"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Fairy Tale

 

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First a little history.  Natchez, Mississippi was first settled by Europeans in 1716.  Long before New Orleans.The French came first, followed by the British, the Spanish, and finally the United States. The original occupants, the Natchez Indians were eliminated by 1800.

From 1800, till the years just before the Civil War, Natchez grew by leaps and bounds.  King Cotton, grown on the backs of slave labor, created a landscape like no other in America.  It has been said that half the millionaires in the United states lived in Natchez in 1850.  They built magnificent mansions, of which many still stand today.  It was a life of leisure for those that lived in those homes.  It was the best of times.

Natchez surrendered early in the Civil War, preserving most of the town.  After a painful reconstruction period, and the loss of all their millions, many of the owners of the old mansions were looking for ways to make ends meet.  Lots of ordinary people wanted a peek inside those walls.  In 1932, the two garden clubs in Natchez began the Natchez Pilgrimage.  Working with the home owners, the put together tours of many of the homes. They also started a play, or pageant, of the history of Natchez, beginning with the interaction of the French and Indians, and ending with the start of the Civil War. It was first called the Confederate Pageant, then the Pageant, and now the Natchez Tableaux.

I call it a fairy tale, as it only portrayed the good times, and the lifestyle of the very affluent.  It started with the Indians giving the French food, the raising of the American flag on Fort Rosalie, and then on to the lifestyle of the wealthy.  This pageant, or tableaux, is still going on today.  It is a major fundraiser for the garden clubs and attracts people from all over the United States, as well as many European Countries.  Tour bus’s unload nightly at the old Municipal auditorium to be taken back in time. 

I’ve said all this to help this post make sense.  The tableaux makes use of the youth of Natchez.  They are the principal actors.

Placard bearers make sure you don’t miss a scene.

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Kindergarteners make up the Little maypole dance.

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Elementary age get to dance around the Big Maypole.

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Younger teens do a Polka.

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And the Showboat come to town with a load of “floozies”.

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Old man River was sang with such feelings that you had chill bumps,

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as the river flowed past in beautiful dance.

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There was the wedding of Jefferson Davis to Varina Howell.

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And then there was word of secession, with the farewell dance’s.  Mostly high school kids.

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The farewell ball.  College students, portraying the Southern Belles saying goodbye to their Beaus.  They’re off to win the war.

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Another end of an era.

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Our grand daughter has participated in just about all these rolls through the years. From the Little Maypole to a Southern Belle.  The Tableaux doesn’t accurately portray History as we know it to be.  As mentioned in the title, it’s a fairy tale. But it’s still a good show that keeps entertaining folks year after year.

My real Southern Belles.

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Thanks to a friend of the family for most of these pictures.  A few are mine, but most are hers…..jc

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Green Eggs & Ham V

 

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The fifth annual gathering of eggs was once again at Gunter Hill COE campground near Prattville, AL.  A very nice facility with paved roads, concrete sites, and full hookups.  A number of us arrived days early, and are staying late.  Nothing much about the event can be added to the posts I’ve made of the previous years.

The Chili Dump was a success, as usual.

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I think that’s a twelve gallon pot.

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There was plenty of music each day. Guitars, banjos, dulcimers, and other assorted instruments were played by many talented folks.

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We had a little rain occasionally, but overall good weather for the time of year.  One especially cool day a few of us managed a tour of the new Hyundai factory, which is nearby.

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Lots of interesting displays in the visitor center, but no photos allowed on the factory tour.

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The most automated automobile factory in the Country with 3500 employees, and an untold number of robots.  It was fascinating watching all of the tedious, and manipulative jobs performed by automation.

Overall, it was a great week.  Eighty nine rigs, representing folks from many states, were here.  From as far away as New York, and as near as Prattville. We had the opportunity to visit with many old friends, as well as meet some new ones. 

Now it’s time to head for home, clean up the Winter’s mess in the yard, and start planning another roll for the egg……jc

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Where’s Spring?

 

Sitting here kicked back in my recliner, listening to some endless drivel from the television, and reading blogs.  It’s the fifth of March, which means we should have spent the last few days preparing our small garden.  Yesterday was a real tease.  The high was 82 degrees, and the fruit trees were beginning to put on a show.  Today, however, the temperature has hovered near freezing all day.  Icicles are hanging from the eaves. 

I’m envious of those that are still in Arizona or Florida.  Hiking, biking, atv’ing, soaking in hot springs; etc.  Why did we come home so soon?

It’s on days like today that I catch up my Google Earth map.  Since we started traveling in the Casita, I’ve pinned our camping locations.  The map is getting crowded.  I can no longer see all of the pins in one photo.  As I zoom out to get a larger picture, many of the locations blend into one.

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Whenever I open Google Earth, and see all those pins, I realize how lucky we are.  To have been able to visit so many different parts of our Country is a true blessing.  Each of those pins represent a learning experience.  Whether it was someone we met, or something we experienced such as a meal, museum, or landscape; it created a memory.  And, all it takes is to zoom in on one of those pins to rekindle that memory.  I find that priceless.

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On another note, thanks for the comments on the new header picture.  One problem is that I don’t recognize my own blog, and as some said, the original was iconic.  I will be changing it back. That picture just says “Eggrollings”….jc