I went out at 5:45 to feed this morning, wearing Dad's barn jacket and gloves. It was cold and I did not linger very long. This afternoon after Mom and I got back to the house, I walked the dog, went to the post office, and to the grocery store while Mom napped.
It was the first time I had picked up the mail since I lived here as an adolescent and it is a new post office. Picture me traipsing up and down every row trying to find the box they have had for 50 years; they were numbered in a strange pattern!
Back home, and I went out to feed with the sun shining and a beautiful afternoon. Rio always meets Dad at the gate and gets a handful of feed. Before it goes in his food bin. This morning, he did not come to the gate, but just went straight to his food bin. This afternoon though, he came over to the gate and I gave him his handful and then he sauntered on over to his spot, and Jenny came up braying. I checked the hay just to make sure, but it is good til morning.
I made Italian Wedding soup for supper and now the kitchen is clean, and I am resting in Dad's chair, thanking God for my family and our blessings, and that we are able to take care of each other.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Olney's First Baptist church is an example of mid-century modernism. I have to wonder how many folks in this small north central Texas community were astonished as this building began to take shape. Who loved it, and who hated it? I guess I won't find out until my retirement gig, when I will travel around to all the local town libraries and search out local documents that might shed light on questions. Facing along Main Street, a couple of blocks from "downtown" is a contrast of angles and curves, concrete and glass, and a dainty little row of lally columns.
The gabled end of the sanctuary is concrete, which gives the appearance of being rougher than it actually is. The primarily blue-green stained glass has a dark red and orange-yellow pieces near the edge. The three windows have a cross shape design. One sees the repeated pattern of threes throughout the building.
The side door features a slightly curved concrete awning, topped by a small projecting stained glass window.
A row of projecting windows lines each side of the sanctuary.
The covered archway along the front has a scalloped style of awning, and the supporting columns are grouped in threes. The spire that rises has three tiers.
The section behind the archway is most likely a chapel, and the window design is similar to those on the sanctuary, though simpler. The slightly vaulted roof curve provides an interesting contrast to the alternating curves on the archway.
Monday, January 21, 2013
Joe J. Perkins opened his first mercantile in Decatur, Texas in 1897. He
...soon organized the Perkins-Timberlake system of stores, located in 9 cities (Walter N. Vernon, Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association)It was actually not "soon" as I think of soon, as it apparently was not until 1914 that the store became Perkins-Timberlake instead of just Perkins. Frank Timberlake began his apprenticeship as a merchant in the Perkins store in Jacksboro in 1914, although he had married Perkins' sister in 1886. Timberlake took charge of the stores in Vernon, Texas and Frederick, Oklahoma soon after, and in 1915, managed the stores opened in Electra and Bowie (both in Texas). In 1916, a large new store was opened in Wichita Falls, Texas, which became the headquarters of the company. (Source: Capt. B. B. Paddock, Ed. (1922). History of Texas: Fort Worth and the Texas Northwest, Volume 3. Lewis Publishing Company: Chicago and New York, p. 351).
Olney is a typical town in the Wichita Falls wheat country of North Central Texas...The Perkins-Timberlake Dry Goods Store...razed.During my childhood and adolescence, another building was to the left of the building in the photograph--the significance of that item, in a bit. The red metal slipcover was (in the best of my memory) a silver color, and I am not sure when it was added. The red color interferes with my memory of the store, and while I do recall a sign across the front of the building, I don't remember if it was on this slipcover, or on the brick itself, and I can't find any supporting data one way or the other.
...with tempered glass doors...as the doors became minimal, handles and hardware became more important and were usually sleekly designed.These door pulls appeared to be made of glass also (both by feel and visual inspection), although I recall their being clear, rather than the yellowed color. I am not certain if that is a memory trick, or if perhaps they were made of some type of resin which yellowed with age. I do remember that the door handles fascinated me as a child as well.
And just think, as I was in that store the summer of 1968, using part of my first paycheck from my summer job to buy a yellow knit Polo-style dress and some brown and tan chunky heel spectator pumps for college in the fall, I had no idea of any of these things that are so fascinating to me now.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
|"Lake Country Wildlife" by Avery Johnson, 1941. Image used with permission of United States Postal Service|
Contemporary Realism--American scene painting--was the only truly acceptable style.The subject matter requirements included:
- realistically interpret local history
- post office scenes past and present
- vignettes of daily life
Johnson received six commissions for murals during the program, but Arkansas was the only one in the south (Smith & Christ). Relief work for artists during the New Deal period was housed in several programs and federal offices, and was relocated in 1939 (through its conclusion in 1942) with a reorganization moving the Public Buildings branch and the Section into the new Federal Works Agency. The 48-states competition to award one mural to each of the states was announced in 1939 to promote the program.
- Regionalism that ...celebrated American scenes that had universal appeal, such as local agriculture, industry, and family
Silva, R. (2011) Walks through history: Lake Village CHD.
Smith, S. T., & Christ, M. K. (n.d.) Arkansas Post Offices and the Treasury Department's Section Art Program, 1938-1942. Arkansas Historic Preservation Program: Little Rock.
Friday, January 18, 2013
...conceived and laid out as a railroad town with commercial buildings facing tracks. (Joan Embree, 2004, in the nomination form for the Leland Historic District, National Register of Historic Places)Additional commercial blocks were added as the town continued to grow. The Bank of Leland was organized in 1899, and a new building constructed in 1909--across the street from the location of the new bank, which currently serves as the Leland City Hall.
An even more ornate Early 20th Century commercial building that has survived remarkably intact to the present is the 1907 Bank of Leland. This combination bank (downstairs) and cotton office (upstairs) has the most ornate detailing surviving among buildings of its era in Leland. A combination of Neo-Gothic (arches), Neo-Colonial (classical detailing), and Richardsonian Romanesque (faux-stone quoins, facings), the building retains its decorative hex-tile entry floor.
The 1926 building was designated a Mississippi Landmark in 2001.
The bays are divided by pilasters with Ionic capitals...fenestration is anodized aluminum and glass. (Embree)
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Sunday, January 13, 2013
I have a new project, documenting as many of the New Deal post office murals as I can. I started it by accident due to a post on Preservation in Mississippi about the restoration of the Picayune post office mural . It is kind of like getting a cat...first there is just one...and then another, and pretty soon...well, you know about cats. I had to make an unexpected trip to Texas the past week. I had previously plotted out all the New Deal murals in post offices in the vicinity between here and there, planning for a leisurely few road trips in the future. One was on the way to Graham (a real post about that one later) and one on the return trip--two different routes down and back. I left TX at 6:30 a.m. today as I have to be at work in the morning. However, Rayville, Louisiana is right on the Interstate on my route home, and I thought it worth a short detour of 10-15 minutes.
|Image used with permission from the United States Postal Service|
|Image used with permission from the United States Postal Service|
Now, truthfully, it is not that big of a deal, as I am up and down this road fairly often, and can go back--and will go back. But, I was there now, and by golly, I wanted that photograph. The blinds on the doors did not go all the way to the floor, so I stooped down to see if I could get a view...nope...I got on my knees...nope...I got on all fours...nope. There was a fleeting moment as I was lowering myself to lie prone on the floor and try to angle the camera where I could see up to the mural from that little sliver of glass that allowed a view into the room (NOTE: Thank you to the US Postal Service for blinds that only close 3/4 of the way.) when I wondered what anyone coming in to pick up mail might think. On both the Arkansas post office (coming later) and the Louisiana post office, I did note that someone placed lights in a way that did not enable one to adequately appreciate the art, although in this case, it was compounded by the reflection on the glass of the window as I lay on the floor looking through it.
I drove on across the Mississippi River, and stopped to refuel in Madison for the last quarter of the trip home. After fueling, I went in for my personal pit stop and to get some water and ice. There was a young woman at the counter trying to explain something about how much gas she got and how much she intended to get. By the time I got back out and was paying for my drinks, I got the rest of the story: There had been a mishap at the pump, and somehow quite a bit of fuel had spilled onto the ground and she was concerned about it. As I was getting ready to back out, the police and fire truck (hazard guys) were pulling in. I was on the phone with R, updating him on my ETA when I suddenly said, "I have to go now so I don't get stuck here." I had no idea where that firetruck was going to stop, but I still had an hour and a half more to go, it was still raining, and the last thing I wanted was for that truck to pull up behind me and stop.
I had bought some bottled tea back in Texas--a new tea company, and as R and J and I love tea, I had picked up a box of several varieties, prompting my young checker to ask, "Are you thirsty tonight?" I planned to pour the Dove Creek Unsweet Texas Tea over my ice, since though once cold, it was no longer so 10 hours later. Couldn't open it. Bopped it on the bottom of the jar. Couldn't open it. When I moved to Mississippi 10 years ago, one of my friends and colleagues gave me a Swiss Army Knife with a corkscrew. He said, one never knew in Mississippi when you might need a corkscrew. I need to get in touch with him and ask him to add a bottle/jar opener. Obviously one never knows when one might need one of those either. It crossed my mind to run back into the store and ask someone to please open that bottle for me, as my poor (Yes, I was playing the sympathy card, and it was totally true, folks) arthritic hands just could not manage. But, then the sirens came and the firetruck came, and I weighed getting stuck there and unable to get out of the parking lot versus getting that bottle of tea open.
Let's just say the tea is in the refrigerator, chillin' out for me to take to work tomorrow, and Swiss Army Knife with bottle/jar opener and corkscrew is on my wish list for next shopping trip.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Even though the bank built a new building in 1926, across the street, the entrance tile still proclaims the Bank of Leland.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
While awake at 4 this morning, I picked up my iPad. Noting the Mississippi headline in the NY Times, I read the article "Questions for Mississippi Doctor After Thousands of Autopsies." Folks in the area may recall Dr. Steven T. Hayne and his "service" to the State of Mississippi. What will really chill you is to read the document prepared by the Mississippi Innocence Project providing background and appeals cases involving Dr. Haynes. I'd put that on my must read list for anyone in Mississippi.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Meanwhile, really working on the acceptance of it is what it is and that being forced to slow down, or even stop, and be present in the moment is how I have had some of my most profound learning and joyous experiences.
But for now, it's time for the ice pack.