Thursday, August 17, 2017

In Memoriam Heather Heyer

... and with profound admiration for all those who, like Heather, showed up to stand against hate.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"The Lowest White Man . . ."

Boston Globe phote

President Lyndon B. Johnson once said, "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

Or vote for you -- which probably explains DT's reluctance to call out the White Supremacists. (I thought it was sweet that many of them adopted Trump's Casual Friday look of khakis and a white polo shirt.)

A look at their faces and a look at some of their comments and actions -- especially the vile spewings of The Daily Stormer, a website devoted to White Supremacy and run by a wormy-looking little pissant named Andrew Anglin -- confirms LBJ's words -- these guys are the lowest, losers every one with nothing to be proud of but their skin color. 

This website was taken down by its host, after Anglin attacked the victim in the Charlottesville attack -- calling her fat, useless, as she wasn't married and had no children, adding that she was probably a slut who'd had multiple abortions.

I have a real feeling this guy has trouble getting dates.

And bravo to GoDaddy and Google for refusing to host his repugnant vitriol any longer.

Now, about the Tweeter-in-Chief. After being shamed into finally expanding his condemnation of the Charlottesville violence, he at last called out the KKK and the White Supremacists, reading a carefully crafted statement that included condolences to the family of the young woman mowed down by a car driven by one of his supporters.

But evidently he had his tiny fingers crossed.

His Orangeness took to Twitter to retweet an image of the Trump Train smashing into a CNN reporter.

Really classy. Was this a subtle nod to his base base? As in, 'Way to go, fellas.'? Or was it just his chronic pathological insensitivity?

Oh, if only Twitter would suspend his account. Or if some adult would pry his phone from his tiny fingers and dispose of it in a fitting manner.

And then, then, to make it absolutely clear where his sympathies really lie, the Orange One gave a press conference, doubling down on his first assertion that both sides in Charlottesville were to blame.

Quoting The New York Times: "President Trump buoyed the white nationalist movement on Tuesday as no president has done in generations -- equating activists protesting racism with the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who rampaged in Charlottesville, Va,. over the weekend."

Davis Duke, former KKK head, and Richard Spencer, white nationalist who has threatened to 'flood' Charlottesville with more protests, were quick to praise their Dear Leader's words.

The POTUS is out of control. He is demeaning his office and bringing shame to our country. He is empowering evil and it's time and past time for the Republican Party -- the one that calls itself the party of Lincoln -- to stop pretending anything else.

Kevin Siers/ Charlotte Observer

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Making America Great Again?

This is where we are now. This is what the Trump regime has empowered.

Armed idiots, waving Confederate flags, wearing KKK robes and hoods, and sporting White Supremacist gear gathered in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee (who was an avowed enemy of the United States and the American flag which these folks also waved, oblivious to the irony.)

Quoting from an article in The Washington Post:

Michael Von Kotch, a Pennsylvania resident who called himself a Nazi, said the rally made him “proud to be white.”
He said that he’s long held white supremacist views and that Trump’s election has “emboldened” him and the members of his own Nazi group.

“We are assembled to defend our history, our heritage and to protect our race to the last man,” Von Kotch said, wearing a protective helmet and sporting a wooden shield and a broken pool cue. “We came here to stand up for the white race.”

It should come as no surprise that this sort of deplorable person feels empowered by Trump. Trump seems unable to bring himself to speak out against the White Supremacists and Klansmen -- they're among his strongest supporters, as David Duke reminded him yesterday.

And it should come as no surprise that many good and decent people should have assembled in counter-protest. When evil like this, evil that threatens the basic decency of our country, is on the march, thank heavens for those who stand against it.

There were over a thousand people gathered to say that White Supremacy has no place in Charlottesville, no place in the USA.

Among those who showed up to protest the hate rally was my sister-in-law Fay -- a  resident of Charlottesville and a gray-haired grandmother like me. She was there, bearing witness, when a car rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring many others. (Fay got home safely, thank goodness.)

 Desmond Tutu said: "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."

Fay, thank you for choosing to stand up against hate.

You're my hero.

Friday, August 11, 2017


I just learned the word clamjamfrey over on Darla's blog. It's a Scots' term that can apply to a mish-mash, a gallimaufry, a hodge-podge of miscellaneous things.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Letters from Five Characters -- Col. Keith

 As I explained in a previous post (HERE), I often recommend that  novelists write themselves letters in the voice of their main character(s) explaining why those characters think the novel needs to be written.

Here's the letter from Col. James A. Keith -- the Confederate officer generally held responsible for the Shelton Laurel Massacre.

Dear Madam,

Like many military men of high rank with experience of the late War, I have it in contemplation to pen a memoir that will, I believe, suffice to paint a complete and accurate picture of my life, including the incident (as you so deftly term it) in Shelton Laurel that has excited so much comment. 

From the beginning, the press and the politicians seized on this military operation (completely justified in the circumstances) and exaggerated and prevaricated till it seemed they conspired to paint me a devil incarnate, lacking only the hooves, horns, and tail. I intend to put the record right.

If, however, you persist in your plan to write a story, a "novel," based on the events, based on the events that led to the action in January 0f '63, and the sequelae, I adjure you to let fairness and honesty be your guides.

By no means should you trust the newspaper accounts, nor even, sad to say, the military records. Men record what they would have the world believe. Oral accounts are useless as the story warps and stretches with each retelling. The truth, that elusive bird, lies somewhere between the lines.

I am powerless to direct your pen -- I only ask that you search your heart and deal with me fairly. There is more to me than that one cold day's action. And lastly, pray remember that in time of war, a man may be forced to deeds -- deeds from which, in peacetime, he would recoil in horror.
                                I remain, madam, your obedient servant,

                                                      James A. Keith (Lt. Col. ret.)


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

To Price a Quilt

What are these old beauties worth? Georgette at Penland's in Marshall, NC wants to know. A local man brought them in to sell. Thank heavens! Lots of folks who don't know how much work goes into a quilt will take old ones to the dump.

It's been so long since I looked at antique quilts that I haven't a good idea of what would be fair and reasonable prices for them but I'm hoping some of my  quilting friends (Pepper Cory especially) might have an idea.

I see these quilts as charming folk art. Most are too worn for daily use but would be nice hung on a wall or over the back of a chair as decoration. Some could use a bit of washing.

Here are my hurried observations on each quilt:

1. Six Chickens -- These sturdy legged chickens would brighten any room. The quilt is twin-sized, cotton and polyester, in good condition. The edges are not bound so it was probably never used.  It is hand quilted in a fan pattern.

2. Sunbonnet Sue I -- cotton, red sashing is quite worn. Hand quilted.

The little girls wear a variety  of pastel prints -- maybe some feed sack material?

3. Dinner Plate variation (I think.)

It's visually striking, despite its worn and faded condition. I think that's some more feed sack material in the multi-hud plate rims. 

Hand quilted.  Thirties? Forties? Later, using saved fabrics?

4. Pastel Eight-Pointed Star-- the prettiest of the lot, in my opinion. The soft colors are lovely.

And there's a little surprise -- one triangle cut from fabric bearing the Minnetonka Moccasins logo. I love oddities like this. Did the fabric have a special meaning for the quilter? Or had she run out of yellow and used this to fill in?
Hand quilted and  in good  (if slightly soiled) condition except for a badly frayed binding that could be easily replaced.

5. The Grandmother's Flower Garden Diamond Variation is cotton with some wear and straight line hand quilting.

I've never attempted hexagons and can only imagine how much work this would be.
6. Sunbonnet Sue II -- the bold one.

The sashing is a coral-ish red and the little girls' outfits are bright.

Hand quilted in straight lines. Good condition

7. Appliqued Tulips -- poly and cotton. Hand quilted around flowers. Good condition. This too would be a cheerful wall hanger.

7. Red, White, and Blue (and Green) -- A machine pieced top of poly/cotton. I  don't know the name of this pattern but it's another bold visual statement. And I adore the lone green square at the top. Again, I try to imagine the quilter's reasoning . . . 

If anyone has thoughts on appropriate pricing, I love to hear them.

And should you be interested in purchasing one, you can get in touch with Georgette Shelton, the store owner, at 828.649.2811 or