost three weeks now are unconscionable, but (and here's where I'm going to make some people mad) I believe it should be an all-or-nothing proposition: no one but absolutely essential personnel and services should be allowed to work or be open, which rules out Congressional staffers, its lunchroom, barbershop, and gym, no Social Security or Medicare, and no federal retiree and VA disability checks. Because these last two categories affect me I'm willing to include myself in the drastic and painful belt-tightening that's affecting hundreds of thousands of people and businesses around the country. Don't even get me started on foreign aid.

What's prompted this rant, although I've been ticked off since the shutdown began, was reading about national parks that have reopened due to special deals their states have negotiated with the National Park Service. I can't blame them, and during my five months at Petrified Forest, when I also had the privilege of visiting many other parks, monuments, and historic sites, I developed a really soft spot for our parks and the people who work there. But until the festering impasse being played out in Washington is resolved, until all federal employees are working, until all services are restored, I think it's a good idea for every possible American to feel the kick this shutdown is administering and when they tire of it, tell Congress to grow up and put this country back on its feet.

Thought of the day:

The buck stops here. (Harry S Truman, and where is he when we need him?)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Get the hell outta....

One of my goals when I set out in March was to see a lot of museums, the good stuff and the oddball places. Last week I stopped in Dodge City, Kansas, and it was one of the good ones. I expected tacky and didn't get it.

Most of the items in the collection came from Charlie Beeson, who apparently had them piled here and there around his house before moving them to the Beeson Museum. I can only assume his wife said to get all that junk out of the house. Boot Hill Museum acquired many of the 60,000 items in the collection, which date from the 1870s through the 1920s, from the Beeson Museum when it closed in 1964.
A nice row of store fronts, maybe the original strip mall, has working sections such as the saloon, the photo parlor, and the restaurant. Other stores have museum exhibits of such things as farm equipment, dry goods, a barber shop, and a tooth-drawer.

The apothecary has a display case of tonics and patent medicines, including Canadian Hemp, Persian Pills, and Cramp Bark. No idea what good they were supposed to do.

Another section of the store fronts displays a bank teller's cage with a marvelous safe.

Here's something I can identify with, having peeled bushels of apples over the years with an automatic peeler, but nothing as formidable as this.

The Union Church:

This is from the Boot Hill museum's website:

"The interdenominational Union Church, which our church exhibit replicates, was built in 1874 or 1875 at First Avenue and Spruce Street, north of the downtown. It cost $1,000 to construct and held at least 100 worshipers.
"The Union Church used circuit preachers and hosted a wide variety of community functions. Dodge City had a reputation in its early days of being a place so wild and sinful that even God did not venture into her city limits. The Rev. Ormond W. Wright sought to change this when he went to Front Street saloons and gambling houses to solicit funds to maintain this church as a place where cowboys and settlers alike could join together to practice their faith in Christ.
"Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson were deacons of this new church. The Union Church was the first building constructed in Dodge City dedicated to the practice of religion. With the construction of this building began the taming of the 'wickedest little city in America.'"

These communion cups fascinate me. Catholics used nothing of the kind and never got wine at all until after Vatican II.

A separate building had an impressive exhibit on the Plains Indians. I was especially taken with how the arrowheads were displayed, which reminded me of the head of a stalk of wheat.

Imagine the skill involved in knapping arrowheads like these. Just think of working for a couple of hours and dang! the final strike turns it into rubble.

Lamp posts around town are flagged with historical scenes such as this one. Dodge City has made the most of its history in a very nice way. I'm glad I stopped.

Thought of the day:

What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which 
    runs across the grass 
       and loses itself in the sunset.

(Crowfoot, Blackfoot Warrior and Orator)