Sunday, February 27, 2011

Washington's Ghosts

It was the spring of 1973 when a co-worker friend of mine at WMAL Radio, John Alexander,  mentioned  that he was thinking about writing a book on ghosts in Washington and asked me if I would be interested in doing the photography for it.

I wouldn’t be paid though, unless he could find a publisher for it, etc, etc.

John Alexander

 This hair-brained idea of his had more “ifs” and “maybes” than just about anything that I had ever wasted my time on over the years.

So, of course, I said yes.

Not that I really expected it to ever be published or receive any money for it, but I was heavily into my hobby of photography back then and as a history lover,  to have an excuse to wander around  photographing the Washington that tourists never see was too appealing for me to turn down.

Rock Creek, Washington's oldest cemetery
John and I worked all that Spring and Summer on it. We went to I don't know how many historic old houses that I’d never heard of, like the Halcyon House just across from the White House that was full of rooms without doors and staircases that led nowhere, the old dueling grounds in nearby Bladensburg, MD where a number of congressmen settled what they could not settle on the floor of the house or senate and just about every cemetery in town.

A couple of those left some unforgettable impressions in my mind.

The statue of "GRIEF"

 For example,  the grave site of Clover Adams, wife of historian Henry Adams located in the old Rock Creek Cemetery off North Capitol Street.

If you ever visit there, you’ll notice that it bears no name, no inscription, only a statue by Augusta Saint Gaudens commissioned by her husband with the instructions “...that no attempt is to be made to make it intelligible to the average mind.”

The public has named it "GRIEF.”

You’ll never forget it.

Today, there’s no way, without an act of Congress,  that anyone could have the freedom John and I enjoyed that summer, strolling through the Capitol and other major landmarks by ourselves taking pictures of anything and everything we wanted to.

We discovered several hand carved Italian Marble bathtubs in one of the basement rooms of the Capitol. Tubs, complete with hot and cold running water which were installed there in the mid 1800’s when not even the White House had such luxurious bathing facilities.

“Tubbing” is what they called it then....and the lawmakers who used the facilities regularly were called “Tubbers.”

 Catafalque for the nations great l

 As we continued our walk down those lonely basement halls we came upon the catafalque storage area, originally a tomb built for George Washington, but his heirs insisted on honoring his wishes to be be buried at Mount Vernon.

Frankly, unexpectedly coming face to face with that thing was a bit unnerving.

Thank goodness there was no sign of the “Demon Cat” which John said according to legend makes a chilling appearance down there just before a national tragedy.

Frankly, I can understand why a number of Capitol security officers have claimed over the years to hear unexplained footsteps of invisible visitors and other such tales from which ghost stories sprout.

Perhaps it’s the heavy cloak of history that hangs over the place. Maybe it’s those long dark halls. I don’t know what it is, But there’s one thing I know for sure; the basement of our US Capitol is just plain spooky.

That Fall no one was more surprised than me when John told me that his book had been accepted by a local publisher!

That was the good news.

The bad news was that they didn’t want my photographs.

Not, John explained, that there was anything wrong with them, but because the publisher didn’t want to pay for them since they had their own staff of photographers; plus they could obtain many of the historical images free from the Library of Congress or the National Archives.

I was a little disappointed, but frankly it was no big deal for me, since I wasn’t expecting to gain monetarily from the project anyway.

Thanks primarily to the US Park Service, John Alexander’s book became a big success. For all I know, it’s still being sold in the souvenir shops at every one of our National Parks and historical sites.

 About 10 years ago, John up-dated and published a sequel called "GHOSTS, Washington Revisited" which featured all of MY pictures including one as part of the cover.
Finally seeing those pictures published was a good feeling. I guess being “written out” by John’s first publisher bothered me a little more than I thought.

Oh, one other thing.

Just before John’s first Ghost book was to go to the printer, his publisher called and asked for permission to use one of my original pictures. It seems that they were unable to reproduce it and the Library of Congress and the National Archives determined that there was no other picture like it as far as they knew.

I told them that I would talk is over with my "agent" and get back to them.

Stay tuned. -Ed

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Great News for Lou and Betty Rose

We got this email from Lou today!

The procedure at Duke, yesterday, Friday, went very, very well, without any complications. My pyloric valve was stretched open allowing the contents of the stomach to emnpty faster into the small intestine. This will eliminate the aspirations. The procedure took 30 minutes, then I was in recovery for 2 hours, then we headed back to Charlotte, arriving at about 6 PM. The only restrictions that I'm on are "rest and no driving for three days". After that, I'll be "free as a bird"!!! Once again, both Betty and I felt that we were wrapped in your concern, caring, prayers, support and love. Thank you so much for meant alot to both of us.....dear family and friends.

Lou and Betty

Bravo!  What a relief!

Lou and Betty can be reached at

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust.....

 and a hearty "HI-YO Silver........the Lone Ranger!"

Fred Foy
One of radio’s all time great announcers, Fred Foy died recently. He was most famous for his work at station WXYZ in Detroit, where a number of successful old time radio dramas were created.

His was the voice that introduced “The Lone Ranger” from the late 1940’s until the late 1950’s.

An announcer named Brace Beemer was the actor who portrayed the Lone Ranger on radio during those years.

Mike Wallace
(A little known fact is that one of the first of the Lone Rangers on radio was.....Mike Wallace!)

Foy, who was no relation to the vaudevillian Eddie Foy Sr. or his Seven Little Foys, was also the announcer and actor for a number of popular radio dramas of the 1940’s.

Sgt. Preston of the Yukon
According to my friend and radio historian, Mark Bush, Foy often told the story of the time he was performing on the show Sgt. Preston of the Yukon. (Those shows were LIVE back then.) The plot concerned a young man who had taken in a wolf cub that was nearly dead.

He nursed the cub back to health and eventually returned the grown wolf to the wild.

Years later, the young man was set upon by evildoers who left him to die in the cold of the woods. Things got exponentially worse when he noticed a pack of wolves gathering around him, most likely intending to do him harm.

But the leader of the pack stepped into the clearing and set himself between the wounded man and the rest of the pack.

Fred stood at the same microphone as the actor playing the injured young man.

The line was supposed to be “....those eyes, that fur, those fangs........That’s my wolf.”

Unfortunately......the actor finished the line by saying, “That’s my wife.”

The actor never realized his error and stood unconcerned while Fred choked and chortled his way through the rest of the show.  -Ed

"Hi-Yo, Silver! A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty "Hi-Yo Silver"... The Lone Ranger! With his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early West. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. From out of the past come the thundering hoof-beats of the great horse Silver. The Lone Ranger rides again!"

Monday, February 21, 2011

I Stand Corrected

As all of you know by now, I LOVE spinning stories in between CHS news items about our
great CHS class of '54.

But a shortage of competent proof readers and editors among the large and almost competent staff here at the digital complex has caused me to rely heavily on the kindness of you readers to spot spelling and dangling participles.

My thanks to my favorite aunt (actually Linda's aunt) Claire Weller Davis, who helped edit and publish that fabulous Civil War Diary by Sidney Davis, for spotting a couple of goofs that I made recently.

Here's her email to me:

Claire Davis
 Dear Lee,
I enjoyed reading your update on "A Common Soldier", " An Army of One" and the story about your ancestor Manse Jolly.

Not to be a pest, but I must point out that Linda's Great, Great Grandfather spelled his name with an "i" not a "y" as you have posted on your blog. Sidney Morris Davis was Sydney Davis Hartford's Great Grandfather. I think I have my number of "Great"s right, if Pop's father was James, and James' father was Sidney.

Anyway, all of your stories and reminiscences are wonderful and very entertaining.
Keep them coming!

Aunt Claire

Aunt Claire emails me often with interesting things she spots on the internet.

You might mention this to some of your friends our age.who think they're too old to learn how to use modern technology.

Aunt Claire is 98 years old.   -Ed

Neil Jones introduces us to Gabriela Jones

By Jerry Gaudet

Neil Jones calls our attention to the cover of last month’s Western North Carolina Parent Magazine which features a great picture of his daughter Holly Jones, her husband Bob Falls, and Gabriela Jones Falls, Neil’s granddaughter.  

The magazine contains an article about international adoptions; and since Holly had adopted Gabriela Jones from Guatemala, the article was included relating Holly and Bob's experience.

Holly is a busy girl in addition to being a mom as she remains the CEO for the YWCA in Asheville, and is currently serving her first term on the Buncombe County Commission, after completing two consecutive terms on the Asheville City Council.

Our proud classmate, F. O'Neil Jones can be reached at:


A Dads View
(Reprinted from Parents Magazine)

By Bob Falls

Shortly after Gabriela started first grade, she came home and was just beaming. She told us that she had a “green dot” day at school.

When asked for more information, she told us that she got a green dot if she did a good job that day, a yellow dot if she did an okay job but nothing outstanding, and a red dot if she had messed up or got in trouble at school.

Each day brought with it the announcement of the green dot she had earned that day. We had heard good things about Gabriela’s first grade teacher and we now thought she was brilliant. This simple activity of rewarding a green dot motivated our little girl every day to excel not only at school but also at home. We looked forward to expressing our appreciation at our first parent-teacher conference day.

Gabriela and Dad
We met Gabriela’s teacher at our appointed time and she quickly brought out Gabriela’s notebooks and showed us her achievements as well as areas in which she still needed some work. The report was very organized and informative. When she had finished, she asked us if we had any questions or comments.

At that point, we could barely contain ourselves and gushed forth our appreciation for her as a teacher and especially for her strategy of issuing green dots. We thanked her for the transformation these dots had brought about for Gabriela and for our family. She listened and her expression was completely puzzled

. She asked, “What are you talking about?” We told her about the dots she gives out each day and described the green, yellow and red dots and what each meant. She told us that she had never heard of any dots. There were certainly none given out in her classroom.

We were two stunned parents.

We asked Gabriela about this and she quickly said the teacher didn’t give out the dots. Gabriela would give them to herself each day. There were never any “real” dots. No “real” dots? No “real” dots? One of the things that I love about being married to Holly and being Gabriela’s father is that all of us knew as sure as we knew anything in this world that those “green dots” were indeed real. Our little six year old had created a short hand way for each of us to quickly evaluate our day and we continue to do that every day.

One of my proudest moments was her last day of second grade. She had not missed a day all year long and her reward from us was clear. When she came home that afternoon she found on our front door 180 green dots, one for each day of the year.

So, I will continue to nurture my daughter as the years pass and I will also continue to listen and learn from her all that she has to teach me on her journey. May all of you have a green dot day.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Encouraging News

By Betty Rose Palomba

"We arrived home late from Duke. The news was good from the surgeon. He said he will absolutely be able to fix Lou's Pyloric Valve by inserting a balloon into it. He has done this procedure many times before. This will stretch that hard muscle, allowing the stomach to empty quicker. We will return to Duke this coming Wednesday, prepare for the surgery on Thursday and the operation will be on Friday.

We should be back on Friday, assuming everything goes as planned. The surgeon was very positive, he removed Lou from the oxygen, while there and sent us home. We are both l00% encouraged and know that Lou will even feel better after this is done. Thank you again for ALL of your love, support and prayers

Betty and Lou"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kuralt Also Called it Home

Kuralt's boyhood home
 I saw the article in the Charlotte Observer’s Southpark Section recently titled “Charles Kuralt called it Home,” and I thought, finally, someone has written about that rustic old cabin off the Raleigh Road not too far from Chapel Hill.

Charles Kuralt
But no, the story was about Charles Kuralt’s boyhood home in Charlotte.

The Kuralt home that I'm familiar with is the one he and his first wife, Sory Guthrie lived in during his senior year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 Searching the internet, I found only one reference to the cabin in Kuralt’s papers, which are archived at UNC. It was in a letter to a friend of his he once worked with at radio station WAYS:

“Marriage coming off on August 25th at Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte. We found renovated tenent shack on edge of town. It has inside plumbing ...just shows you that we’re going first class all the way.”

Kuralt at DTH  1955.  Photo by the author
He was editor of the Daily Tar Heel student newspaper that year, 1956, which in his biography he called one of the happiest years of his life...specifically going down in the evening with other staff members of the paper, myself included, watching the next day’s edition rolling off the press.

Kuralt was the reason I joined the staff of the DTH. You didn’t have to be a genius back then to know that Charlie was destined for “the big time,” in whatever field he chose. I had no ambition to ever work for a newspaper, but it gave me the excuse to observe a man who was obviously “on his way up.”

I was hoping some of what he had would rub off on me.

In those days Charles’s sentences, wrapped in that golden voice of his, would be full of words that I had never heard, much less knew the meaning of.  I concluded that I needed the next four years of college real bad. There was no time to waste.

So I picked up a paper back book at the drug store called “Word Power” and started memorizing it.

About three weeks later, I tried using some of my brand new “college education” on one of my old Central High School friends. His reaction was devastating:

“What the Hell is the matter with you, Ed?”

Talk about powerful words.

As I look back on it, It seems to me that I spent the first part of my life trying to “jump start” my journey toward maturity. I can never remember wanting to “just be a kid.”

During my college years I also was convinced that it would be a terrible waste of my parent’s money if I different from when I left home four years earlier.

That thought, as well as simple observation, suggested that maturity involved more that just learning big words and mastering a history course or two. I was convinced that some outward signs were also needed.

I tried smoking cigars, but couldn’t stand them.

I tried wearing a hat. (You know, the kind men wore for over a hundred years....until about the mid 1950’s.)

I still remember the first time I wore it and how difficult it was for my girlfriend at the time to stop laughing. She said, "You look like a little boy playing man.”

But, I digress.

The cabin, as humble as it was, had a noble history as the unofficial abode of Daily Tar Heel Editors. For a number of years it had been passed down from editor to editor....going back I don’t know how far.

Rolf Neil
I just remember that Kuralt told me that Rolfe Neil, a man he admired greatly, had passed it on to him. (Neil later became the publisher of the Charlotte Observer.)

However, he said, the chain was about to be broken, the next year’s editorship would be run by two men, Fred Powledge* and Ed Yoder* who had just been elected co-editors; and neither was interested in taking over Charles’ lease, so, he asked if I would be interested.

And that’s how I came to spend my sophomore year in college living in a proud, but primitive 3 room cabin that once had served as servant’s (slaves?) quarters. The owner’s house was about a quarter mile from the cabin.

Yeah, I guess the Charlotte Observer did the right thing....writing about Kuralt’s boyhood home on Sharon Amity Road in Charlotte instead of the shack in Chapel Hill.

The long commute from downtown Chapel Hill....a fairly short but very dusty and rough dirt road to the cabin, poor heating, and an even worse gas stove. If Charles were still around, I’m sure he would have one of those $25 words to describe it.

I can’t think of the perfect word for it, but with all its faults, I wouldn’t swap that memory for the world.

Unfortunately, the only picture I have of the cabin is one of me on the front porch.

Smoking a pipe.

And it’s locked away along with a hat, a box of cigars and a Word Power book.



One of Fred Powledge's books

*Fred Powledge is the author of seventeen books and scores of magazine articles and reports on a wide range of subjects, many of them about the environment.

Ed Yoder

*Edwin Milton Yoder is a journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner. Yoder was educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating in English in 1956. He then won a Rhodes Scholarship to Jesus College,...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Breaking News

(I apologize for the smart alek headline, but I couldn't resist! Besides, I understand that Mary is healing fine! -Ed)

Jerry Gaudet reports that  Mary Kratt has suffered a fall.

At the February "LDL" we heard that Mary had fallen, suffering a broken fibula ( the smaller bone in the lower leg).

Speaking of her exercising program, Mary says... " I won't be exercising there for at least a month but I am doing quite well. It was a clean break, lucky for me and not on a weight bearing bone. Watch that last step!!!! Hold on hand railings!"

Get well quick good wishes go out to you, Mary! You can reach her...

Mary Kratt
3328 Providence Plantation Lane
Charlotte, NC 28270-3719


Sunday, February 13, 2011

World Class Storyteller

By Obie Oakley

I’m not sure what I really thought about when I heard the term, Storyteller used. I think it was more along the lines of the guy sitting around the lodge after a day of hunting or fishing regaling his companions with “Stories”. He always had a captive audience and was definitely aided by copious consumption of adult beverages. Usually, they were short vignettes with a beginning, a main character, an almost believable story and an end. That was it.

Well, my impression of a storyteller took a dramatic one-eighty on Wednesday evening when I was privileged to hear our very own classmate, Ellouise, captivate her audience for a wonderful non-stop hour of entertaining STORYTELLING.

What made it different? It was never a discernable stand-alone short vignette that would begin and end before going on the tale. What Ellouise has is the magical ability to artistically weave one story or personal experience seamlessly into the next, causing you to not realize where one began and the other took up.

Since she was the invited guest of the Olde Mecklenburg Genealogical Society and since genealogy happens to be a passion of hers, our Master Storyteller held her audience spellbound with things that happened in our hometown when our great grandparents were just coming on the scene. Stories involving such widely topics as Chief, the elephant who killed his trainer in uptown Charlotte, how hard it is sometimes to get older folks to open up with personal experiences and even about her own trip back to Elizabeth School earlier that day telling 2nd and 3rd graders what it was like for her entering that very school for the first time
What a gift Ellouise has and how thankful we should be that she generously shares that gift with others.

Thank you Ellouise!
Your CHS ’54 Classmate / OO

PS, there was a wonderful article in today’s Sunday edition of The Charlotte Observer about her, complete with a large color photo.

Just sitting there minding their own business........when STARDOM STRUCK

By Marlene Ritch Beaty

 As most of you know,Thomas and I spent a couple of months in Chandler, AZ over the holidays with our daughter Valerie and her family.

We drove out, pulling our camping trailer. On the second day out, we stopped for breakfast at a Chick Fil A in Meridian, MS, and were approached by a young lady who was looking for some elderly people to be in a commercial.

I assured her if I saw some elderly people, I would send them over. It was then that she decided to use us instead.

(Marlene and Tom will be signing autographs at the next LDL event.  

Unfortunately, your kindly, webmaster is having computer issues and can't load the video of Marlene and Tom's commercial
onto the website at this time.   -Ed)

Lou is Home!

Betty Rose reports that her husband Lou came home from the hospital yesterday!

She says he'd love visits.....BUT NOT TODAY (SUNDAY).
Be sure to CALL first.

Lou has an appointment at DUKE on Thursday.

Ellouise at Elizabeth

This is the story that was in the Charlotte Observer telling about Ellouise's visit to Elizabeth School last week.
Ellouise will have a better, and more detailed, report for our soon as she and Jim get a little rest from their very busy trip to Charlotte.
Stay tuned!  -Ed

Telling tales out of school

A woman who attended Elizabeth Traditional in 1942 tells students about their history.

By Greg Lacour
Special Correspondent
Posted: Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011

Ellouise Schoettler, a professional storyteller, stopped at her old first-grade classroom at Elizabeth Traditional Elementary. Sarah Nelson, in background, teaches there.

First stop: the old first-grade classroom. Ellouise Schoettler walked in just before 2 p.m.

Teacher Sarah Nelson was in there, alone. Schoettler began regaling her with stories. This is what she does.

Schoettler started school in the same classroom in September 1942, though the school was then called the Elizabeth School. Her father, who'd enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, walked her to school, then left home that day to go to war. She remembers the teacher, Elizabeth Cook, a beautiful blonde who looked like a princess, her hair shining ...

Eventually, Schoettler broke from her reverie and soft-shoed into the Elizabeth Traditional Elementary School auditorium, where about 180 students - all of the second- and third-grade classes - had gathered to hear Schoettler, a 74-year-old professional storyteller, talk to them about the school she remembers.

Which, in some ways, hasn't changed at all.

"This auditorium," she told the students, "looks exactly the way it did when I started first grade in 1942." The kids gasped.

Schoettler grew up a few blocks away, on East Seventh Street in Elizabeth, but left Charlotte after graduating from Central High in 1954. That was the last time she lived in the Queen City, although she frequently returned to visit; her career kept her in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., area, where she worked at various times as a visual artist, pro-Equal Rights Amendment activist and art college president before devoting herself to storytelling about 20 years ago. She speaks regularly at schools and to civic groups and organizes storytelling events twice per month in the D.C. area.

Her appearance at her old school was a happy coincidence, in a way. Schoettler's 75th birthday is coming up in July, and she wanted to tell stories about her youth to groups in her hometown.

A few weeks ago, she cold-called Elizabeth Traditional Principal Susan Spencer-Smith and told her she'd like to speak to the students. Spencer-Smith thought it'd be a nice way to get students thinking about the school's long history in advance of its 100-year anniversary next year.

"A lot of students don't realize the building they're in is 100 years old," Spencer-Smith said. "I thought it'd be interesting for them to realize how things were different in times past."

It's especially important to Spencer-Smith considering how close the school came to closing; Elizabeth Traditional was on Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' closure list in the fall before parental uproar saved it.

During her talk, Schoettler told the students about her first day of school, about how Miss Cook told the class, "Boys and girls, if you're feeling nervous, don't feel nervous, because it's my first day, too."

She rushed home for lunch that first day to see if she could catch her father before he left to fight in World War II. "My little legs were going up and down like steam pistons," she said. But her father was gone. (He eventually returned safely.)

Schoettler amazed the kids with her stories about saving tinfoil for the war effort and other unimaginable hardships, such as the absence of television - the students gasped again - and clothes that had to be washed with an old bathtub wringer washer.

The kids had never heard of such a thing. Schoettler didn't bother trying to explain it in too much detail. It'd get in the way of her storytelling, after all. She told the students to just Google it.
Greg Lacour is a freelance writer.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love, Faith and ENDURANCE!

By Jerry Gaudet

Jackie (Hart) Lookabill, and husband Gene, wanted CHS'54 classmates to know about their daughter, LaGena, being on the cover of Endurance Magazine with a story inside. It can be viewed online at by clicking on "digital issues", January 2011,and finally the article "Faith , Love & Endurance", pages 14 and 15.

Or, try this "link" for the pdf version of this article..


Congratulations to LaGena for her perserverence and to her family for such wonderful support! -JG

(What an inspiration LaGena is for ALL of us!  -Ed )

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

It Doesn't Get Much Better Than This

By Jerry Gaudet 
Now, wasn’t that fun?!

"LDL" (Let's do lunch) was a special treat on Tuesday, February 8, 2011, (our twenty-eighth).

Mary Sue uses her school principal experience to get us started…
Charlie Willis spoke for us all in offering a beautiful prayer for our sick and meal blessing.

Ellouise and Jim Schoettler were special guests even though Ellouise says she’s “just one of us”…

Barney Lisk and his wife, Carol (next-door neighbors to John Culp) came to see for themselves what Johnny had been talking about…

And, Betsy (Villas) White came down from Atglen, PA to be with us and seemingly couldn’t believe what she was hearing…

Ellouise talked with us about her first day of FIRST GRADE at Elizabeth School, painting a wonderful word picture of our world at that time of our lives. The “LDL” attendees responded with various recollections from their own experiences…

Nobody paid any attention to Ellouise…yeah, right…we were enthralled…

“LDL”s are fun! Come be with us sometime. Second Tuesday of each month.   -JG

Welcome to our NEW HOME

...on the internet.

Have a look around, this DOT NET house ain't bad!

(In the interest of "truth in web-site-ing"...............that house isn't  really ours. It's Al Gore's Nashville home.   -Ed)

Monday, February 07, 2011

An Army of One

I’ve had a number of compliments on the two stories about my wife’s ancestor Sydney Davis, who wrote about his adventures as a US Cavalryman.

Apparently his kindness touched a lot of hearts.

Marilyn Davis Coolidge, Linda and Ed, Claire Davis
 We had lunch the other day with Linda's aunt, Claire Davis, and her daughter Marilyn. 
 It was Claire who was responsible for rescuing Sydney Davis’ autobiography from eternal atticdom  and bringing it to the attention of the Library of Congress, making it available to Civil War historians. She said that most of the books they had printed were purchased by friends and family members.

 I mentioned that there were a couple of books written about one of my ancestors, but neither of them ever came close to being a “best seller,” either.

Nor, would they ever leave anyone with a warm, fuzzy feeling.

My mother was Bertha Jolly from Anderson, SC. I remember her telling me that there were two families of Jollys in Anderson; one had money, and the other had the “Civil War hero”.......Manse Jolly.

Needless to say, her dirt poor family was descended from the latter.

But not everyone thought of Manse as a hero. The Federal government certainly didn’t. They had a higher price on his head than they ever had on Jesse James; $10,000 in gold...Dead or Alive.

You see, the heroics Manse became famous for were those he performed after the war was officially declared over.

He claimed that Lee may have surrendered, but he (Manse) didn’t.
He was the only one of 6 Jolly brothers who returned home after the war.

The others were all killed in battle.

He swore that he would kill 5 Yankee soldiers for every one of his dead brothers. Apparently, that was the unfinished business that drove Manse. That, and the fact that the helpless residents of Anderson were being abused by a number of the Federal soldiers..

He more than met his self imposed quota.

One of the books about him is titled, Manse Jolly, Hero, or Deranged Killer.

Perhaps he was a little bit of both.

Anderson SC Highway Sign
But considering the evil inflicted on the South (especially South Carolina) during “Reconstruction,” the darkest period in our nation’s history, the people of Anderson at that time considered Manse a hero.

That’s good enough for me.
The soldiers of the garrison stationed in Anderson, were known to loot and pillage the area... and Jolly went after each one.

The story says that the soldiers became so terrified of Manse that back up was brought into the area. It finally got “too hot” for him in Anderson, and aware of that $10,000 price on his head, he finally decided to flee to Texas and start his life over.

Many stories and legends have been told about him, many perhaps exaggerated or invented entirely, but apparently, there’s little disagreement about his departure from Anderson.
On his way out of town.....he rode straight through the Union Camp, yelling the spine tingling “rebel yell” while firing both pistols at everything that moved......

Newspaper accounts at the time quoted Union soldiers as saying that they thought they had been attacked by an entire regiment of Confederates.

Manse and his horse, Dixie, made it to Milam County Texas, where he settled and eventually married and began raising a family.

He drowned shortly before his first child was born while crossing a flooded river.

He was 29 years old.


(Researching this story, I discovered that there is even a song about him on YouTube.
It's was written by Jeff Rose of the Cane Creek Bluegrass band.)

Saturday, February 05, 2011

4:00pm Update for Lou Palomba

Betty Rose sends this update on her husband Lou's conditon:

The procedure did NOT go as planned today. Lou stopped breathing because of the buildup of food in his lungs (although he has not eaten anything but liquids). It was very scarey. They plans to do xrays Monday and see if the stuff has left his lungs before they try again. If they decide not to do this, we or they will consult with the Duke doctor that did his original operation.

This doctor also talked about a feeding tube if the other does not work. It breaks my heart to think that Lou will have to deal with something like that rest of his life. It will take him time, I am sure to adjust to whatever happens. I can certainly understand.

Right now he is on the 4th floor here at Presbyterian Main which is a step down from ICU so he is getting very good attention. Both boys and my grandson, Alex are here and we were all together during the procedure. Thank goodness I had their support because it sent me for a loop. 

If you want to visit, would you call the hospital first and I will let you know if he feels like company. Thank you all for your continued support. Tony will stay as long as needed here at the hospital. We love all of you and feel so fortunate we have so many friends that are pulling for Lou........

Thursday, February 03, 2011

LDL this Tuesday Feb 8th

By Jerry Gaudet

Ellouise is coming! Ellouise is coming!

When Ellouise talks, people listen!

Well, this email was to start out like this, but Ellouise would have no part of it, saying instead, “I feel like it’s too much about me the storyteller. I am ME who is one of YOU - and I am really excited to see everybody”.

She then suggested it was OK to say: (make it our own words), but we can’t say this about her, can we?…so we’ll use her words…”But WE already know about that talking! Ellouise has been talking and talking and talking since she stepped through the doors of Piedmont Jr. High in the 7th grade. Some things just don't change. But we never thought people would pay her to talk.”

And, she has asked a favor - Ellouise has a story about the Elizabeth School that will start a STORY SWAP - - so we can all trade stories. That sounds OK, don’t you think?

So, Ellouise is going to tell us a story at next Tuesday’s “LDL”.

Don’t miss it!

Our usual disclaimer (and vision test)...

This message is being sent to all CHS'54 classmates for whom we have an E-mail address. We recognize that many of you live great distances away and may not elect to "do lunch", but we want you to know what we are doing and hope you'll come when you can.

"LDL" (Let's do lunch) will be held on

Tuesday, February 8, 2011, 11:30 AM
at "Jimmies Restaurant"
off Hwy. 51 (in Mint Hill)
7024 Brighton Park Dr.
Mint Hill, NC

February’s “LDL” will have a Valentine’s theme.
Spread the word! Invite other classmates to come!
Even better, bring someone with you! Be sure YOU, come!
We’ll want to come early, order our lunch favorites, have a brief business meeting, enjoy our meal and then hear Ellouise’s story for us…and respond.

For answers to any conceivable lunch questions,
please contact Mary Sue (Banks) Burnett, , or phone 704/846-8619.

Virgil (not the poet)

I hesitate to tell this story because it’s pretty well documented that naming squirrels in your yard is an early sign of insanity.

But Virgil was special. He was probably the first black squirrel I’d ever seen.

Virgil, being coy (look closely)
I don’t recall ever seeing one in Charlotte, although we had more than our share of grey ones who camped out in our yard at 2333 East 5th Street and were in constant competition (war?) with my Mom over the pecans that fell from the two large deciduous trees in our yard. (I love using words like that. It just “reeks” of intelligence!)

No doubt, I would have grown up as “anti-squirrel” as she was, had I realized that she was making those delicious pecan pies from our own home grown drupe fruit seeds (there I go again) and there would have been more of those pies if it hadn’t been for those furry grey thieves.

But frankly, there were too many distractions (great looking girls) at CHS for me to concern myself with the art of making pecan pies.

Anyway, it was my youngest son David who came up with the name Virgil.

My other two kids and I agreed that it was the perfect name for him. You could just look at him........and tell; he’s a Virgil.

Virgil at suppertime
He didn’t seem to be as aggressive as the other squirrels. We noticed that the others took most of the peanuts we threw out each day, so we began saving a few especially for Virgil....AFTER the grey hoards had gone off to stash their loot.

Not long afterward, Virgil started showing up at odd times of the day...when no other squirrels were around, and more often than not one of my kids would see him....and throw him a few nuts.

Later, my kids discovered that Virgil would come running from out of the woods behind our house if they “called him.” Or, I could just whistle and he would come. It was truly amazing.

Once I asked my Mom, who was a real country girl if she knew what the life expectancy of a squirrel was. How long did squirrels live?

She said, “I reckon til somebody shoots ‘em.”

She had a way with words.

Virgil stayed around our house, living like a king, for a little over two years. Then one day he just didn’t come when we called and we never saw him again.

That was many years ago, but my neighbors still talk about it. I often overhear bits and pieces of their conversations..... talking about.....".the Shephards.......squirrels.......Virgil.......nuts......."


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Update Prayer List for Lou Palomba

 By Jerry Gaudet

Betty (Rose Templeton) Palomba shares with us concern for husband Lou's present health situation. We have an opportunity to lift Lou and Betty through this ordeal. We have this contact information for them:

Betty and Lou Palomba
2633 Richardson Dr., Morrocroft Apt. B2
Charlotte, NC 28211-3346


email from Betty Rose Palomba
Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2011 8:24 PM
Subject: Lou's operation

"As most of you know Lou went into the hospital this a.m. for a hernia operation. The anesthetist was preparing him and noticed something very unusual about his lungs and stopped everything. It seems that both lungs are filled with gunk and solids. They put him on oxygen and started scraping the lungs. He was put in ICU and induced sleep for most of the day. 

Several xrays were made of the lungs during the day hoping things would improve enough to take out the breathing tube but the last one at 6:00 was still showing problems and they will induce steep tonight and retake xrays in the morning. He is not able to talk but did ask a few questions by writing them. His first quesiton was "am I going to die". 

We assured him that things will turn around and he will get well. Thedoctors are very disturbed about his lungs and will be doing quiite a bit of testing. I have no idea when he will come home. If you would be good enough to keep him in your prayers I know he will feel the strength of all of his friends.

At this time I am asking that NO One go to the hospital to visit him. Tony is staying with me and will stay at the hospital until this is over. Of course Chris will be coming also. Unfortunately only 2 people can be in ICU at a time.

This all sounds pretty bad,and it is, but we are fortunate he was scheduled for the hernia operation because the doctor said he could have had a spell at home and it would have "taken him". Once again luck was on our side.

- Betty"