This book was read as part of the Military History Book Challenge hosted by Strategist's Personal Library. There aren't a lot of us participating, but hopefully the ones of us that signed up will reach our goal of 3 by November 11.
Musings on family history, regional history, book reviews, and miscellaneous observations and comments by a genealogist and librarian living near the Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Review: The War of 1812 by Donald Hickey
This book was read as part of the Military History Book Challenge hosted by Strategist's Personal Library. There aren't a lot of us participating, but hopefully the ones of us that signed up will reach our goal of 3 by November 11.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Review: Raven Black
It's The Real Thing, or, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing
For those of us who have been around awhile, you will remember that Coke ® was sold in bottles that came in two sizes. There was the 10 ounce bottle which was the size in which most other colas and non-colas (such as Grape Nehi ®) were sold. Then there was the 6 1/2 ounce size. This was the preferred size in my family and in most of the South. Folks said that it tasted better. It was supposed to be truer to the original formula. I can recall many times when I visited my maternal grandparents and enjoyed one of these six and a half ounce treats! I also remember getting them at the beauty parlor out of a machine there where soft drinks cost a whopping 6 cents! I remember that we thought it was terrible when they went up from 6 cents to a dime. I don't think any of us ever dreamed that they'd be charging over $1 for a bottle nearly 40 years later. I don't think we ever dreamed they'd change our beloved glass bottles to plastic either. Of course, you can still purchase Coke ® in a glass bottle in some locations, but these smaller bottles cost as much as their larger plastic counterparts.
There is one thing that I really miss about those glass bottles. It's the fun we had when we would turn the bottles upside down to see whose bottle had travelled the greatest distance. You see, in those days the bottles all bore the imprint of the bottle's original bottling plant. It was fun to see where all the bottles originated. Once in awhile we'd get a local bottle such as "Tupelo, Miss." but often they bore "Birmingham, Ala." or "Atlanta, Ga." or "Miami, Fla." Persons who had a location such as "Chicago, Ill." or "Minneapolis, Minn." would almost surely be contender on most days for the bottle that had travelled the most distance. If you had a west coast location such as "Los Angeles, Calif." or "San Francisco, Calif.", you could almost guarantee that you'd be that day's winner. They charged deposits for the bottles so you always took them back to the store so that the new deposit fee was offset by the returned deposit fee. There are some states which still charge deposits on plastic bottles. This little contest was one of the "simple pleasures" of childhood in the past. It was a game that could be played by young and old alike. The only requirement was to "enjoy Coca-Cola ®" which was the main advertising campaign of a much simpler day and time.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Stores of Yesteryear Roundup
Alison at Young Geeky Librarian remembers Ames, Zayre's, and Montgomery Ward.
Wendy at All My Branches Genealogy shares The Stores of My Childhood, reminiscing about stores in Dayton, Ohio. I know Elder-Beerman was still around the Dayton area and even had a store or two in Cincinnati 10 years ago, but I don't know whether they are there now or not!
Bob at Itawamba History Review shares all about downtown Fulton, Mississippi. I do think that I went in the Fulton Ben Franklin once or twice when I was small.
Jasia at Creative Gene tells us about Federals, Montgomery Ward, and even the S & H Green Stamp Redemption Centers, but she focuses on the Sunnyside Market, her one special store. S & H Green Stamps and Quality Stamps had redemption centers all the way up through my college years (and maybe even a little longer). I remember saving the stamps from my grocery store for what seemed like a long time just to get whatever you wanted. You had to pay a little per each book of stamps redeemed, but it was cheaper than purchasing the item at the regular store (at least until Wal-Mart came along). Thanks for bringing back that memory. I don't remember much of what I got, but I still own a rocking chair that I got (well -- my parents got it for me) when I was about 13 or 14 with one of those types of stamps. Her memories of the candy counter even made me remember West's in Amory. It was a little neighborhood grocery store that most of us in the neighborhood visited frequently by bicycle. It stocked a great line of candy and the old sodas that you got out of the chest type freezers in glass bottles! I'm talking about the good kind of sodas like Grape Nehi!
FootnoteMaven's contribution, Shopping -- Hazardous to Your Health, brings back some memories of shoes and drug stores. I dare not say more. Just read it!
Denise of Moultrie Creek shares with us about McCartney's Drug Store.
Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings reminisces about Piggly Wiggly and More. He even shares the street addresses of the stores in his neighborhood.
Janet Iles of Janet the Researcher tells us all about Owen Sound and promises future posts on corner grocery stores.
All My Ancestors chose Plainview Hardware as the basis for her memory but mentions several other stores of the past.
Terry over at Hill County of Monroe County quite appropriately blogs about his father's own store.
Laura over at Life at the Home20 shares her memories of the stores of Amarillo, Texas. Those S & H Green Stamps just keep cropping up in posts! Maybe we should be asking folks if they licked them like Laura did or used a wet sponge as we did if we waited too long to paste them in those little books.
Diane at Canada Genealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt' tells us all about the stores she remembers being in downtown Vancouver.
I was browsing some other blogs and found Elyse's entry, My Favorite Memories of Stores. One of those she recalls is Fred Meyers.
Jessica of Jessica's Genejournal submits Stores I Remember with memories of G & W, Imperial Pizza, Farmer Jack, and others.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Teaser Tuesdays - August 19
I ran across this new meme over at Traci's Book Bag.
Here are the rules:
- Grab your current read
- Let the book fall open to a random page.
- Share with us two (2) "teaser" sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
- You also need to share the title of the book that you're getting your "teaser" from...that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
- Please avoid spoilers!
So here goes!
I'm actually in the middle of reading 2 books, but the one that is closest is the one that will be the subject of this Teaser.
He stood with his face to the sky and let the tears run down his cheeks.
He might have stayed there all night, but a distant explosion -- a lifeboat maroon which seemed unusually loud in the still night -- brought him to his senses.
These sentences are on page 90 of Ann Cleeves' Raven Black (New York: St. Martin's Minotaur, 2008). They are the closing sentences of one paragraph and the opening of the next.
Book Review: A Fatal Grace
Tuesday Thingers - August 19, 2008
Here is today’s question courtesy of Boston Bibliophile:
LT and RL (real life)- do you have friends in real life that you met through LibraryThing? Have you attended any LT meet-ups in your area? Would you be open to attending meet-ups or is LT strictly an online thing for you?
I currently have 13 LibraryThing friends. I know 7 of these in real life. I have another 3 pending friends. I know two of those in real life. (They just haven't checked lately.) Three of the other friends and the other pending one are known through blogging. I know a pretty high percentage of my private watch list. I know a few of my "interesting" libraries.
We have not had any LibraryThing meetings in our area; however, Tim came and spoke to the Association of Christian Librarians Conference in the Greater Boston area this summer. There's a photo of Tim and the "LibraryThing groupies" in this earlier post. I would be open to meetings in our area if they fit with my schedule.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Reading Roundup - August 18
I just saw a commercial on TV that said that the Today Show was going to be showing something about Roots pretty soon. You know how it is -- you aren't really paying attention to the commercials, but then something comes on that catches your attention, but you've missed the heart of the commercial. Since they were showing a "tree" in the graphic, I'm going to assume that Matt and Meredith (I did catch their names) are going to have a genealogical segment sometime in the not too distant future. I couldn't find anything at the Today Show site yet, but maybe they'll put a "plug" for the segment online.
The 54th Carnival of Genealogy is posted at What's Past Is Prologue. The theme for the 55th edition will be "Show and Tell" and details are at the end of the post.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Blog Action Day - October 15, 2008
October 15, 2008 has been selected as the 2008 Blog Action Day. This year's topic is poverty. Bloggers of all topics are invited to participate with blog posts related to their topic. The goal of the day is to raise an awareness of the issue of poverty. I plan to blog on some issue of poverty in family history. Many other family history and genealogy bloggers will also be participating. I think it would also be great for many of my book blogger friends who read this to participate. I can think of so many great books which have a poverty theme--both fiction and non-fiction. You can register your blog, podcast, or vlog for participation. You have almost 2 months to come up with a post!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
The Family Language...Does your family use words and phrases that no one else knows or understands? Where did they come from? Did you ever try to explain your "family language" to outsiders? Tell a story about your family-coined words, phrases, or nicknames.
I'll be honest with you. My family's language is and was English (of a Southern variety). I think every other Southerner would understand if I "tote" something or "carry it" for a bit.
I do remember some of the adults using the expression "I'll swan" on occasion. (Sometimes it would be "I'll swannee".) As a child that never made sense to me because a swan was a beautiful bird. Of course, I made the mistake of asking them once what they meant, and I believe they kind of watched what they said around me after that. I did hear it a lot after I was a teen though.
If something wasn't liked, it would often be preceded by the expression "cotton pickin'" in the sentence.
My paternal grandmother knew exactly how everyone else was "kin to" someone else. I just wish that she'd written it down!
A good rain was called a "gully washer."
I'm afraid that my "Southern English" has been corrupted by living in too many places and by my education. I have more Midwestern idioms than Southern ones in my regular speech now.
Well, I'm "fixin' to" close this out, so "ya'll" have have a nice time and "come on back, ya hear?"
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
More Store Memories
I grew up in the small town of Amory, Mississippi. When I was growing up, we had a dollar store (Fred's - which is still around but is much larger and out on Highway 278 instead of on Main Street) and a dime store (V. J. Elmore's). I loved Elmore's. It was actually in two storefronts. They had old wooden floors which creaked as you walked over them. They had the most interesting toys in little bins that kids could purchase. Another dollar store (or discount store) came into town on Main Street for awhile. It was called Hi-Lo. It simply wasn't as good as Fred's or Elmore's. I don't remember how long it lasted, but it wasn't that long. When the Glendale Shopping Center opened, we then had another store of this type called Sterlings.
As far as clothing, I remember going to the Dorothy Mae shop back when I was small. Later that store moved off Main Street and was renamed The Family Shop. They had one of the better selections of children's clothes. There was also a Black's. Black's had clothes for the entire family. They also had a store in Tupelo. One of the stores was called the Casualaire. They had high-end women's clothing. My mother always called it "the Millionaire's Casualaire." It really wasn't that pricy, but you'd often find the same clothes in Tupelo for about half of what they cost at that store! The store later moved off Main Street. I am not sure if it exists now or not. Anthony's Men's Shop catered to the men.
When I was small, there was no such thing as a chain drug store in town. We usually went to People's Drug Store. There was also a Cutcliffe's drug store, Alexander Pharmacy, and G & Y Drugs. G & Y was a favorite stop for me because they had a real soda fountain. (I think People's had one for awhile too, but G & Y's was open longer. They had little green-padded stools where you could sit around the counter.) They also had a gift shop which was fun to browse. Glendale Shopping Center had East Drugs.
As far as grocery stores, there was McCullen's downtown. You could get some items at this store that you couldn't find at other places. They also delivered groceries. People would call in their orders, and they delivered them. I always liked to talk to Joe & Ira (the owners) as we shopped there. My mom had worked for them for many years so they always treated me extra special! There was a Kroger in town when I was young. It was the first store to close. We had a Big Star. I don't remember who owned it originally, but the local franchise was later purchased by a Larson. They later moved from their location about a block toward town from the middle school out to the corner of Highway 278 and Boulevard Drive. It was still around until a couple of years ago when it became a Vowell's Marketplace. The store was always smelly so it didn't do too well. Food Giant has come in and cleaned the place up, and that store is once again a good place to shop. When the Glendale Shopping Center first opened, it housed an A & P.
I also remember a couple of jewelry stores downtown in Amory. We usually went to Roberts' Jewelry. I remember that the owner had a jeweler's eyepiece (or whatever you call those) that he almost always used. The other one I remember was Wright's Jewelry. I believe that both of these no longer exist.
There were two banks--the Bank of Amory and the Security Bank. Later "Scrib" (J. D. Scribner who owned a huge house with lots of white-fenced land on Highway 25 between Becker and Aberdeen, a self-made millionaire who made his fortune in equipment sales) opened a bank which I believe was then called National Bank of Commerce. All of these banks have now merged with other banks so no local banks exist in Amory today to my knowledge.
I can't adequately cover Amory's stores without mentioning a couple of shoe stores. There was Gilmore's which was owned by a lady named Winnie Gilmore. Mom liked to go there because she could find narrow widths for herself and for me and because Winnie always did a good job fitting shoes. As a child, I was more enamored of Hob Nob Shoe Store which had these wonderful "high seats" in the children's section that I wanted to sit on. I guess they kind of resembled the old shoe shine seats you sometimes see in photos. I will, however, admit that the shoes that we bought at Gilmore's fit better.
We would often go shopping in Tupelo. I remember Brett's which was one of the original anchors of the Tupelo Mall (which is mostly owned by the hospital now, I think). I don't remember what it merged with, but it eventually became McRaes which was bought out by Belk. I'm pretty sure it was something else before it was McRaes. Another store I remember was Kress. It was located somewhere around the center of one of the malls in Tupelo. There used to be a Woolworth in downtown Tupelo. When they opened the Downtown Mall (which is now the convention center), they opened a Woolco which was a larger version of the store.
It's getting late, and I'm running out of steam; however, before I close, I must talk about what to me was the most fascinating store in the whole wide world. It was in Tupelo in a shopping center and was called "The Gizmo." They had the most interesting things (many of them breakable). I just loved to go in and look. If you wanted a pink flamingo, you'd be sure to find one at The Gizmo. They had everything a child could possibly dream of (at least for the 1960s).
I'm sure I'll think of other stores in both Amory and Tupelo that I should have mentioned. I should probably also mention Goldsmith's and Lowenstein's in Memphis which we would visit when we made the trip to the "big city." When I first moved to Cincinnati, we shopped at Shillito's and L. S. Ayres. Both of those disappeared while I was there. They had wonderful bargain basements in the downtown stores.
Times have changed. Today's stores seem to be all cookie cutters compared to some of the stores of the past. I'd love to take a step back in time and go shopping at one of these older stores.
Tuesday Thingers - August 12, 2008
Today's question: Favorite bookstores. What's your favorite bookstore? Is it an online store or a bricks-and-mortar store? How often do you go book shopping? Is your favorite bookstore (or bookstores) listed as a favorite in LT? Do you attend events at local bookstores? Do you use LT to find events?
I really wish that we had a great bookstore in this area. Since we don't, I tend to purchase most of my books from Amazon.com. When I'm in Knoxville, I enjoy going to McKay Used Books and CDs. I also visit Borders and Barnes & Noble there. Those are big chains, but they have great selections. I sometimes go to Hargreaves which is a small independent book store. There is a Carpe Librum that has been around for a little while but that I've not had time to visit yet. I like the Discount Christian Books store on Highway 66 between Kodak and Sevierville, and there's a little bookstore in the "Red Roof" mall in Pigeon Forge where you can sometimes find some great buys. I recently was introduced to White Pine Books which is within 20 miles of my home. (I definitely prefer McKay's though.)
I shop at Amazon fairly regularly. (It is rather convenient. I just click, and I'm there. My books arrive in 2 business days and sometimes as early as the next day.) I go book shopping in Knoxville about once a month or so.
I have attended some bookstore events, but since they are a distance from my home, I don't frequent them. I have viewed the events on LibraryThing Local, but I have not attended anything as a result of it.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Meme: Stores of Yesteryear
If you have a blog, write your own post and create a link to it by leaving a comment below. If you don't have a blog, just leave your memories in the comments below.
- What stores do you remember from the past that aren't around any more?
- Where were they located? (I know some of you moved around a lot.)
- What did the store sell?
- Do you have any special memories associated with those stores?
We'll make August 20 the deadline! I will try to do a summary of posts on or about August 21 with links to all the posts! I'll post my follow up to this post as well as the Shainberg's and Kent's post that got it all started in the roundup.
Reading Obits Brings Back Memories
Friday, August 08, 2008
Old Recipe Ingredient: Pastry Stick
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Review: The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
From the moment I read the first paragraph (My name is TOWNER WHITNEY. No, that's not exactly true. My real first name is Sophya. Never believe me. I lie all the time.), I knew that I was in for a different sort of read. In spite of her admonition, I fell for some of her stories and was surprised by parts of the ending. This book is set in Salem, Massachusetts. Salem, as we all know, gained its reputation as a "witch town" because of the 1692 trials. Those who were convicted at that time (including my 8th great grand-aunt) were not, of course, witches, but the town now has a substantial population of those practicing Wicca. A cult group called the "Calvinists" (not to be confused with those who following the teachings of John Calvin) who follow Cal Boynton are exorcising the demons in the witches (and others they believe are witches) in town. They figure prominently in the narrative.
There is occasional profanity in the book, but it is mild compared to many contemporary works of literature. As a Christian, I wish that the author had chosen another name for her cult group so as not to confuse them with true Calvinists who follow the teachings of John Calvin. I also have issues with the portrayal of Wiccan teachings as acceptable.
This is a well-written and captivating read.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Why Tuesday Thingers
What other weekly memes or round robins do you participate in? Is this the only one? Why Tuesday Thingers and not some other weekly Tuesday meme? Or do you do more than one?
The only other weekly meme in which I sometimes participate is Wordless Wednesday. I do participate in some monthly and semi-monthly ones such as the Carnival of Genealogy and in some of the book challenges.
Why Tuesday Thingers? Because I love LibraryThing and I love books!
Tuesday Thingers is the only Tuesday meme in which I participate.
Amory Wal-Mart Needs "Green" Education
Saturday, August 02, 2008
I've been tagged again by Colleen in the BFF Awards. I'll just refer you to my first post rather than trying to come up with another 5 now that the Meme is making its rounds.
By the way, if you haven't checked out that photo of the cow car at the bottom of the first post, it's really worth the click!
Bloodline - A Book with a Genealogical Plot
Mountain, Fiona. Bloodline: A Genealogical Mystery. New York: Signet, 2006.
Natasha Blake is a British genealogist working on a report for a client named Charles Seagrove who suddenly turns up dead. Natasha, Richard Seagrove, and the police both believe that the reason for his death can be found by her continuing to work on the project. What happened during this community during World War II is of key importance in the investigations. It's a well-written story but the plot gets bogged down in a few places. I really cannot vouch for historical accuracy in the book, but the author's bibliography shows she used extensive research in developing this plot. I learned a few things about British-German relations during the war and additional information about Germany's eugenics program that I will have to research further when I get a chance. I debated on whether to give this a 3.5 or a 4 and decided to give it a 3.5 because it was a book that didn't hold my attention as well as it could have.
Internet Explorer Doesn't Like Blogger/Blogspot
Update: It appears that the conflict is between SiteMeter, a tool that many of us use to get statistics about visitors, and IE7. Switching to Firefox as your browser solves the problem! I'm checking for options other than losing those stats by removing the counter because SiteMeter provides a set of stats that isn't available via Google Analytics.
Update 2: I'm told that this fix found at Little Green Footballs in the comments works for people browsing:
QUICK FIX! QUICK FIX! QUICK FIX!
If you're suffering these problems in IE7, add "*.sitemeter.com" to your list of restricted sites. That will force IE to reject the bad code. I was having the same problems and now they're gone.
1. Open menu item: Tools...Options
2. Click "Security" tab
3. Select "Restricted Sites"
4. Click "Sites" button
5. Under "Add this website to this zone", enter "*.sitemeter.com" without the quotes
6. Click "Add" button
7. Close windows using "Close" or "OK", not "Cancel".
After that, and without a restart, Sitemeter's thwartage is thwarted!
Friday, August 01, 2008
Blogging Friends Forever and Funny Photo
- Only 5 people are allowed to receive this award
- 4 of them followers of your blog.
- One has to be new to your blog and live in another part of the world.
- You must link back to who ever gave you the award.
- Lisa at Small-Leaved Shamrock
- Maggie at Maggie Reads (that The Ghost Map book looks good!)
- Paula at Paula Goff Christy's Blog (by the way, she's new to blogging and needs some help on Facebook confirming ownership of her blog)
- Becky at Kinexxions
- Kathryn at Looking4Ancestors (the one that fits #3 above)