The Kitten Who Came to Call

November 27, 2014

I was driving home one evening, and I had just turned on the last road before my little road.  I spotted something on the side of the road across from where the old club used to be.  A small, black-and-white something.

It looked a bit like a cat, but they don’t usually hide half in and half out of the weeds on the side of the road. Perhaps it was trash.

As I got closer, the cat, for yes, it was a cat, spotted me, and melted back into the tall weeds.

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Sometimes I fall asleep on the couch.  Don’t judge; you’ve done it, too.  This particular time, I woke up in the middle of the night and headed to bed.

Someone was already there ahead of me.  Someone had come inside in the night, and made himself at home on my bed.

I took these photos without flash so I wouldn’t wake up that someone.

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And later that day, like later where the sun is shining…

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He’s outside taking a sun bath.  I can’t get within 5 feet of him.

So I set the trap.

And the following morning, I am delighted to see that he has gone into the trap.

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Only he hasn’t.

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So who’s in the trap?  I do a quick headcount, and everyone is accounted for, so this might not be good…

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One angry possum, who apparently doesn’t care for the color pink.

I set the trap again.  And again.  And again.

And all I catch are the cats that live here.

My hope is that I can catch him somehow, and get him fixed.  He, however, has other plans.

He moves back down the road, across from the old club.  Sometimes I still see him hiding in the weeds on the side of the road.

 

Sugar’s New Neighbor

November 26, 2014

Sugar has a new neighbor.

She comes to visit him often.

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I thought perhaps she was pregnant, but when I palpated her abdomen, I found nothing.

A whistling from next door told us that her people were looking for her.  When we returned her, we asked if she was pregnant.

Oh, no, they said.  She had 3 babies 3 weeks ago.

It was a good thing that I hadn’t spirited her off to be spayed.

But really?  She’s no bigger than a squirrel.

The Gold Mine in the Closet: Samuel Adams Hopkins

November 25, 2014

Sugar said that a famous author named Samuel Adams Hopkins would rent the house that his grandfather built.  He rented it in the wintertime, which is what we call a snowbird.

Honestly, a famous author?  Who just happened to live in your step-grandmother’s house?

This particular house was built in 1937-1938, overlooking Battery Creek.

After Sugar’s grandfather died, the house stayed occupied by Sugar’s step-grandmother.  She took a job during the winter months up north at a college, and rented her house out to Samuel Adams Hopkins.

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While we were collecting obituaries at the Beaufort County Library’s Beaufort District Collection, we found the obituary for Samuel Adams Hopkins.

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He wasn’t just a children’s book author. He also was a newspaperman who wrote a series of articles for Collier’s magazine which were largely responsible for the enactment of the pure food and drug act.

What does this have to do with the gold mine in the closet?

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This book in particular as mentioned in the obituary…

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Inscribed for Lawton Bateson,

With the compliments of the author.

Samuel Adams Hopkins

May 1st, 1957

The Gold Mine in the Closet: Sugar’s Mother & Her Life in Photos

November 24, 2014

This will be a post-in-progress, kind of like a work-in-progress, except it’s not work.

This is going to be an experiment, this posting and editing of photos of a single person.  As we discover more photos in the gold mine, I’ll add them to this post.

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Genette, circa 1919, perhaps about 5 years old. She is at her sister Margaret Lawton Garrard’s house in Gordonston. Margaret is the oldest and Genette is the youngest. That’s Genette’s niece Mary Garrard, who is Margaret’s oldest child.

 

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Genette is on the right with her mother and two unidentified children. Perhaps it’s 1921, and she’s about 6 or 7.  Perhaps the children are her cousins Matilda and Garnett Basinger, which are the most likely possibilities. They are at the Lawton house on Edgewood in Gordonston.

 

Perhaps around 1923 or 1924.  Genette is in the back of this trio.  The other two are most probably her cousins Garnett and Matilda.  They are at the Strahan house on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens.

Perhaps around 1923 or 1924. Genette is in the back of this trio. The other two are most probably her cousins Garnett and Matilda. They are at the Strahan house on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens.

 

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Again at the house in Gordonston. Genette is on the left, perhaps about 1924, but I’m only guessing that she might be 10 years old. I suspect that the child on the right is a cousin.

 

Again at the Strahan house at the University of Georgia in Athens.  There's Matilda Basinger with her mother "Batesie", an unidentified woman, Genette, Garnett Basinger standing in front of her great-grandmother Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger, Mary "Leslie" Basinger Lawton, and Lillie.

Again at the Strahan house at the University of Georgia in Athens. There’s Matilda Basinger with her mother “Batesie”, an unidentified woman, Genette, Garnett Basinger standing in front of her great-grandmother Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger, Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton, and Lillie.

 

Genette is on the back row on the very left.  1925, The Pape School in Savannah, Georgia.  She's about 11 here.

Genette is on the back row on the very left. 1925, The Pape School in Savannah, Georgia. She’s about 11 here.

 

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The year is unknown. I’m guessing she’s a teenager here, and we don’t know whose house or car these are. But that’s definitely a dog driving.

 

Matilda Basinger, Genette, Garnett Basinger, Mary "Leslie" Basinger Lawton, and Leslie's brother Walter Basinger.

Matilda Basinger, Genette, Garnett Basinger, Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton, and Leslie’s brother Walter Basinger.

 

Mary "Leslie" Basinger Lawton, her daughter Mary Genevieve "Genette" Lawton, her grandson Billy Garrard, her daughter Margaret Lawton Garrard, and her granddaughter Mary Garrard.

Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton, her daughter Mary Genevieve “Genette” Lawton, her grandson Billy Garrard, her daughter Margaret Lawton Garrard, and her granddaughter Mary Garrard.  Genette is possibly about 13 years old.

 

With Erastus Hewitt in Connecticut.  He was a neighbor of Robert Frost.

With Erastus Hewitt in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was a neighbor of Robert Frost.

 

On Edisto Island in 1946 with Faith Murray.

On Edisto Island in 1946 with Faith Murray.

 

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Genette on the left holding Sugar, and her sister Margaret holding Sugar’s brother in 1947.

 

 

At Duffy Street in Savannah, Georgia, possibly around 1950.

At Duffy Street in Savannah, Georgia, possibly around 1950.

 

In the mountains of North Georgia.  Perhaps around the mid-1950s.

In the mountains of North Georgia. Perhaps around the mid-1950s.

Mary Genevieve “Genette” Lawton Bateson, 1914-2001.

The Gold Mine in the Closet: A Child’s Homemade Photo Album

November 23, 2014

That child is Sugar’s mother.

Here we have Matilda Basinger, Sugar’s mother Genette, Garnett Basinger, Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton, and Walter Basinger.  Leslie and Walter are sister and brother.

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Uncle Walter Basinger, Mother, Matilda, Me, Garnett

It’s a dandy little photo album, all bound together with golden cord.

 

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Mother and Batesie (Batesie was Walter Basinger’s wife)

On the back page of the album, there’s a photo from Athens, Georgia.  Sugar’s grandmother Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton had an older sister, Margaret, who was known in the family as Aunt Mag.  Mag married Charles Morton Strahan, who was a professor at the University of Georgia for many years.  For a while, Mag and Leslie’s parents lived with them at their home on the campus, where the Law Library is now. The Strahans also had a mountain home in Mountain City, Georgia.

This particular photo shows Walter Basinger, his wife Batesie, a woman that I believe is his mother Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger, his daughters Matilda and Garnett, his sister Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton, and “Lillie”.

Who is Lillie?

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Here’s what I’m guessing.

Do you remember the post about the house at 122 East Taylor Street, Savannah, Georgia?  In it I mentioned that Sugar’s grandmother employed domestic help.  She had Edith for many years until Edith retired, then she employed Vivian.  She also employed a man named Clarence who came several times a year to oil the hardwood floors.

I think Lillie is a domestic servant for Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton, prior to Edith.  I base this on nothing more than the fact that they are standing together in the photo.

Not that photo.  This one.

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Daniel & Agnes Mann’s House on Bay, Part Two

November 22, 2014

Do you remember how we went all around Daniel & Agnes Mann’s house in Beaufort, and even into the art gallery on the first floor? The person working in the art gallery said there was an artist who rented the second floor, and if we ever saw the side outside door open, then we could just go on up the staircase and ask for a tour.

Just go on up the staircase? (said in a hushed tone)

We’re the people that don’t want to bother anyone. We don’t want to make anyone go out of their way for us. This might even include flagging down a waiter and asking for a refill of sweet tea, even though that’s their job. We don’t want to get in the way.

We’ve been by the house several times, looking wistfully at the side door as if we could make it open by magical powers.

Today, it’s open.  We peep around the corner and see the staircase leading to the magical second floor.

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Are we really going to just walk up a stairway just because a clerk in an art gallery told us we could?

Ohyesweare.

We took a few steps, Sugar called out Hello?, we heard voices, we took a few more steps, and as if by magic, found ourselves at the top of the stairs.

There was a man and a woman, he the artist, and she perhaps a client discussing a commission.  We asked permission to look around.  He didn’t even hesitate to say it was fine.

The artist in residence told us that we could walk through the space, but we couldn’t go up the elliptical stairs because the stairs are unstable. Doesn’t seem like too much to ask, since we don’t really feel like going to the hospital today.

The staircase is famous because it is elliptical, not circular. I managed several shots by holding the camera out as far as I could into the stairwell. Here’s the first shot of several.  See what you think.

The upstairs space is basically two large rooms with the elliptical stairway in between. So we entered into one large room, then into the stairwell, then through into the next large room.  The windows front northerly onto Bay Street, and also on the east side (which you have seen from the outside in previous posts).

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Here’s a fun shot.  It’s the Verdier house directly across the street. We went on the tour recently, and the tour guide allowed me to take a shot of Agnes’s house from the upstairs window directly to the right of the porch. The shutters over there are closed now.

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It occurred to me that you can’t tell how wide these boards are without a frame of reference. Here’s a ladies size 7 frame of reference.

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See?  Really an artist’s gallery.  There’s one of Agne’s fireplaces, redone.

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The house I grew up in had this same type of window hardware for lifting the window. It’s a pretty fair guess that my 1950’s house was not using hardware from the late 1700’s. Regardless, these walls are thick.

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Another thick wall, this one an interior, separates a room on the left from the stairwell.

 

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Y’all, that’s Agnes’s fireplace. The stairway leads to an upstairs 3rd floor that we will most likely never see.

But dream?  Oh, we can dream.

The Gold Mine in the Closet: 2009 “I” Street

November 21, 2014

Sugar has photos in the gold mine in the closet.

He’s shown this photo to me before.

Sugar's grandmother Mary "Leslie" Basinger Lawton and an unidentified lady.

Sugar’s grandmother Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton and an unidentified lady.

He said that it’s a photo of his grandmother in front of the 2009 “I” Street house in Washington, D.C., where some of the Garnett relatives lived.

So of course I’m curious as to why his grandmother had a photo made in front of a house where several of her relatives lived, but the photo has only one relative?  And how does he know it is 2009 “I” Street?

There are things we know.  We just know them without having to be told.  Perhaps it’s because we’ve been told them so much that we don’t remember the hearing of them, we only remember the knowing of them.

He simply knows that it’s the “I” Street house, but he doesn’t know who the woman on the right is.

So I ask who would she have her photo made with, and why isn’t there anything written on the back?  Maybe because everyone KNOWS who the woman is.

*****

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In Athens, Georgia, on the campus of the University of Georgia, where Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger’s oldest daughter lived with the daughter and son-in-law, Mag and Charles Strahan. Circa 1925.

William Starr Basinger and Margaret Roane Garnett.

William Starr Basinger and Margaret Roane Garnett.

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See the newspaper in front of the window? Sugar said his grandmother liked to read the paper, to stay up on current events. Later in life she had a tiny black-and-white television. She would watch the news, then turn the TV off when the news was over.

Then I look at him and say:  That’s her mother.  THAT’S MARGARET ROANE GARNETT.

 

 

The Gold Mine in the Closet: Sugar’s Father Was a Cowboy

November 20, 2014

No, really, Sugar’s father was a cowboy.

He’s told me that for years.  That his father was a cowboy on Dataw Island.  Modern day Dataw people would laugh, for it’s a gated community.  That’s right, you can’t get on the island without permission and a pass for your windshield.

But back in the day, 1935 to be precise, it was a cattle-holding area.

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For some reason there’s a random photo of Black Mountain, North Carolina, on the master page.  The smaller images that are taped across the bottom are very small. The actual photo portion is about the size of a large postage stamp.

Sugar’s father was about 27 when these pictures were taken.  He had moved to the area from New York City.

That sounds like the makings of a pretty good movie.  City boy becomes a cowboy, which perhaps has already been done.

 

Letting go…

November 19, 2014

ruthrawls:

Lovely thoughts for a cold morning…

Originally posted on Earthbornliving:

She let go without a thought or a word
She just let go
She let go of the fear of the judgements of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head
She let go of the indecision within her
She let go of all the right reasons wholly and completely
Without hesitation or worry
She just let go
She didn’t ask anyone for advice
She didn’t search the scriptures
She just let go
She let go of all the memories that held her back
She let go of all the anxiety that kept her from moving forward
She let go of the planning and all the calculations about how to do it just right
She didn’t promise to let go
She didn’t journal about it
She didn’t write the projected date in her date timer
She made no public anouncement
She put no add in the paper
She didn’t check…

View original 128 more words

The Gold Mine in the Closet: Gordonston, The George A. Murphy Home

November 19, 2014

It’s hard to keep up.

I’m back-tracking to some more photos I took while we were in Gordonston taking photos of Sugar’s grandparents’s house and his aunt’s house.

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Mr. George A. Murphy owns house number 3 in the above brochure.

While we tooling around Gordonston, hanging out the van window taking photos and looking completely incognito, I spotted an older home that surely was on the brochure.  I started thumping the brochure like it was a Bible and I was a street preacher.

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My goodness, like a fine wine, this just keeps getting better.


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