Goodbye, dogwood

81696119_10100179965265408_6017978183675019264_oA sad tale. In order to bring in fiber optic cable, quite a few trees in town have needed to be removed, including our beloved dogwood by the roadside. In its time, the dogwood had held up Christmas lights in its branches, as well as a See Rock City birdhouse.

The blue X appeared several weeks ago and today was the unfortunate day. A green door hanger indicating that some of our trees would be trimmed or removed came a few weeks earlier. I almost threw it away, thinking it was an ad. But in fact, it was a notice, like a call from a doctor with bad news.

The trucks showed up last week. I had heard a loud sound outside, like an airplane flying too low, but it was in fact the sounds of buzzsaws and the chipper. Then they pulled up in front of our house, but it was late so they decided to come back the following day.

“It’s like watching a pet get put down,” Kelly said. As it happened, we were away when the cutting and chipping took place the next morning. When we came back, there was a pretty little stump, all that’s left of our pretty little tree. 

Some other folks in town wrote on Facebook that they had not realized their trees would be cut down until they arrived home to see them gone. I don’t like what happened, but I can’t say I didn’t have advance notice. That doesn’t make it any easier, of course. I guess losing our trees are the price we pay for progress?

Postscript. My friend Bob Benson’s letter to the Sewanee Mountain Messenger from October:
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Posted in Family, Sewanee, Trees & Flowers | 2 Comments

Me and stuff in the USSR 1984

When I was a student in November of 1984, I visited Moscow and Leningrad. I happened to come across a photo of me in Red Square and thought I ought to put it up, so I could find it again.


Also, I recall visiting the Museum of the Great October Socialist Revolution and actually found the pamphlet, so here’s a few photos of that.

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Victoria in Tennessee

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This is the Bethel Church in Victoria, Tennessee, located off Old Highway 28.

The image above is taken from this Flickr page, which lists this comment from Tim Holloway in 2013:

A man named John Frater built this church for the community of coal miners and farmers. Because coal mining was such a huge industry in the area, an English company bought up mines in the area, and the church bell was donated by Queen Victoria of England. Because of her generosity, the community was renamed Victoria in her honor.

The bell of this church, the one reportedly donated by Queen Victoria, is in the Whitwell Coal Miner’s Museum, I believe.

Is it true? There is indeed a strong connection between this area and England. From the Tennessee Encyclopedia entry on Marion County:

In 1877 James Bowron and associates from England brought sufficient capital into the valley to develop the iron and coal industries. Coal mines opened in Whitwell; coke ovens operated in Victoria; iron ore came from Inman; and smelters dominated South Pittsburg. “

James Bowron obituary in NYT:

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His papers are held at the University of Alabama:  “A substantial collection of papers and materials relating to James Bowron, one of the 19th century iron and mining pioneers in the Deep South. It includes Bowron’s 1632-page, unpublished autobiography, as well as his daily journals, letters, and pictures.”

In the autobiography (Vol. 1, p. 15), he indicates he was born at Stockton-at-Tees.  This story is developing …

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Protected: Thud & Blunder (1964)

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Posted in Cartoons, Coal, Uncategorized

“Et in Arcadia Ego” bench in Abbo’s Alley



Given by Friends and Classmate to Celebrate

Our Friendship with

Thomas Carleton Ward C ’69

August 3, 1947- June 30, 1997

Quick Bring a Beaker of Wine

So That I May Wet My Mind

And Say Something Clever

From Mary Margaret Roberts (February 9, 2013):

TC was a great wit with a very dry sense of humor, thus the Aristophanes quotation on the bench he often recited. One of his favorite comments to make was “e pluribus unum” said very slowly and with a sigh as he peered over the top of his horn rimmed glasses whenever he witnessed someone doing something particularly distasteful or particularly stupid. Discussions of Mississippi politicians often ended with “e pluribus unum.” There is no question that Honey Boo Boo would merit an “e pluribus unum” comment. When he called me, he always began the conversation with, “MM, TC, quelle surprise.” Clearly, I have more to tell about TC than about his bench. I will have to tell TC’s mama, my great aunt, that the bench has an admirer. She will be pleased.

Posted in Classics, Education, Poetry, Sewanee, The South, Time | Leave a comment

Protected: USA Today: “Grundy Worst County in TN”

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German POWs and Dixie Highway

Sewanee Purple (April 16, 1918) 3

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Posted in Military, Sewanee | 2 Comments