Monthly Archives: June 2010

The Rebels Whipped Us

   Dang!  That’s the hard reality of history – once it happens, it’s done and done.  No matter how much we wish, we are unable to flip back to that page in the book and get a ‘do over’.   The actual conflict occurred on July 9, 1863, and has been re-enacted many times over the years.  June 26th, 2010, the valiant Union militia volunteers (numbering about 50) were *overwhelmed* by the Rebel  horde (numbering about 12 mounted cavalrymen), once again, just as the history books say (numbers notwithstanding).  According to this historic photograph, the Rebels were accompanied by some strange self-powered vehicles with flashing lights on top, not sure what that was about, but maybe that helped convince the local boys that resistance was futile, so they ‘prepared to be assimilated’ (Star Trek, anyone?).

   There were a number of townspeople onhand, dressed in their finest ‘battle watching’ finery, as well as a number of soldiers in reserve, but it appeared that the reserves would not be enough to turn the tide, and history would be served, the outcome foreordained.

   One of our fair ladies was shouting defiance from a second-story window, and we feared for her safety, but she spoke her piece without incident and perhaps the ‘Southern Brigands’ learned something about Yankee spirit!   

   We heard distant cannon fire as more units were being engaged south of town, but there was to be no salvation for us because it was Rebel cannon, helping to decide the day.

   Jumping back to present day, a good time was had by all the participants and spectators, even though conditions were *very* warm and humid.   We spoke to one of the re-enactors about those woolen uniforms, and he claimed that the layers helped create some ‘natural air conditioning’.  We decided to stay *upwind* of him, just in case his theory wasn’t working out.

   Kate was very pleased with all the costumes and uniforms, and we decided that maybe we’d put together some Civil War outfits of our own (she’s already started doing some online shopping for accessories and patterns – wodda gal!).  I imagine she’ll be going for ‘plantation chic’, while I’ll be leaning more toward ‘reprobate scruffy’ ( I kinda like the authentic sunglasses on this character, by the way).

   As a part of the weekend activities, we went to the Wright Interpretive Center to attend a speech by President Lincoln, assisted by Mary Todd Lincoln.  The President gave a thumbnail sketch of his life, including his beliefs about slavery and the need to preserve the Union.  It was very well done, and both actors really got into their parts.  We gave them a good round of applause at the end. 

    We went out to Hayswood Nature Reserve (just south of town) for some of the fun, especially the cannon and Gatling gun stuff (they actually fired several ‘sticks’ of ammunition through the automatic gun – blanks, of course).  While I was watching the cannon demonstrations, I wandered close enough to experience the muzzle blast from the nearest gun – wow!  That’ll throw yer hair back, buddy!

 We’re checking schedules of upcoming re-enactment events and parades in our part of the world, and with a little luck and a modest outlay of money, we’ll be out there showing off our ‘period attire’.  Stand by, maybe more pictures of this coming your way.

   Reporting from (still Union) Corydon, Indiana – stay cool, pardner!

Advertisements

Corydon Doin’s

  Like that ‘Doin’s’ in the title?  I’m tryin’ to learn to speak ‘Indianer’.  Shades of Herb Shriner (look him up), or James Whitcomb Riley, “The Hoosier Poet” ( I promise you’ll love “When the Frost is on the Punkin” )    http://www.bartleby.com/104/10.html

   Anyway, it’s going to be BIG THINGS going on in the Corydon area the next few days!  The main event will be the re-enactment of Morgan’s Raid, July 1863.  Volunteer re-enactors will stage a cavalry raid on downtown Corydon, and there will be all sorts of things to see out at the Hayswood Nature Reserve, just south of town.  They’re going to have a demonstration of the Gatling Gun (I bet one of those things would be handy, in case you’re over-run with rabbits or squirrels or whatever).

——————–

The Battle of Corydon was the only Civil War Battle fought on Indiana soil and occurred on July 9,1863 when 450 members of the Harrison County Home Guard attempted to delay General John Hunt Morgan’s 2,400 Confederate soldiers that day, in hopes that Union reinforcements would arrive and stop Morgan’s march through southern Indiana.

(taken from the website http://www.corydonbattlepark.com/battle.html )

—————————————–

   And, next weekend will be a Fourth of July holiday parade, and also it’s Cockadoodle Days, with tractor pulling at the Harrison County Fairgrounds  (not sure about this pic – is that a July turkey??)

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=336220443884&ref=nf   Cockadoodle Days festival features free entertainment, children’s activities, a mega yard sale, merchant booths, food booths, the YMCA chicken dinner and the Old Capitol Power Pull which features some of the nation’s top tractors and trucks. The festival is free and takes place at the Harrison County Fairgrounds.

——————————-

   The excitement is building!!  Now, don’t you wish YOU lived in the Corydon Indiana area??  🙂

Back home in Indiana

    Yessir, we made it  home ok!  We drove for a day and a half, about 1100 miles, in convoy with Bruce and Joyce, as I may have mentioned last time.  It’s always a struggle getting through the tangle of freeways and interstates at St Louis, and now with construction going on it was horrible!  But, we got ‘er done!  

 We had a great time at the rehearsal dinner and then the wedding itself, of course.  I got my pictures downloaded that I took at the dinner, and even managed to hand off my camera for awhile so I could get pics of my favorite subject – me!  Nah, just kidding, Kate is my favorite subject, by far.

   After the wedding we went to the reception, which also took place there at the Lake House in Evergreen.

   Oh, by the way, Joe and Erin were at the wedding, too!  🙂   Alex Hearn was the photographer for the wedding, and a great job she did.  Some of the pics are up on Facebook already.

   I know, I know, I’m rambling more than usual, so I guess I’ll wrap this up for now.  We’re home, back in the heat and humidity of the Ohio valley, but it’s home, and we’re lovin’ it!  🙂

A Green Wedding

  I don’t know if it was environmentally correct, or saved the planet, but it was indeed Green.  Kate’s daughter Erin married Joe Green on Saturday night (June 19th), and everything was just perfect!  A marvelous time was had by all, and the ceremony was picture perfect.  The setting was right beside the lake in Evergreen Colorado at the Lake House – I’ll include some pics on my next post (gotta wait on our good friend and photographer Alex to deliver the disc).

   Folks came in from all over – Joe’s family was from the Virginia area, and other friends and relatives showed up from all points of the compass.  Everyone was nattily dressed, the food and decorations could not have been better, the disc jockey provided some good tunes – I just don’t know how anything could have been improved.

    There were a number of activities throughout the preceeding week – bachelorette party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, and all came off without a hitch.  We got to meet lots of nice folks, and I was introduced to some of the family members on Kate’s side that came in from distant points.  We had a lot of fun with Bob & Marilyn Pritchett (Marilyn was the sister of Kate’s late husband Doug) – I jokingly referred to Bob and Marilyn as “Fred and Ethel”, they took it in good spirits and we had a good laugh.  If my memory was better I’d list all the folks I met at the rehearsal and at the wedding itself, but I know I’d leave out some good folks’ names and get in trouble for that, so I won’t try that  🙂

   Anyway, we are packing tonight, heading back toward home tomorrow – we’ll be in convoy with Bruce and Joyce Seymour.  We should be back home by Tuesday afternoon or evening – wave if you see us go by  🙂

Reporting from Denver

   Shhhh – don’t tell the bad guys we’re away from home.  Actually, I think I read somewhere that thieves don’t read nonsense blogs anyway, so I think we’ll be safe.  We’re at daughter Natalie’s house for a few days, then we’ll be moving to a nearby hotel for the remainder of our Denver visit to be with Kate’s brother Bruce and his wife Joyce.  Erin’s wedding is Saturday, and preparations continue.  The weatherman has promised fair weather for the BIG DAY, so that’s a good thing.  The current weather for Denver (including the past few days) has been gray and cool, with rain likely.  It’s a welcome change from ‘Back Home in Indiana’, but sunshine would be welcome – we’d like to do some running around in the mountains while we’re here.

   Our drive went pretty well – we pulled out from Corydon about 9:15 Friday morning, spent all day heading west on the interstate ribbon, and made it almost to Salina Kansas when Kate said, “Oh my, how long has the LOW FUEL light been on?”  Oops!  We were very near the turnoff for Manhattan Kansas (not on our planned route), so we exited there, crossed our fingers, and headed north, creeping along to conserve fuel.  With a sigh of relief we rolled into town and pulled into an oasis of fuel and snacks – I didn’t know our gas tank even held that much gas, wow!  We had a bite to eat, then headed back to the interstate and made it into Salina without further incident.  Saturday we finished up the drive, arriving in Denver around 3 PM.  We dropped of KD doggie at the old address in Littleton so she’d have some canine companionship, and we went on to Castle Rock to be here with Nat and family.  Very nice to see everyone, Kate’s family and mine.  The bridal shower was Sunday afternoon, and they were lucky enough to be able to have that outdoors without it being a true ‘shower’.

    Natalie and John took us to a marvelous restaurant last night – “Mt Fuji Japanese Cuisine” in Castle Rock.  It was the Benihana experience, and we had lots of fun and good food.  Our chef was happy and friendly and put on a good show for us while preparing a wonderful feast!  We had filet mignon, shrimp, scallops, noodles, veggies, all prepared on a grill right in front of us – it was GREAT!  John and I each ordered “Kirin Ichiban” beer, which as you probably already know, is Japanese beer, bottled by Anheisher Busch – really!  It was good stuff! 

   Not sure what today will bring – Kate plans to do some shopping with some of her young grandkids, and maybe we’ll make it over to visit with our good friends in Aurora.  We’ll see how it goes, and go with the flow. 

   That’s about it for now – we’re looking forward to celebrating Erin’s wedding on Saturday at the Lake House in Evergreen.  It should be a wonderful event in a beautiful setting, with wall-to-wall smiles.

   Hope you have a good day, also!

Lebensraum

  Nah, we’re not Nazis, and we don’t plan to invade Russia to gain Lebensraum (living space) as Hitler did.  But, it’s nice to have all this room to roam around and do what we like.  Of course, what we like and what we are required to do are not necessarily the same thing, but that’s ok – we knew there’d be some work involved when we bought our 2-acre ‘hobby farm’.  We got out there the other day (whew, was it HOT), and planted a bunch of strawberry plants, about 75 in all.  We were drenched with perspiration when we got done with THAT job, I can tell you!

   I managed to take a fall the other day, nothing terribly serious but it *really* hurt.  My foot slipped when I tried to hop up onto one of the landscape beams used as a retaining wall (only about 12 inches high).  It apparently was covered in dew, and my left foot went out from under me, and I landed with my lower right leg onto that hard beam.  I had to sit for a few minutes with my teeth clenched, seeing stars, then finally surveyed the damage.  Just a minor skin abrasion, but it could easily have been a broken leg.  Note to self:  watch where you’re going, clumsy!

   I got another minor project finished the other day – I built a grape abor (wall, trellis, whatever) just so the grape vines would have something to do.  We had planted 4 Thompson Seedless grapevines some time ago, and they are starting to show signs of increased activity, so I figured it was time.  It’s right in the same part of the yard where we had the MAJOR horseshoe competition on Memorial Day when Bruce, Joyce, and Frances (Kate’s mom) came to visit.  I did the ‘master chef’ thing, charred a few steaks, and a good time was had by all.

   Today was ‘stump-grinding’ day – I had a fellow come over with his tractor to get rid of some pesky tree stumps that were really a nuisance at mowing time.  He showed up with his John Deere 460 on a big trailer behind his pickup and started the unloading process.  He undid a couple of pins on the sides of the flat trailer, jumped up on the tractor (well, climbed up – he was my age), and cranked it up and started driving it toward the back edge of the trailer, very slowly.  There were no ramps, so I was interested to see how he was going to get it down.  It was pretty amazing – as he neared the back edge, the whole back part of the trailer started slowly tipping down under the weight of the tractor, and just eased him down to the ground.  Neato!

   Anyway, he drove the tractor into the yard and commenced the grinding process – there was a rig on the back of the tractor that was attached to the PTO (Power Take Off) drive.  It was basically a big vertical wheel (mounted on a swing arm) sort of like what you might see in a sawmill, but it was for grinding, not cutting.  He’d back up to a stump, lower the thing into position and start slowly sweeping it back and forth, chips flying, until the stump was chewed off down below ground level.  It was NEAT!  You know us guys like power tools, and this was one of the best I’ve seen.  As it turned out, some of the stumps were from old cedar trees, and as the grinder cut them down, the sweet smell of cedar filled the air, and there was a large pile of red wood chips where once there had been a tree stump. 

  We’re gearing up for out trip to Denver for Erin’s wedding (she’s one of Kate’s daughters).  I can’t say exactly when it is, wouldn’t want to advertise to the burglars, you know, but we’ll have someone out to the house every day, checking on things and watering, so maybe all will be well.  We’ll be driving, so it won’t be quite so expensive as airline tickets plus car rental.  I installed an XM radio adapter in the car today, and that will help with entertainment on our drive.

   The fun continues on Shiloh Road – come see us when you can!