Tuesday, November 29, 2011

House, house house...

 Unique house in Cape May
"An idea is salvation by imagination." ~Frank Lloyd Wright

We enjoy looking at houses when we travel out of the area. My comments are usually, "House, house, house," because modern houses, like cars, all seem to be made from cookie-cutters, so I am always excited when I find a house like this, made in a time when imagination, quality, and individuality dictated the design of homes. 

Rome Colosseum

Rome Colosseum

Unlike the people shown in the photo, you can't wear t-shirts this time of year, but you can catch some great travel bargains. December temperatures average 56°F during the day. Rain averages 4.80 in. - January and February temps are about the same, but rainfall is less, especially in February. Christmas in Rome is beautiful, and going in January and February is a great way to stave off those winter blues. Added bonus:  All that walking is a good way to get rid of those extra pounds you put on during the holidays. Travel Tip: Pay extra for a personal guide. And pay even extra for a good one. If you go this time of year, lines won't be so long, but in the warmer months, the lines are blocks long. A personal guide has free range, by-passing the lines. We are looking to go back next September when the day temps are

Monday, November 28, 2011

Food for thought...

Poverty stock photo
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."  ~Mother Teresa

The Military Exchange in Delmar, DE

The Military Exchange in Delmar, Delaware
I have been a fan of the Zombie Squad for a long time. It is always a good idea to be prepared, and where else to pick up clothing and supplies than at a military store? They carry a variety of items for military collectors, law-enforcement officials, hunters, or just people like me who are ready to "bug in" or "out," in case of an emergency. They have some nice warm woollies, too. Check them out at 38660 Sussex Hwy.

Although the CDC has no official ties to the Zombie Squad, they have released info on being prepared for anything, including zombies. Click on link to visit the CDC site.

I pulled this photo from a future post of me wearing a Zombie Squad tee. I just bought some of those warm woollies at the Military Exchange for the upcoming cold weather. Where is winter? Oh, who cares? It can stay away.

National Bank of Davis, West Virginia

National Bank of Davis, West Virginia
I love this little store in West Virginia. So nice to see people using these old historical buildings. It almost reminds me of a street in Italy. Just add scooters whizzing by, some cafe tables, change the writing on the signs, and who would know?

Travel tip: you can buy both your hippie attire and your hunting license at this store. They also carry vintage clothing, herbs, spices, and oils. And of course, incense. What self-respecting hippie store would have no incense on hand? A fun store. Stop in!

Leisure on the sidewalk

Leisure on the sidewalk
Nothing like a little leisure time for both man and beast.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Davis, WV Highlands Artisans Gallery

Davis, WV Highlands Artisans Gallery
There is something about the mountains than makes you want to buy things, especially on rainy days. Perhaps it is the friendly people, and the fact that artists like to congregate where are all are welcome to craft and share their works. Whenever we go to Davis, I always stop here, and never leave without something in my hands. From pottery to fine jewelry, to art and photography, they have something for everyone.

Two children

Two children
I found the baby wandering around alone, on the bank of the river in Bangladesh. Below, the little girl, known as a rag picker, was found in the city, which you can see in the background in the black and white photo. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A rose by any other name...

Rose fairy tale story, Romeo and Juliet

"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."   ~ Juliet, from Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet

This is a Cinderella rose story. I would like to call it a Juliet rose story, but things did not work out as well for Juliet as they did for this rose, found on a New Jersey beach where it had lain for an undermined time, fighting the elements of sun and surf as it watched its companion die, all the while begging to be rescued. Only a child or a photographer would have heard her plea. Some photographers, yours truly, have two sets of eyes, those of both photographer and child. Oh, Romeo, Romeo, open thine eyes.  I can't pass up the urge to interject the star-crossed lover's story.

Romeo, believing his beloved Juliet was dead after being put into a death-like coma by by a Friar, poisoned himself at Juliet's crypt.  As the story goes, Juliet awoke from her crypt, and finding Romeo dead, stabbed herself with his dagger. Unlike Romeo, I had the foresight to see life through this corpse of my rose, and her story ended much better than a Shakespearean tragedy.

After checking the pulse of the carnation, I knew there was no hope, so  I plucked the rose from the jaws of death - there is a time for dying, and this was not her time, and carried her around town, getting expected strange looks as we made our way to a restaurant where I had planned to hydrate my rose in a glass of water. We were a good distance from the restaurant, but like finding water in the desert, we came upon a fountain, where I gently washed away the sand. At the restaurant, the waiter brought me a glass of water for my rose, accompanied with a non-romantic look in his eyes.  During lunch, as I wathced life returning to the rose, I carefully peeled off the dead leaves, and before we left the restaurant she was once again a thing of beauty. I carried her back to our room, gave her a fresh glass of cool water, and she lived throughout our stay. When we left, I took her petals and scattered them to the wind. "Well," You say, "The rose died, anyway." Not so. She lives eternal in these photos. And she died with dignity.

The "why" of how the two flowers ended up on the beach, will forever remain a mystery. Who would have thrown their flowers to the wind? Did someone get married on a yacht, the flowers blown into the blueness of the ocean in a mighty gust of wind? Was it a reconciliation gone wrong? Perhaps a memorial at sea? No one knows but the rose.

~ ~ ~

Washed up with the seashells or thrown away?

The Fountain of Youth

In the restaurant, she takes a good long drink of water.

Between bites of my sandwich, I gently peeled off the dead leaves.

Back in our room..."A thing of beauty is a joy forever."

Friday, November 25, 2011

Travel well, and learn

Travel in Italy
"We travel to learn; and I have never been in any country where they did not do something better than we do it, think some thoughts better than we think, catch some inspiration from heights above our own." ~ Maria Mitchell
I used to travel because I had to; now I travel because I want to.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from Oakland, MD, too...

Happy Thanksgiving from Oakland, MD
Yes, I can be in 2 places at one time, with the magic of Blogger, and a little time travel with Dr. Who. IPhone photo, so not my normal style - just a snap. Enjoying this beautiful day at the farm. Gobble, gobble.

Happy Thanksgiving, 2011, from Cape May, New Jersey

Happy Thanksgiving, 2011, from Cape May, New Jersey
"Forever on Thanksgiving Day
The heart will find the pathway home."
~Wilbur D. Nesbit

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Atlanta Varsity and Flossie Mae

Atlanta Varsity and Flossie Mae

In 1928, the Roaring Twenties were about to come to an end due to the stock market crash that loomed around the corner.  But before the crash, other events were weaving the tapestry of the future. 
The first scanning disk set using a shortwave receiver (I will call it the first TV) hit the market, and cost about $80; Charles Lindbergh received the Medal of Honor for the first trans-Atlantic flight and Aviator Amelia Earhart became the first woman to pilot across the Atlantic Ocean. The first Academy Awards ceremony took place  - "Wings" won for Most Outstanding Production (there was no Best Picture) and talking pictures like "The Lights of New York" hit the silver screen.

"I wanna Be Loved By You", "Sonny Boy", and "Sweet Sue, Just You" were among the hit songs, and Amos and Andy premiered on the radio. And let us not forget that Mickey Mouse made his first appearance as Steamboat Willie.

In Atlanta, near Georgia Tech, a top college founded in 1885, Frank Gordy was about to put his needle to history's tapestry. He opened a drive-in restaurant, one of the first in the country. Not only did it survive the Depression, it became one of the most famous restaurants in America and remains so to this day. It didn’t get that way serving fancy foods. Chili Dogs, Glorified Steaks (a hamburger with mayo and trimmings), fresh cut French fries and onion rings, fried pies, and its famous Frosted Orange Crush, are a few of the items that top the menu.

The standard of quality control at the Varsity is superb, food is made fresh to order 24-7,  which may account for the fact that over 15,000 people eat there every day; double that on Georgia Tech game days.  By 24-7, I mean that the Varsity has only closed once since it opened, and that was when Gordy was buried in 1983. I remember that day.  

Yes, the food is good, but 15,000 people don't frequent a restaurant just for the food. The place is a legend; a happening. Famous people from all over the world make a point to eat at the Varsity.  

Among those who have eaten at the Varsity over the years: Tennessee Ernie Ford, President Jimmy Carter, President George H. Bush, and President Bill Clinton. Executives from Coca-Cola treated Warren Buffett to a meal at the Varsity when he became their largest shareholder. Limousines are a common site at the Varsity, and you never know who you will run into.

Oh, and Clark Gable ate at the Varsity, along with other actors during the filming of Gone With The Wind. And that brings me to the below photos of John W. Raiford who personally served Clark Gable - and me (not at the same time, of course). But forget the "Raiford" name. Everyone knew him, and fondly remembers him, as Flossy Mae. 


When I was a little girl it was a real treat to sit in the back seat on warm summer nights, taking in the  smells emitting from the kitchen, the hot Georgia nights intensifying the aromatics of dogs and burgers. But the real treat was listening to Flossy Mae sing the menu - the entire menu. He was famous for that.  When I got my driver’s license it was still a treat to have Flossy Mae as my car-hop, though I was a little more interested in those Georgia Tech boys. 

After I had my son (I never caught a Georgia Tech boy), he was listening to Flossy Mae singing the Varsity menu before he could eat solid foods. 

Flossy Mae was all about tradition. In the early days every parent in Georgia wanted to introduce their kids to the legend they had grown up with. Flossy was like Santa Claus and his name spread across state lines like a virus.  Everyone wanted to be in the company of this sweet, kind man who had a smile for everyone.

Flossy Mae began working at the Varsity in 1937. Besides his singing of the entire menu (did I mention that?), he was known for his whimsical, self-made hats, decorated with a variety of items. Flossy Mae worked at the Varsity until 1993, when he retired at the age of 86. I captured him for an assignment a few years before his retirement. The accompanying photos are scanned negatives. Flossy Mae died four years after his retirement. He is still missed by those who grew up with him.

And here is the menu he sang. Did I mention it was the entire menu? Too bad we did not have video phones in those days. Reading his version of the menu is not near as cool as hearing him sing the words.

"Hot Dog a hot dog with chili and mustard

Chili Dog same as a hot dog

Naked Dog a plain hot dog in a bun

M.K. Dog a naked dog with mustard and ketchup

Regular C Dog a chili dog with ketchup only

Red Dog a naked dog with ketchup only

Yellow Dog a naked dog with mustard only

Yankee Dog same as a yellow dog

Heavy Dog a hot dog with extra chili

Walk a Dog (or Steak) a hot dog (or hamburger) to go

Steak a hamburger with mustard, ketchup, and pickle

Chili Steak a hamburger with chili

Glorified Steak a hamburger with mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato

Mary Brown Steak (or Dog) a plain hamburger (or hot dog) without a bun

Naked Steak a plain steak

Sally Rand a naked steak

Sally Rand Through the Garden a naked steak with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise

N.I. Orange a Varsity Orange without ice

F.O. a frosted orange shake

Joe-ree coffee with cream

P.C. plain chocolate milk (always served with ice)

N.I.P.C. a P.C. without ice

All The Way with onions (on a hot dog, hamburger, etc.)

Bag of Rags a bag of chips

Ring One order of onion rings

Strings french fries

Sideways onions on the side

The Jared Blackwood A double bacon cheeseburger with fries and a Coke Float

V.O. Varsity Orange, the original carbonated orange soda drink

L.G. Lazy Gordy, a Naked Dog and a Sprite." 

Flossy Mae sang it his way, and he never missed a beat.

If you are one of the few people who have never been to the Varsity, put it on your "Bucket list." Oh, be sure to listen for a faint singing, especially on those hot Georgia nights. I have a feeling Flossy Mae is never far from the Varsity.

"Whaddayahave, Whaddayave?"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Meet J.R., 40 year member of the Thomas, WV Volunteer Fire Department

Thomas, WV Volunteer Fire Department
"Good things happen when you meet strangers." ~ Yo-Yo Ma

I first met J.R. last  summer, while riding around Thomas, WV. I love to ride the back roads whenever I travel, and having worked for newspapers for so long, I can spot an interesting person from a mile away. I have found that short conversations with strangers give me more insight on the world than long conversations with friends. I found J.R sitting in a chair in front of his house watching the traffic go by. I stopped my car and chatted for over an hour on my first visit. J.R. gave me a wonderful history lesson on Thomas, pointing out landmarks, and telling me about his career, that included his forty-years as a volunteer fireman with the Thomas, WV Volunteer Fire Department. Every time I go to Thomas, I look up J.R. I'll be back soon, J.R., so get out that snow plow.

Check back later for an update on JR. I met up with him yesterday. As many of my followers know, I make my post days in advance, sometimes weeks, but I often add posts from my day's travels. Also coming, photos from The Christmas Shop in Thomas, WV, where JR, dressed as Santa, entertains children. JR also makes the rounds at nursing homes. Also coming, a tour of the Thomas Volunteer Fire Department, with JR as our personal guide, of course.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Black and white wildflowers

Black and white wildflowers
A forgotten field of wild flowers, meaning I really have no idea where or when this was taken. I found it in a bunch of negatives and scanned it. Who knows what dreams bloom there today?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Youtube Famer

Youtube Famer
I captured this young man hanging from a railing, video-taping his friend as he tried a few tricks on his skateboard in the late autumn  light. They wanted to know if I was going to put them on Facebook. I said no, but added I was sure I would see them on YouTube.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday pic

Tree bark
"He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature." ~ Socrates

They may not be good for the trees, but they make for nice photos.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Last of the season's flowers

Last of the season's flowers
"Flowers are words which even a babe may understand." ~ Authur Cleveland Coxe, The Singing of Birds.
I captured this snap in a store window.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tree-lighting in Salisbury, MD, 2011

Salisbury, Maryland 3rd Friday Tree-lighting in Salisbury, MD

I love tree-lightings!

From the Salisbury 3rd Friday team to you...

Dear 3rd Friday Fans,
3rd Friday in Downtown Salisbury is Friday November 18th from 5 - 8pm, and it's a great time to come Downtown, for great shopping, dining, and to get in the Holiday Spirit. To kick off the Holidays, the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will be taking place at 3rd Friday, at the Government Office Building. The program will begin at 5:30 with performances from Cathedral of Love Ministries Children's Choir, the Liturgical Dancers from St. James AME Zion Church: Youth, Angels and Rising Angels, St. Francis de Sales choir and Moves of Praise followed by the lighting at 6:30.
The City Center Building is proud to hold the March of Dimes 2011 Festival of Trees. Be sure to stop by this 3rd Friday to see the amazing holiday d├ęcor designed by over 50 combined local businesses, organizations and talented individuals that will be on display November 19th-December 1st to benefit the March of Dimes and their mission to give every baby a healthy birth through education, advocacy, research and community grants & outreach. Santa will also be there to welcome the kids, take Christmas wishes, and pose for pictures; and 3rd Friday Artists will also be on display.
This 3rd Friday is one of the final days for the CCART Annual Art Show and Sale in the Vernon Powell Building, a great place to find unique gifts from local artisans, all while helping to provide visual art scholarships for local high school seniors. The Art Institute and Gallery will be holding the closing of their 2011 Fall Members show along with a "turkey class" for kids. SWAC will be on the plaza with a special fire-twirling program, and fall crafts for kids as well.
All the shops and restaurants will be open with special sales, and 3rd Friday is pleased to announce that the wait is over! Mojo's Restaurant will be open, serving light fare from 3pm to midnight, and will be open until 2am. 3rd Friday is pleased to welcome another new business to the Downtown area, and is looking forward to lots of good times at Mojo's!
3rd Friday is designated as a City Event, and is an all-volunteer effort.
Visit www.3rdfridaysby.com for more information.

Purple Fiddle in Thomas, West VA and the Half Time String Band

Purple Fiddle in Thomas, West VA and the Half Time String Band
When we head to our mountain compound in Western Maryland, we always make several trips across the border into West Virginia. I am amazed at what some of the tiny towns have done to make themselves stand out above much larger towns. Thomas, population 300, has appealed to a variety of artists from places like New York and Maine. The main draw is the Purple Fiddle, a hopping restaurant that offers homemade breads and soups, and healthy sandwiches, the likes of which you would expect to find in artist's communities in big cities, and in specialty cafes. The main draw, that brings people from hundreds of miles away, is the evening entertainment. In the summer months the place is packed with people from all walks of life.  Most every evening brings a new band. On this trip, we were entertained by the Half Time String Band from Morgantown.

I love the decor at the Purple Fiddle.

 Photos not in order, but by the time the evening starts to wind up, the place is full. Through the doors on the left is a beautiful garden patio for dining. And I love this: they have a resident cat, and dogs are welcome on patio.

Photo from street.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WWII Bunker on beach

WWII defense bunker on beach
"Those who do not know history are probably also not doing well in English or math."  ~ P.J. O'Rourke

What interesting things we find when we explore...