Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tying up loose ends

Well, this has turned into a week to finish a few jobs that badly needed finishing --- and I"m a better person for it.

Like the plant. Sometime early in the new year with premeditation and in cold blood I killed the fiddle-leafed something-or-another that had eaten the living room. It was planticide and if there were a plant abuse registry I'd be on it. But today I finally replaced it (thanks Clark's Greenhouse & Gifts). I went for spiky rather than fluffy and am hoping it doesn't get to be six feet fall.


Over on the Lucas County Historical Society blog, which is here, I finally got around to writing about a precious Civil War-era artifact that resurfaced a couple of weeks ago after, quite frankly, it had been forgotten about for years. It's that little photo album with facing portraits of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Gen. Phil Sheridan in the photo up top. The larger photo is of Chariton's own Col. Warren S. Dungan, whose  album it was. You'll have to go to that blog to read more if you're interested. There also are more photos there now of the July 17 ice cream social.

The other museum task involved properly identifying and attributing to donor a large portrait of a legendary Chariton High School teacher named Hortense Guernsey Becker, which hangs in the museum library. The CHS Class of 1957 commissioned the portrait to honor their former teacher, still alive at the time, during a class reunion. They hoped the school would accept and display it. The school declined. So the portrait was given to the library. The library didn't want it either. We did. Unfortunately, the library sent along a little misinformation with the portrait, attributing it to the class of 1945. Someone noticed that, the identification tag was removed and the process stalled there because no one could figure out which class actually had given the portrait. Now we know, Hortense has a new nametag and our artifact database has been corrected.

Hortense has a special place in my heart. Both of my parents had been taught by Miss Guernsey (Becker came along rather late). In her honor, they named one of our (Guernsey) dairy cattle --- you guessed it --- Hortense Guernsey.

On this blog, I finally finished updating the roster of Lucas County's World War II dead, adding the photo (above) of Prosdocimo J. "Dutch" Della Betta, kindly shared by his niece, Mary Kay Jensen, and the final four names. I will add more photographs as I find time to scan and process those I have and locate others. This roster also will be placed permanently at the historical society site, once I figure out how to best get it there with the least amount of fuss. That blog post is here.

Finally, I've been hanging out a lot at St. Andrew's this week in a continuing effort to bring order to parish paperwork stretching back in some cases to before the turn of the 20th century. We would like to replace an old banged-up green filing cabinet, but just won't do it until what's in it has been sorted, refiled and in some instances disposed of. There's a lot of interesting stuff, and a lot of junk, in there.

I've also been working on the St. Andrew blog, and although there's not that much on it I think it's looking kind of spiffy. You're welcome to take a look here.

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