Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Some Augusta Moments

 I wanted to share a few more memories from last week. I'll start with the crankies. There were two that were shown one evening in the chapel. How to describe them? Imagine a box with two wooden poles and a crank handle. A long piece of paper is wound from one pole to the other; on the paper are drawings of the images from a ballad. As a singer sings the ballad, the crank is turned and the images pass across the "screen" or "stage" created by the wooden box. You can see a crankie on youtube featuring ballad singer Elizabeth LaPrelle; just click here. The one below was for the ballad Pretty Fair Miss. I only got the singer/creator's first name-Ellen.

The images were beautiful, created of paper on a rice paper scroll.

 This crankie had a call for an encore, so we watched and listened to it twice. It's such a simple technology, and yet captivating, especially with the singer in the darkness as the images roll by. The "screen" is lit from behind by a simple gooseneck lamp. The second crankie was great too but unfortunately my pictures came out blurry so I won't share those. You can see an example of a storytelling crankie here. I just might have to give this a try sometime.

This is the view from the walkway leading to the library, where we had our class:

 I took my class to the small town of Beverly, which was at one time the county seat of Randolph county and the site of a Civil War battle (the Battle of Rich Mountain, where McClellan gained fame as a Union general). We visited the town's graveyard, where a sign proclaimed there were graves from all of the wars fought by the US. This stone was one of the older ones we found.

We also visited the Goff House, now an antique store but used as a Union Hospital during the Civil War. Soldiers who were patients there drew and wrote on the walls. The front rooms of the house were a new addition at that time, and the walls had just been plastered. Dr. Goff's wife was dismayed when she returned after the troops left (the Goffs were southern sympathizers and fled town when the Union troops moved in) to find her new walls all marked up so she wallpapered them--thus preserving the writing and drawings for posterity. Below is a haunting drawing done by an unknown soldier:

The front entrance to the house features a door that I think reflects the strong German heritage of the region.

One of many stained glass windows to be seen in Halliehurst, one of the two mansions that were "summer homes" of railway magnates Henry Gassaway Davis and Stephen Elkins, now part of the Davis & Elkins college campus. Both houses have stories of resident ghosts.

From the old to the new: when the cornerstone for the new science center on campus was split in 1973, the fossil seen on the left was revealed.The plaque describes the discovery and notes how fitting the find was to the occasion. 

Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


Joy@aVintageGreen said...

You are sharing the most interesting stories and stories about stories. You must be having the best of times right now.

Rowan said...

Love the crankie - what a great idea. Beverley sounds a really interesting place to visit, I'd love to see some of the Civil War sites one day.

Granny Sue said...

I am, Joy. And now that the travels are over for a while, I can sit back, reflect, and relish the best moments of this busy summer.

Granny Sue said...

Rowan, the war in West Virginia was really more like skirmishes although Beverly was a fairly large one. Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee and further south have some large battle sites. I like the small ones though because the sense of immediacy is more pronounced.

Jan Murp said...

wow I learn something new I live in wv,But I'm from Nashville Tn

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