An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Fifty-Seven

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Fifty-Six

Former Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell, December 1913

“Nothing appears more boring, Papa Tom,” whispers Clarence Dilley, “than stringing popcorn and cranberries.”

“No need to whisper. They’re chattering like magpies, and their laughter drowns out anything we say. Popcorn-stringing evidently is hilarious entertainment for the girls. But untangling these strings of lights is frustrating. And if one is loose, the whole string fails.”

“A boon for electric companies,” nods Clarence.

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Fifty-Seven”

Where have all the chestnuts gone?

Above, chestnut in “our” backyard during 2019 stay in Naples, Italy

Not only was baby’s crib likely made of chestnut, but chances were, so was the old man’s coffin.

George Hepting, “Death of the American Chestnut” via Forest Pathology

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire….” It’s one of the first seasonal songs that pops into my head this time of year. But why have we latched onto a song that is rooted around a tree many of us have never seen in the United States?

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An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Seventeen

new year's 1912

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Sixteen

Emma Dumpke, December 1911

December 28, 1911

Dear Hedda,

What a glorious Christmas! 

Of course, Mr. and Mrs. K gave me Christmas Day off, but I elected to go help Mrs. K in the morning. Besides, I had nowhere else to go, and their house was filled with the comings and goings of friends and relatives and the most wonderful holiday smells. 

Mr. K insisted on giving me a ride back to the boarding house. As I alighted, he pressed a small gift box in my hand.

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Seventeen”