Brief History of the Pierce Home in Longwood Gardens
William Penn sold George Pierce the land in 1700. Pierce built his home there in 1730.To save Pierce’s Park or Pierce’s Woods, scheduled for eradication at the local lumber mill, du Pont purchased the Pierce home and surrounding acreage. Longwood Gardens became the weekend home of Pierre Samuel du Pont in 1906.
Du Pont, one of 11 children, helped raise his siblings when his father died, and he married late in life. He devoted his life to running the family business, but also managed General Motors in the mid 20th century.
Under his management, GM enjoyed some of its most prosperous years. However, he did not consider real estate a good investment. He was not married when he purchased the nearly 200-year-old home in 1906. It became his pet project after he decided that he could do a better job of designing gardens than his designer.
When he married, he and his wife enjoyed expanding the many features of the home where they could entertain many people. John Phillip Sousa was one of the many that came to the du Pont home in Kennett Square, PA.
Hal did not think this simple home seemed like the home of a multi-millionaire. It was a weekend home that reflects the simplicity of life in 1730. Du Pont felt at the time that he probably made an investment mistake. His motives were philanthropic and environmental. The video you can watch on the du Pont side of the reflecting home connects the pieces of the story.
Pierre du Pont stood tall after his father passed away, leaving him as head of household. How many people do you know would take that responsibility seriously, and finish their education? He graduated from MIT at the age of twenty.
I have a couple of other videos you can watch on YouTube. They need some work. The videographer is not only shaky but talking to herself more than you. It put me to sleep listening.
I hope you enjoyed this short tour of the George Pierce/ Pierre du Pont home.
Flower portraiture – capturing the beauty of a single bloom
Yesterday Woodlake and Hockessin temperatures both registered 84 degrees. Don’t be confused. In Woodlake that temperature is perfect. Delaware sun and humidity mixed to make salt water spring like a national park geyser from my forehead and nose.
After meandering through Pierce’s Woods and visiting his 1730s home, stifling in the tropical section of the Longwood Gardens Conservatory in Kennett Square, PA, we came full circle in the huge conservatory and found this perfect chenille plant. Better known as Acalypha hispida, conservatory designers saved the best of the 1,100 varieties on the 2,000 acres for last.
OK, that may just be my opinion. By the time I found Princess Hispida, I had already taken 177 pictures, was dripping wet, ready to get out of the Conservatory, and stop somewhere for ice cream. I apologised to the princess for my abruptness, bowed low and snapped pictures for the Streaming Thoughts News.
Accustomed to thousands of daily admirers, she took my blubbering in stride. Her red dreadlocks stood out among the competitors and I circled around to capture the exquisite luxurious locks of her highness in numerous shots.
With so many competitors, you often forget their names, or where they sat, as I did with Princes Hispida. If you know the name of the plant, you can find where it is on the Longwood Garden’s website. I did not remember her name. Lucky for me, Google located a long red fuzzy plant in about .5 seconds. In Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, Princess H’s beauty is exotic. In Papua, New Guinea, she and her hardy zone 10 sisters are one in a million.
I wonder if I would look exotic if I moved to Papua, New Guinea. I’ll see if hubby wants to relocate.
I love to walk. Hal, age 91, and I walked for two hours through Winterthur and met a couple who walked there often.
“We walk here and at Longwood Gardens,” they told us.
“Where’s that?” I asked. My mental wheels turned.
“Kennett Square, PA about 15 minutes from here.”
“You’ve never been to Longwood Gardens when you visited before?” Hal sounded incredulous that he could have overlooked something as iconic as visiting Longwood Gardens.
“Never heard of it.”
“Everyone goes to Longwood Gardens. We need to go.”
After years of practicing touring every kind of museum under the sun, the best advice I can give you about touring like an expert is never to think you are an expert. Make comparisons, guesses, then check your facts. If you know you are going somewhere, you can check your facts first, but you’ll probably forget them because you don’t need to know them yet. I love to go in green and come out with more expertise than when I went in.
That being said, you are going to become more of an expert about Longwood Gardens that I was, and can build on the knowledge you gain here.
The Outdoor Gardens at Longwood Gardens.
We arrived at about 11:30, and unlike Winterthur, there were no shady areas in which to walk. The sun warmed us and the water features added humidity to the air.
Pierre du Pont enjoyed water. We came across a lake across from the Italian Water Gardens. Framing the picture on the right is the column of a gazebo. Unless you happen to be a frog, you would not want to jump in and swim in this lake. If you do, you will look like a frog when you come out.
I stood inside the lakeside gazebo to photograph Hal looking at the lake.
What impressed me most about this gazebo was the ceiling’s intricate pattern. Pierre du Pont designed his own gardens and incorporated much of what he learned on his travels to Italy.
With thousands of plants on thousands of acres, it is a photographer’s paradise. I couldn’t click fast enough.
Hal and I wandered into the garden and through the woods until 2:30. We caught the closing chords of the organ concert in the conservatory.
We did not let much grass grow under our feet, but there was some growing over our heads.
The display of flowers on the grounds outside reminded me of Buchart Gardens in Victoria, BC. There is a lot of stonework here in Delaware and Pennsylvania, but this garden is not built into the rock quarry.
Du Pont created the Italian Water Gardens with the most elaborate water show in the world when it was built in 1925-27. He could time the display, much like they do today at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
Overlooking the Italian Water Gardens is a Canopy Cathedral. What attracted me were the windows. It was not as grand as the windows led me to believe, but it is worth the short climb to go inside to look out over the meadow.
Much of the wood for this structure came from reclaimed wood. The floors came from a toothpaste factory in Toronto, Canada.
Follow me as I go upstairs.
Finally, we look through the beautiful window panes onto the meadow and Italian Water Gardens.
I hope you enjoyed your tour today of the Longwood Gardens. I’ll take you to other parts of it in another post. Stay tuned.
It was a beautiful September day outside in San Jose, though a little warm. I had a few hours to kill before Leanne Cole’s plane came in from Australia. We planned to meet up at Starbucks. I was so excited to finally meet her in person.
I stayed at the Hilton next to the McEnery Convention Center in downtown San Jose. It was less than a half mile so I walked to the Tech Museum of Innovation. but it was closed for remodeling.
Dang! It was closed for remodeling. Sounds like my house.
Almost across the street near the San Jose State University campus on 110 S. Market Street sat the San Jose Museum of Art. It cost $8.00 admission for a senior, which I thought was pretty expensive, but I love museums, so I paid and walked in.
I walked over to Radio Man’s glass case and stared at him trying to convince myself that this was really an art museum. I had just passed the blue room, which was just a room with a room-sized box lit with a blue light. hmmm.
“First of all, art does not HAVE to make sense,” Radio Man instructed me.
“You just don’t want to analyze how beautiful and artistic I am. You’re a lazy aficionado,” he continued.
I looked down and shuffled my feet. I wanted to turn away, but Mom always taught me to compliment people – no matter what. I stood there staring at his shoes and duck beak hands.
“OK, ok! You are shiny. I’ll give you that!”
“I had braces as a child.”
“You need to try Invisalign. Your bite is off.”
“What do you know? Most people like my smile.”
“Looks more like a grit to me.”
“A grit? It’s a smile. Don’t I have pretty eyelashes?”
I am not usually mean to robots. What’s the use? I moved on, nodding that I liked its eyelashes.
I stepped out of the museum yesterday with Mr. Tom Sweeney, a Woodlaker whose family has been in Woodlake since the 1870s, who had come in so I could record his oral interview for any future books and for the museum archives. We struggled to get the chain strung across the new driveway.
A stranger drove by, rolled down his window, and asked, “Are you ever going to open the museum.”
“Tomorrow,” I told him, “is our grand opening from 12:00-4:00.”
“It’s a date!” he called back smiling as he waved then rolled his window back up.
Few people have any idea how much time it takes to gather artifacts and pictures, sort them into some kind of an order so that together they tell a story, and then arrange them in the space provided.
Trust me it is a momentous task. Marcy Miller, almost single-handedly, set out to do this work to honor her parents and the other families that had come to Woodlake to make this a community. She had the help of one friend,Debbie Eckenfel. I went in to help once or twice, but I was clumsy, and was just in the way more than I helped. They were precise, and my eyes prevent me from doing anything exact – even with glasses.
They trimmed pictures, mounted them, put them in frames, arranged tables, brought in the big displays, went to Woodlake Hardware and picked up more antiques that had hung on the walls for probably fifty years.
Morris Bennett, owner of the store for over fifty years, retired from Woodlake Hardware at age 92 and donated them to the museum. Marcy and Debbie rearranged them on large display boards. They set a pair of skates on a pupil’s wooden desk from the same time period. They stacked and separated, stood back and examined, and rearranged. They recorded each item in a spreadsheet, first writing each entry by hand as they handled it.
It has taken two years after the museum building was completed before it was ready to open. People got impatient. They wanted to see inside. Marcy and Debbie kept working. Rudy Garcia, President of the Woodlake Valley Chamber of Commerce, added some farm equipment he had received from folks in Red Banks. Agriculture is the major industry of our county, but in Woodlake, “We R Agriculture,” my own new name of us. We grow oranges and raise cattle. Our major claim to fame is the Woodlake Rodeo, which is famous nation-wide. Slowly people donated money to build the building and items to display inside.
Monrovia Nursery donated all the plants outside the building. There was no fence around the building and kids skate boarded over the plants destroying all of them. Cruz-ta-Welding donated a beautiful fence around the building so kids couldn’t do that anymore.
Andrew Glazier doesn’t have a lot of money, but he loves Woodlake. He is a local landscaper who believes in using native materials. He donated all the materials to redo the landscaping. He comes when no one is looking and puts in more bark, and evens out the land. He sweeps the new parking lot so not a single piece of bark remains, then he locks the chain so cars can’t drive and leave dirty marks on the new cement. He gets everything ready for the Grand Opening.
The museum was not alarmed. Some people, like me, were afraid to bring items of value to put in the building. Now the building is safe and alarmed. Mr. Peden donated the jacket he wore to pilot Air Force #1. Took it off right after he spoke at the VIP donor opening event.
Marcy and Debbie want everything to look just right for the Grand Opening. They come and mop all the floors and dust all the displays.
Jennifer Malone comes with her family to lovingly place baskets, valuable as collectables, into the glass cases so the public can see the amazing designs from the Yokuts Indians who lived in Woodlake for centuries before American and Mexican people ever saw it. I heard laughing across the hall coming from the basket room. After most of the guests had gone, I had to go investigate to see what had been so much fun.
Jennifer’s mother, Marie Wilcox, brings her walnut dice with sparkly shells embedded in the center so we can play Wukchumni games. If you roll five with the center up, you get two sticks. If you roll seven, you luck has changed and you have to give up sticks. When all the sticks are gone, you take your opponents sticks, and they take yours. It’s a do or die game. I won! I jumped up and down and cheered. Everyone looked happy for me. No one brushed all the sticks and walnuts off the table. We laughed and laughed and hugged and hugged.
Our Grand Opening is today. I can’t wait to see who will come.
February thirteenth dawned as beautiful and gentle as a kitten sleeping on a satin pillow, promising a perfect VIP ribbon cutting ceremony for the new museum in Woodlake, CA.
A major project, nearly three years in the making, Woodlake Valley Cultural Museum, opened to VIP donors on February 13, 2016. Woodlake, a town of nearly 8,000, now has its first museum. Until now people have kept their memorabilia to themselves, some with lots of valuable documents, photos and artifacts from the last 150 years, and some with just a few. Now those treasures are out where the public can enjoy them and remember. It brought tears to my eyes as I watched the slideshow of the pictures imported from my camera. I love seeing the expressions on each face as they saw the exhibits for the first time. I thought Ramona’s was particularly endearing.
Rudy Garcia, the Chamber of Commerce President made sure that the event was well planned. Chamber Board members took on various jobs to make sure that all the details ran smoothly.
Marie and Debbie prepare for registration check in. Debbie did much of the design work in the museum. Do you know how much she charged us? Probably about -$1,500 considering all the materials she threw in, which doesn’t account for her hours.
We are all astounded that Marcy, Debby and Jennifer could put together a beautiful museum with no museum experience, and not much help.
We sailed through the day as Rudy planned. For the first half hour while people arrived the Four Directions Native-American drumming quartet, the Four Directions played and sang.
Woodlake Chamber Board member, Jennifer Malone introduced another member of her tribe, Delbert Davis, to invoke a blessing on the museum. I wish I had video taped it for you, but I was in the wrong place, and it was a solemn occasion, and you’ve already experienced my skill as a videographer.
The 2015-2016 Miss Woodlake Court, Briana Marie Holt, Sonni Hacobian, and Erica Diaz Rodriguez kept busy escorting VIPs to their seats and taking pictures. Most of these pictures are Briana’s, standing above her name.
For me, one of the highlights was the presentation by Carl Peden. Carl graduated in 1947 from Woodlake High School. He went on to become a pilot. Little did his teachers dream that one day he would pilot several United States’ presidents and their families around the world in Air Force One.
You made it through that without getting dizzy, I hope. My video skills aren’t improving much, but in my defense, you are seeing a raw unedited amateur recording.
Some asked me what Air Force One had to do with Woodlake, and had Carl Peden not been the pilot I could have answered, “nothing.” But this man showed me that Woodlake, small agricultural town in the rural outskirts of the San Joaquin Valley, reaches and influences far beyond Woodlake.
At the end of his speech, he took off his jacket and handed it to Rudy Garcia to put in the museum. His action inspired many others to come forward with ideas of things they could donate to the museum which will keep it fresh for many years to come. Carl stands in front of the list of the many community members who joined to make this project a possibility. I thank each one.
Rudy Garcia recruited these generous contributors to follow the dream of building a museum in Woodlake. One man, John Wood, fell in head over heels in love with the vision, and gave it his all, building the edifice to house the dream. He reminded me in many ways of my former boss, Jim Vidak. Very shy, not bringing attention to himself, he worked for reasons other than bringing honor to himself. Nonetheless Rudy wanted everyone to know how grateful the Chamber is for his hard work.
Finally, no building would be complete without a plaque. This one was ordered and had not arrived by Thursday before the big ceremony on Saturday. My nails would be bitten to the quick, but Rudy remained calm and collected. He made the phone call and Phil drove it up from Tulare on Friday. Soon it will hang on by the front door, next to my new office.
I will be in the office for the next two Fridays recording oral interviews of Woodlakers who want to share their memories. Email me at email@example.com if you’d like to make an appointment.
I’ll also be selling donation tickets to anyone who wants to win a trip for two to Hawaii February 10-17, 2017. The trip features a beachfront resort suite at Ka’anapali Beach in Maui, HI. This suite includes one bedroom, one bath, a full kitchen, living room, dining room, lanai, and laundry. Included in the trip is a stipend for round trip tickets for two from LA to Maui, and car rental. The package is valued at $4,000. Suggested donation is $10.00 per ticket. The drawing will be held at the Chamber of Commerce meeting on October 11, 2016.
For Cee’s Oddball Challenge, Out With the Old, I wanted to tell you briefly about an important company in Woodlake, CA whose history spans the century. You can read more about it in posts listed at the end of this post.
Founded in 1904 Redbanks Orchard Company shipped trainloads of fruit around the country on the Electric Railroad in the early 1900s, “The Hotel,”near Woodlake, California, was one of the most beautiful Spanish style buildings in the area. Resembling a Southern Pacific depot, the building, constructed in 1914, served as the headquarters of the company.
This view faces the offices on the east end of the building.
I met Ernie Garcia over 20 years ago when I taught at F.J. White Learning Center. He hasn’t aged a bit in those years, so we are almost the same age now. Ernie Garcia, whose family came to live and work at Redbanks in the 1940s, remembered Wylie, the one-eyed Chinese man who was an excellent cook who presided over the kitchen. Unfortunately, no one had a picture of Wylie, nor much information about him.
The building faces Colvin Mountain to the north. In the center of the north side of this headquarters building, a hall and stairway gave access to the upper floor. At first there were only rooms for workers up there. Then in 1932, the upstairs has converted into a five-room apartment known as “the penthouse”.
The east half of this building as seen above, contained rooms for bachelor workers. Hence it was referred to as “the hotel.” In the late 1920s, the east end was remodeled to create offices.
“The Hotel” held a large restaurant for the workers at its west end. Immediately behind the dining area was a large kitchen and food storage area with ice lockers in the center directly below the upstairs. West of the headquarters building, which can be seen in the distance nearest to Cottonwood Creek was the shower/lavatory building.
I fell in love with the buildings, and took some odd angled pictures of them.
I liked the geometry in this one.
I love shakes, even when they are coming off. Where else but an oddball challenge could this hope to be a good picture, but I love it. I hope you do too. It was a magically clear fall day with one of my favorite people learning about where he grew up living in apartments that no longer exist in a place that affected so many lives in this area, and shipped fruit to people all over the world.
We looked forward to our vacation in Sedona for weeks, and we’ve already been home for two days. What happened?
Sights seemed clear enough when we were there. We stopped at a wonderful museum in Kingman even though this lady view us with some distrust. Maybe her vision was blurred.
If you are at the Route 66 Museum, and you like old-fashioned milkshakes and malts you should go across the street to Mr. Dz. Yelp provided this picture, so I’m a bit blurry on the name details.
We spent the first and last night in Laughlin, so we met ourselves coming and going. It was beautiful on the way, but by the way back, the blurry air smeared the town’s beauty. So enjoy the first glimpse.
We visited a park called Slide Rock on the way home that may have been the most beautiful place in the world. In 1912 a man named Frank Pandry homesteaded it and grew apples.
It’s heyday came and went in a blur, but artifacts remain. It’s definitely worth a visit.
The red blur at the bottom explains how the place got its name. Kids and adults alike still enjoyed the slippery rocks.
Bees still enjoyed sniffing the black apple blossoms. I had never heard of black apples.
Can you imagine a finer setting for an apple orchard?
Editing a picture book with 50 -70 word captions for each of 200+ pictures requires more effort than you would think, and grammar is not the hardest part to correct.
1. Ask experts to read your manuscript.
I might have made the mistake of calling this a cement dam at one time. But not after writing Images of America: Woodlake. Robert Edmiston corrected one entry explaining that cement is a part of concrete, but dams are made of concrete, an aggregate of cement and rocks. No company in Woodlake makes cement. In a million years I would not have corrected that mistake on my own.
2. Ask experts to help you check pictures for historical accuracy. This can be more difficult than you think. Sources of pictures don’t always label their pictures. Even libraries rely on the picture donors to date and label the pictures correctly. Sometimes you can check facts using newspapers, but they are not always accurate either. I used two or three references when possible to make sure I had names and dates correct. Even then, my readers questioned me on several items. Marcy Miller and I sleuthed through dates of the school buildings. She had a picture of a building built in 1913, but several dates were attached to it. I had thought it was the same building that is now the district office, but I had a date of 1923 on that building from an obscure reference in a book. As we dug, we found that there were actually two different buildings. We looked at the brickwork at the bottom of the building and compared it to another building picture we had from a newspaper.
3. Ask experts to check names, double check them. If you are like me, you were not alive in 1860. When a relative tells you that one family’s children were too young to attend school in 1860, you have to question the historian’s information, if possible. In this case it was not possible because the historian passed away in 1971, and she did not have anything footnoted. The mystery might have been solved because the woman from the family in question had children from a previous marriage that could have attended school in 1860. Even though the children had a different last name than was listed in the book, the historian might not have realized that because the woman had remarried, and the children might have gone by the new husband’s name to make things more simple. Some things never change! But it is surprising how important it is even 150 years after the fact, to get the names correct.
4. Document your sources so that you can find where you got your information. One fact in question came up about the name of one of the participant in the 1926 Pageant named in the picture. One elderly resident had seen the picture and told Marcy Miller that it was one person, when in fact it was his brother. The evidence was in the newspaper, and when I showed her the article, she said, “Well his memory isn’t always perfect.” Expect people to question your facts, and do your best to keep track of them. When publishing with Arcadia books, the template doesn’t allow for footnotes or an extensive bibliography, but you almost need to include one in your own copy. I spent a lot of time looking for the information source to prove my writing. Sometimes I had it listed in the caption, but when I approached 70 words in the caption, I couldn’t include the information credit for publication. As I neared the end of my research, I purchased a product, Wondershare PDF Editor Pro to make my PDFs searchable. This helped me to find information faster.
In their author’s guidelines the publisher suggested that writers allow 2 weeks for editing using an expert reader. They moved my deadline up a month, so I didn’t have that luxury, but they have been wonderful about accepting changes, and once I get the proof back, I will have another opportunity to proof read it once again.
I hope this has been a helpful process for you in your own writing. :)
Find me on Facebook under TC History Gal Productions.
Arcadia Publishing has specific requirements for the photos in your Images book. You receive a written guideline and an editor that answers questions promptly. Your success is practically guaranteed – once your get the photos!
Images of America books are not family history books, so even if you grew up in a community, you must gather pictures. Multiple family’s pictures in the book are essential to telling the story.
In the case of a small community, probably the library will not have enough images to fill your book. You might have a small museum or historical society that stores pictures. Even though our museum is not open, one woman has pictures in her home. Here are the ways I started from 0 and gathered the 200+ pictures I needed for publication in 6 months.
Our local Kiwanis magazine put in a free ad for me. – 1 direct call and one referral from her
I walked the streets of Woodlake and talked to business owners, City Hall and Woodlake Police. – 2 donors
Talking to friends in the grocery store – 1 prospect
Following referrals from friends – 30 donors
Cold calls to businesses – 1 potential donor who googled me to make sure I didn’t have a criminal record or wasn’t a sex offender before he called me too late for publication.
Following referrals from referrals – 3 donors
Organizing was important, and took quite a bit of time as I processed the photos. These are my steps.
As I started scanning photos, I put the PDFs into files in my document folder labeled by donor’s names.
Next I created a “Woodlake PDF” and put in all of the donor folders.
Each photograph sent to Arcadia was a TIFF file, so I processed all most files, and put them into a separate file with the donor’s name inside a large folder that said, “Woodlake TIFF.”
I didn’t write about every picture. In order to write, I used an unpublished blog account, because importing each picture to a Word file made Word crash. It is hard to write about a picture when you can’t look at it as you write, so the blog was perfect.
However, that created another step. TIFF files are huge, so I resized each photo I used (or thought I might use) in the book and saved it as a JPEG, and created another Donor file and put it inside – you guessed it – the “Woodlake JPEG” file. Then I could upload those files easily to my blog, and the ones I didn’t use in the book I could post to FB or in my blog.
Then I made files for the chapter titles and copied only the TIFFS into those files, numbering them for the book.
Finally I copied the entire folder, “Arcadia,” onto an external hard drive. I started to copy all of it to the cloud, but it was very time consuming.
After I submitted the manuscript and pictures, I began copying the JPEG files only to Picasa. I’m still not finished, and I hope it is worth the effort! I have them organized by subject rather than chapter, and I have one folder for all the images used in the book along with the caption, so that if I do another book, I will use different pictures, or be sure to credit the book as well as the donor.
That’s it. That’s how I gathered and organized hundreds of pictures in six months.
Spring arrived in Delaware coaxing daffodils and crocuses to bloom in the ancient cemetery outside Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. Sun warmed my bare arms, and a light breeze rearranged my hair as we ambled among the crumbling tombstones towards the large stone church.
Colonial settlers may have built earlier churches, but those buildings fell down or out of use. Hal and I missed the 300th Anniversary Celebration at Old Swedes Church. This original stone structure, cemented together with crushed oyster shells mixed into the mortar, sprang to life in 1698. The pattern of small stones, hand-carried by women parishioners, added strength and sparkle to the walls. The pattern reminded me of ships or rafts in a fast-moving river.
Graffiti artists began working on the edifice in 1711 making it their own.
Calligraphers etched their marks in the door as well as the stone walls for over one hundred years.
I couldn’t substantiate this 1697 piece of church gossip, on the internet, so it must be true. In a church bustling with young life, when the new twenty-nine year old single pastor, Erik Bjork, arrived from Sweden, he began a building program. Of course, he needed his own parking space. We entered the church through what had been his reserved “barn door.” He drove his carriage inside the barn door entrance to the church.
According to our guide, his ride attracted the most eligible bachelorette in the congregation. Other carriages drove under the front overhang, dropped off the riders, and drove on through. Bjork stayed with his Christina congregation for seventeen years before returning to Sweden.
Inside the church, nearly one hundred years passed before artisans added stained glass windows. This one attracts interest because young Jesus appears to carry a cross. We approached the window so we could see the measuring marks along the t-square Jesus must have used as a carpenter’s apprentice.
As we moved through the church, the guide fed us more facts that I could digest. He and Hal discussed the abundance of eagles adorning Episcopal pulpits.
“An ornamental eagle sales agent must have passed through all the New England churches in the early 1800s,” Hal suggested.
We stayed over twice as long as the 30 minutes needed to tour the church recommended by the Triple A Tour Book for Delaware and New Jersey. We enjoyed many personalized stories we couldn’t read online. We finished by meandering through the graveyard photographing crumbling tombstones of individuals who made history in early Delaware. We wondered what made some famous, earning them shiny big headstones, and others remained obscure. More questions drove us home to research in silence.
“Thanks to you, I learned a lot.” Hal told me at 9:30 in the evening. Then he punched me in the ego. “See what I found out about the new National Park in New Castle,” he said as he handed me a new printout.
I must be my father’s daughter since I can’t ever pass up the opportunity to get on board a ship, whether it goes somewhere or it doesn’t.
The USS Constitution is still a commissioned ship manned by humorous navy docents. I wonder if having a sense of humor comes as part of the package when one joins the navy. Most navy vets I know tend to have a “dry” sense of humor.
The first one told us about the upper deck and the construction of the ship, which is 10% original. The second deck docent instructed us on the daily lives of 500 sailors living on hard tack and grog.
Some of the visitors had difficulty with the height of the ceilings in the “day of sail.” These guys all adjusted in their own ways.
Hope you are having a great weekend. What are you doing this weekend? My friend’s son, Matt, is picking me up soon, and driving me to see more sites outside of Boston. :)
I have the fortune to be going to the historic city of Boston on social studies business. I’m extending my stay since I have never been there, and live in CA, so I’ll be there from April 1-8 then on to Philadelphia and Delaware from April 8-15. Thanks to Google Images for all the pictures.
I’ll be arriving at 11:00 p.m., so I’m sure the city will look beautiful. For me it will just be 8:00. I’ll be raring to go! However, I’m alone, so I’ll get settled in my hotel, and maybe write a post or two with Manny. The good news is that I’m going to get to visit blogger friend, Eunice at NutsForTreasure while I’m there.
I investigated a couple of blogs. Free choices of interesting sights to see abound. Many friends told me to walk the Freedom Trail which starts at the Visitor Information Center in the Common.
I must see the Mapparium, a walk-in, three-story-high, stained glass globe.
I’ll enjoy visiting the Museum of Fine Arts free on Wednesday after 4:00 p.m. If I tour the Samuel Adams Brewery from 10:00-3:00 beforehand, will I have more fun, or fall asleep on the floor? zzz
Maybe I should explore the Massachusetts State House the war ship, USS Constitution, and the Old North Church instead. Most of them open at 10:00 also. I’ll have plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast while I get used to the three hour time difference.
If you have been to Boston, or lived here, what would you suggest for me to see, or are you a blogger friend who lives there?
Large or small, I like social studies conferences. Teachers starve for social studies professional development because it differs from other subject area conferences.
The social studies include four core subject areas: geography, economics, history and civics.
Geography: Now I ask you who isn’t interested in traveling? One of our CCSS exhibitors offers teachers expenses paid trip for two weeks to Germany. Do they have offers like that in math conferences?
The activity we did at the N. CA conference this weekend had us identifying where and when pictures had been taken. Each group of 4 had two different pictures. This particular activity showed change over time in Germany.
Economics: Do you run out of month or paycheck first?What would happen if we quit shipping the 40% of California’s agricultural products overseas, could we save water in drought-ridden California? Studying economics helps students grapple with historic and current issues, trace the consequences and predict future results from actions we take today. Conferences bring you face to face with people in the know like Dr. Jim Charkins of the California Council for Economics Education.
History: Scholars from near and far engaged us in conversations about WWI, the trenches, the music, the need to enlist before the selective service started, and the propaganda to get people to enlist.
Now I understand a little piece of my grandfather’s life a little better.
At the other conference we Skyped author/scholar, Allyson Hobbs from Stanford, also sponsored by Glider Lehrman Institute who studied the effects of African-Americans who passed for white, and what they missed from their black culture by giving up their identities. Can you imagine giving up/turning your back on who you are? She made it personal.
Civics: We met three speakers involved in landmark Supreme Court cases. Sylvia Mendez’s younger sister never knew the court case happened until she studied the effect on the Civil Rights movement in high school. Karen Korematsu spoke about her father, Fred Korematsu’s opposition to the federal government, prison, Supreme Court Case. We met Mary Beth Tinker, Tinker V Des Moines, who wore a black armband to school, to express her views. She didn’t think it was any big deal at the time. Now she talks to children around the country. She told us stories of amazing children, and what they can do that adults couldn’t.
We heard Major General Patrick Brady tell us that people may not have equal opportunities, but we all have access to as much courage as they want. The more we use, the more we have.
We met political cartoonist, Lalo Alcaraz who has one of his paintings hanging from the wall of Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor
Where else but a social studies conference can you rub elbows with people who played a part in exciting events you read about in the news?
Intensity sparked like electricity during a Power of Democracy Task Force meeting. Where can you get direct contact with legislators, Department of Justice, and Department of Education at the same time?
We honored our best and finest social studies teachers at the awards program – AKA Emmys. Twitterers tweeted during the conference.
Brent won a bicycle at the membership booth. Exhibitors gave free stuff to everyone. Best of all teachers connected with other teachers and shared ideas.
Next March we go to Oakland. The National Conference will be in Boston in November. California Council Needs YOU! If you teach history-social studies in CA, please join us.
A Kissing Hand was the most touching of the books I found this week, but there were several others that I liked as well.
Mommy’s Little Monster by Dawn McNiff, illustrated by Kate Willis-Crowley will capture your heart, too. No one can hate these monsters. Tiny Troll’s mom is going to a party without him. You should see his look, and even more, his toys! Mommy gets ready, and if you’ve ever wondered what a troll does to doll herself up, wonder no longer. She even slimed her scales! Wait till you see her purse! Off she went, and in comes Mrs. Hagi, the babysiter. Tiny Troll’s poor toy slug slammed against the wall. Such a temper! Mrs. Hagi knows just what will make him better, but doesn’t force it on him. He smells warm mudmilk from the swamproom. Soon he and Mrs. Hagi were enjoying more mudmilk than his mother EVER allowed him to have, and Tiny Troll, the happy toddler, fell fast asleep. When his mommy came in to kiss him good night, “her bristles smelled of mold again.” Best of all she brought him a bag of rotten worms from the party. Life is TOO good!
The Day the Crayons Quit, another favorite of mine by Drew Daywalt illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, had me in stitches. And I finished my quilt!
Duncan liked to color. The crayons had some complaints. They each wrote him a letter. Tired Red needed a rest after Valentine’s Day and Christmas. Purple expressed his irritation with Duncan’s out of the line coloring. Beige clarified his identity. Gray discussed the elephant in the room. White felt invisible while black tired of always being an outline, and wanted to be a beach ball instead. Proud Green turned out to be a tattle tale. Orange and yellow fought about which one of them more accurately represented the sun. Broken Blue couldn’t see out of the box. Diva Pink complained that he never came close to her. She was such a mouth, that one couldn’t blame poor Duncan. Peach, peeled bare, wanted clothes.
Could Duncan solve their problems in the last picture in his book?
You will just have to do what I did. Can’t you just picture an older woman’s shoulders shaking as she tries to laugh quietly in the children’s book section of Barnes and Noble?
No David! by David Shannon appealed to me, but my husband thought it was too stupid for publication. Sorry David. He probably didn’t want to fess up to being just like David as a kid. The text is stupid, I have to admit, but the drawings, complete with David’s finger in his nose made me laugh.
So what books are your favorite children’s books that you and your children have enjoyed over the years? Please share this review with someone looking for children’s books.
If you have a link to a review, share it in my comment box. I’ll come visit your blog and dribble some ooey, gooey comments in your comment box.
When I was a kid, it seemed like museums stored old stuff that only grandparents recognized. Now museums come in all shapes and sizes in every community. Representing agricultural Tulare County a gigantic steel barn in Mooney Park houses everything from large equipment to a farm worker’s cabin from Linnell Camp. Of all the museums I’ve dragged Vince to see, Bishop Museum was his favorite – ever.
The layout of the grounds and the architectural structures took our breath away. It didn’t hurt that they were in Oahu.
Lots of exhibits alone don’t make the museum enjoyable, but a museum needs many exhibits, and some changes so that local folks don’t get bored.
The exhibits grabbed you and pulled you in. The more you looked, and read, the harder it got to move on.
Variety of exhibits gives each person in the family something to remember. I apologize for the blurriness of some of the photos, but I still wanted to share them. Believe it or not my astigmatism has been mostly corrected. :)
You knew you couldn’t see it all in one visit, and maybe ever.
At the end of the visit, you needed a nap to rest your eyes and brain.
The Bishop Museum had so many more excellent qualities, you would need a break after reading this if I listed them. What is your favorite museum ever, and why?
This was my first full year of retirement. All my life I dreamed of traveling when I retired, and certainly God granted my every wish. When I didn’t get travel, Manny did, so I have many wonderful pictures and memories for 2013.
On January 5th Manny and I headed south in my little green Prius that has 192,000 miles on it to San Diego where we met the History Girls. We met Russel Ray, the San Salvador, and the bronze lady. We faced peril in the Railroad Museum, and had to keep Manny under control in the Botanical Gardens.
Later in January I attended a committee meeting in Berkeley and had time to walk around the neighborhood and take pictures.
I went to Los Angeles to visit my friend Elane in February and so some shopping and serious eating. I probably visited my dentist, Dr. Moy, as well.
In March California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS) held its annual conference, Social Studies on the March in Burlingame in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Marches in Birmingham.
The next week the History Girls and I celebrated our friendship in Costa Mesa attending the play “Wicked,” which I had wanted to see forever.
April is the month for the Executive Conference for CCSS. As the President, I got to pick the place, and Vince prepared our house to host it here. However, that didn’t work out for too many people, so we it moved to Los Angeles to the location where our conference will be held in 2014 at the Sheraton.
By May our neighbors wondered if I still lived here. I visited my friend Elane again in Los Angeles.
My friend Jean and I went to San Francisco to celebrate her birthday for a couple of days and did walking tours.
Towards the end of the month Vince and I took Cindy and Manny to Kauai, HI for her birthday. The dogs watched our homes, and Kay and Mike East watched them.
We arrive home from Hawaii on June 3, and believe it or not, we stayed home until September 11, and rested up for the remainder of the year which made us dizzy.
Since we stayed home, we sent Manny to visit Ralph in July.
In August he left Ralph’s home in Spain, and traveled to London with Ute.
From September through November he went with Carol and Glenn to Cologne, Bruges, Brussels, Frankfurt, Tasmania, Toowoomba, Waterloo, and Wuerzburg. I’ll be doing lots of posts about these trips during the year. I just need to learn a little bit more about them, and Manny is being rather tight-lipped about the events of the trip! Carol tells me they have some secrets they’re not telling me. :)
Then he flew home with their daughter Melissa, who was going to Florida. She sent him home from there. His bags arrived in December from Australia. He had fun showing us all his stuff.
By September Vince and I contracted the travel bug, and went to Oregon to pick up the best Ebay bargain trailer on the market in Southern Oregon. We turned it into our accidental vacation when our truck broke down in Klamath, CA.
Manny was still on the road, so he missed my next trip. A week after Vince and I got back from our first trailer trip, I took a train from Sacramento to Portland, Oregon to attend the Oregon Council for the Social Studies annual conference, and to meet my brother.
After the conference my brother took the train ride of our lives going first to Chicago, then to South Bend and Indianapolis, IN for a week.
After a short jaunt to Louisville, KY, I headed home on a plane to CA, and my brother took the long way home by train back to Portland.
Almost immediately I had to go to a dental appointment, and stayed in Santa Monica, an took the opportunity to visit our President-Elect, Amanda.
No sooner than I got home than my house-bound husband wanted to take a trailer trip to the coast for two weeks. We stayed a week, then he went home for some appointments. I stayed in Avila by myself to write my contribution to 2013 NaNoWriMo, Girls on Fire. A few days later he drove back and picked the trailer and me up and carried us back home.
Less than two weeks after that, I flew St. Louis, MO to the 2013 National Council for the Social Studies Conference.
Manny and I arrived home about the same day, him from Australia via Florida and me from MO. It was my husband’s birthday, and one week later the three of us got back on a plane heading for Honolulu, HI, where we spent a week in Waikiki.
We have been home eighteen days, and today we took a day trip to the coast to celebrate our friend, Margaret’s birthday, but I think we are going to stay home for a while now.
At least until morning. :)
I’d love to hear about your highlights from the year?
“A new transmission is not so bad,” Vince said, still nervous about Marsha’s reaction to the news. “It could have been so much worse. Just think if we’d broken down going up that grade to Eureka that we drove yesterday.”
“Yeah, there’s not much between here and McKinleyville, Arcata and then Eureka. And running into elk at night in the rain, with no transmission. Yikes!” Marsha knew how lucky they had been, and she couldn’t even be upset at the news. It was an old truck anyway, and it had never given them any trouble. She felt like anyone else, a truck needed to go to the doctor and get things fixed once in a while.
“The good news is that we get internet today!” Vince had spotted the sign at the Riverside RV Park next to them. They had stopped in after their trip to Eureka, and asked about using the internet for Marsha’s online meeting the next day. Even though they were on vacation, work could go almost anywhere, and Marsha needed to find a source. The park next to them was almost empty. Salmon season was almost over, and folks were heading home. Marsha hoped they would be willing to help them move over.
As they talked to the park managers, Marsha had suggested that they would love to move to their park, but they had no truck to tow the trailer. The manager and her husband thought that they could tow the Terry trailer an eighth of a mile down the road to their park with their Ford pickup.
“And we have TV service as well,” the manager told the couple proudly. “Did you notice that we also have free laundry service?”
The move was completed by 9:00 a.m., and Marsha opened her computer, and tested the internet. “Wow, this is faster than at home, “ she told Vince.
“Do you want to run into Crescent City to check on the truck?” he asked, knowing full well he had the rest of the morning to himself.
In reality, he had the rest of the day to himself. Marsha looked up at about 1:00 and took the dog for a walk and enjoyed the wonderful sunshine, and another walk a couple of hours later, each time snapping back to the computer like she was connected to it by a rubber band. At five thirty she finally noticed Vince lying on the couch quietly watching TV, and forced herself to pay attention to him.
“Let’s go for a walk. It’s so beautiful outside,” she smiled at her patient husband.
As they walked around the park, they stopped to talk to a forest ranger. His job was to check each fisherman and women as they brought in their catches. The rangers had a route they checked, and collected random data about the salmon in Klamath River. They examined the fish for diseases, weighed them, and recorded many other important data. The ranger told them about the 2002 salmon disaster.
The Klamath River is a dam-controlled river that transports some of its water to California’s great Central Valley for agricultural purposes. In 2002, they had been letting the cold spring waters flow to the ocean, just a half mile from where Vince and Marsha stood. The cold river water beckoned the salmon to enter into the river to lay their eggs. After they started their run upstream to spawn, the water was shut off in preparation to send it to the Valley. The shallower waters in the river heated up, and the salmon were trapped. They were caught too far from the ocean to get back, and became diseased in the glutted warmer waters, and died. By the end of the catastrophe over 33,000 dead salmon floated along the banks of the Klamath for miles. The congressperson for that area took many of them to Washington D.C. and laid them out on the steps of the Capitol to illustrate the disaster.
Marsha and Vince knew the consequences of water cutbacks all too well. Restrictions of water imported by the Central Valley meant gluts of dead trees, uprooted on their sides along every roadway. The couple had not smelled the thousands of salmon that lost their lives for lack of water, but they watched trees wither when the water didn’t come. The debates over water resources would never end. Water, a priceless commodity, is too scarce, and absolutely vital to both communities.
The RV Park handed out the Klamath Chamber of Commerce Newsletter with all the other check-in information. On the very first page of the September, 2013 Volume 13, Issue 9 was a full-page article titled, “Klamath River Conditions & Salmon.” A quick scan pulled up the word, “Fresno,” and Marsha, read on. “On Wednesday, August 21st, a federal court judge relied heavily on Yurok tribal science in a weighty decision to increase Klamath River flows, and not send the water to California’s Central Valley.” The conditions this year are “nearly 1.7 times the number of fish that returned in 2002. … The Klamath River is one of three rivers that produce the majority of sport and commercial Chinook salmon harvest on the West Coast.”
What a dilemma. Marsha felt overwhelmed by the struggle for life between salmon and trees. Living in Oregon among fishermen in her family further divided her loyalties. The decisions to send the life-giving water one place or another affect millions of people’s lives, not to mention the salmon and the trees. The Central Valley produces a large proportion of food that is exported to the rest of the nation as well as other parts of the world.
For the moment, the couple enjoyed the “slamming” salmon catches on the Klamath River. The couple they had met at the former park gave them some freshly home canned salmon.
If you were making the decisions about where to send the water, where would you send it?