A Central Park bison is on the buffalo nickel

Adrienne Morris:

My favorite animal–the buffalo (bison).

Originally posted on Ephemeral New York:

BlackdiamondElephants, monkeys, sea lions, camels, bison—in the early 1900s, the Central Park Menagerie, as it was known, was home to all.

One of the most famous of these creatures was a bull bison given up by Barnum & Bailey Circus named Black Diamond.

Black Diamond, born in 1893, was known for being very calm.

That may be why artist James Earle Fraser used Black Diamond supposedly used him as his model when he was given the plum assignment of designing the buffalo nickel.

There’s some confusion about it, but Fraser himself said Black Diamond, at six feet tall and about 2,000 pounds, was the one.

[Above: not Black Diamond, but another bull bison at the Central Park Menagerie in a similar pose]

Centralparkmenagerie

“Black Diamond was less conscious of the honor being conferred on him than of the annoyance which he suffered from insistent gazing upon him,” Fraser…

View original 65 more words

52 Ancestors – Defective, Dependent, & Delinquent

Adrienne Morris:

No such thing as the good old days proven yet again.

Originally posted on a day in the life of patootie:

52ancestors-2015

This challenge is set forth by No Story Too Small and this week’s theme is “Defective, Dependent, & Delinquent.”

According to No Story Too Small:  In 1880, there was a special census schedule for “Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes” — the blind, deaf, paupers, homeless children, prisoners, insane, and idiotic.

I don’t have a direct ancestor listed on this special census (that I’ve found), but I have an aunt, the sister of my great grandmother, who went through quite an ordeal, one that ultimately led to her demise.

ora blanks bates

Ora Alice Blanks was born in 1889 to William Henry Blanks III and Martha Lettie “Mattie” Carpenter. She was the second youngest of six girls. To understand her fragile state, one must understand her parents.

Her father was born in 1846. By the age of thirteen, his mother and father had both died. He served in the Civil War 1861-1865 and after…

View original 494 more words

Reasons I’m Still Not Writing

Oh, what a beautiful morning . . .
Oh, what a beautiful morning . . .

When I wake up to this I tend to linger a little longer in the yard. Even the turkeys spend more time on their “deck.”

They gobble in excitement as I walk up to feed them.
They gobble in excitement as I walk up to feed them.

Before it gets too hot and guests arrive I pickle and can beets (my sister loves them so I grow and preserve them for her visits).

Pickled beets are pretty, don't you think?
Pickled beets are pretty, don’t you think?

The guests arrive and want to do farmy things. I’m all for help finding potatoes with my nieces.

The girls meet Clare, the crippled chicken and fall in love with her.

farm2 014

They love riding on the back of the truck,too.

farm2 076

We decided to get a few lambs and the day comes to pick them up. Goats don’t pee when in minivans, but sheep do. A lesson learned. Does anyone know a good way to get the smell of sheep urine out of carpeting?

Lila, Tyra and Becky lambs.
Lila, Tyra and Becky.

We also build a house for our new ram, Smash Williams. So while I’d like to say I write no matter what, every day without fail I really can’t. The sun sets and another Upstate New York evening enthralls me and my visitors.

075

We sit in the yard. Buck Crenshaw and his world wait for me to return, but for now I just enjoy reality.

William Sydney Mount, another pointless art excursion

Adrienne Morris:

I’ve always loved Mr. Mount’s paintings but didn’t know he was so handsome :)

Originally posted on Paleotool's Weblog:

My strange tendency, as an art-admirer, is to sometimes over-analyze a painting, not only as the Art itself, but also as a documentation of time and place.  In historical paintings, it’s fun to look for the details and pick up some lost history along the way.  There may be interesting clues in what the artist chose to depict … or not.

rightleft By William Sidney Mount.

Anybody else notice the left-handed set-up?  Makes me wonder if the artist or model didn’t know the violin well.  Although I expect it would be rare, I think it’s just possible a self-taught individual might learn this way.  It’s a great picture and study but looks like a mirror image if you are intimate with the violin.  Maybe the clue is in the title Left and Right.

This got me thinking about another of his excellent works, The Banjo Player. I had…

View original 100 more words

Summer in the South by Paul Laurence Dunbar

William Metcalf--May Night 1906 at Corcoran Art Gallery Washington
William Metcalf–May Night 1906 at Corcoran Art Gallery Washington

SUMMER IN THE SOUTH

The oriole sings in the greening grove
As if he were half-way waiting,
The rosebuds peep from their hoods of green,
Timid, and hesitating.
The rain comes down in a torrent sweep
And the nights smell warm and pinety,
The garden thrives, but the tender shoots
Are yellow-green and tiny.
Then a flash of sun on a waiting hill,
Streams laugh that erst were quiet,
The sky smiles down with a dazzling blue
And the woods run mad with riot.

Know Your History: Get rid of the bum, Teddy Roosevelt!

Originally posted on mwsasse:

In one of those ironic, funny moments in history, Teddy Roosevelt unexpectedly became president of the United States in September of 1901 when President William McKinley died of an assassins bullet.

Why was it ironic and funny? Certainly not because of McKinley’s death, which was tragic and heart-breaking for the country. It was ironic and funny because of the politicians whose plan back-fired on them.

Teddy Roosevelt became the young governor of New York at the tale of the 19th century. The New York Republicans and big business fat cats couldn’t stand him, simply because he wouldn’t play their games. He couldn’t be bribed or willed to do anything. Teddy had in his mind what was right and stuck to it. He was far too progressive for these tycoons and back-room politicians and their sly, sneaky dealings. So the cronies of unchecked capitalism had an idea, let’s push to get…

View original 161 more words