Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day - Losing Money and Gaining Fabric

Memorial Day is not the day to thank a soldier.  It is the day we spend remembering those who gave their lives in the service of this great country.  We used to go to the cemetery in Pearlington, MS and clean up the graves for the summer.  We went again the week before Halloween to clean up the graves for the annual All Saint's Day Visit in November.

On that side of my family they were Danish shipbuilders.  Just down from Logtown and Kiln, both of which they owned, they had a shipyard and would sail into the Gulf of Mexico to bring lumber down to Cuba.  And sugar would be brought back to be assayed by my (Great) Aunt Annie, the chemist.

I remember sitting in her side of the double shotgun house in New Orleans and folding the filters she used.  They were similar to what we now use as coffee filters.  I have pleated many a filter paper in my day.  And although it was forced labor, it didn't seem like work.  Unlike my other German Grandmother who forced me to sew sequins and beads on fancy dresses for the rich ladies who came to be fitted.  Aunt Annie was fun, and she had all those cats. 

It was the generation between me and them who saw their battle weary brothers brought home in flag draped caskets.  And Frank's brother Gene, who did three tours in Viet Nam.  He saw those too.

Those are the ones we remember this Memorial Day.  For without men like them, we would be in a very different place today.


Now for fabrics.

I won the collection of hand dyes from Vicki Welsh this month!  Oh, is that marvelously incredible!

And I received a bit of COW  (and we all know how I do love me some cow) fabric from Joe Tulips.   She had a tiny scrap left from her fabulous barn you saw two weeks ago, and pulled my name from the group.  I think I know how these babies will be used.

An I received my box from the Cotton Robin.  Christa in Virginia must have been really inspired and finished up early!  I cannot show you this one, I won't open the box until they start to come home over at Cotton Robin.

But it will be interesting.  I sent a similar block around with my Modern Robin group and I can't wait to see how the two compare. 

We went with some friends down to the USS Kidd on the Mississippi River levee to walk.  And gamble our retirement away.  The Kidd is the 651st destroyer build by the US.  It was launched on Feb 28 1943 and served in WWII in the Pacific Fleet at places like Wake Island and Gilbert Islands.  the same places my dad was on the aircraft carrier the USS Saratoga.

My dad would talk about the kamikaze bombers he had seen, like the one that hit the Kidd off Okinawa.  38 men were killed. 

One of the duties of a destroyer was to pick up downed pilots.  The crew of the Kidd earned the nickname "Pirate Ship of the Seas" because they would "ransom" the pilots back to their ships for Ice Cream mix and fresh vegetables.
Kidd in 2010

At the museum there are two planes used in the war, this one is a
Ranger.  The Kidd is held in place by a structure, now submerged, that allows it to float in a cradle of sorts when the river is higher.  When the river is low, the Kidd sits in the cradle out of the water.

In Louisiana we cannot have land based casinos, unless you are Harrah's and make a special deal with New Orleans politicians.  Or are Native American.  But in the rest of the state, we have Riverboat Casinos.  The idea was originally that they would be in port and board people for 90 minutes.  Then they would cruise up and down the river for a few hours and then be in port for another 90 minutes.

That quickly changed when the advocates for not cruising convinced the legislature that rogue barges would break loose and hit unsuspecting gamblers, killing all involved.  So now they are just floating casinos.  I am here to tell you that if the barges break loose, it is no safer being moored than cruising!

There are two Riverboats in Baton Rouge, The Belle and Hollywood. You can see Hollywood up the river a bit on the right.

I lost my $20-ish in the Belle.

The levee wall in this area is designed so you can walk down to the water, or sit on it and sun.  We do have fireworks displays on the river since fireworks are illegal here too.

We have a lot of rules!

Here is a nice piece of driftwood, a tree really, caught in the piles of the structure we are standing on. 

And we can see the Greater Mississippi River Bridge just beyond the Riverboat. 
Hope you have enjoyed my little history lesson about my town.

Maye we can all get together and do a coordinated set of blog posts about something in our towns.  Like our favorite quilt shop!


  1. That's why I take a nap when I bring Pape to the Hollywood. He hasn't been to the Belle in a while because of the hassle to pick him up. That fabric is something to be coveted. We are coming to BR sometime this next week. Hopefully, I will see you then.

  2. I am impressed with how much you know about stuff! Your tour was very interesting! I have not become emotionally attached to where I now live. Akron is just a detour for me. I don't care about the history of the area or that it is LeBron James' home town. I just want to leave.

  3. I live in a small small that one blog post would cover it. No really, we have some history, just not much. I've been to BR enough times to have been to all of the places you mentioned. I've even brought students to some of them (not, of course, the casinos) and especially love the Kidd. There was one time, however, that we toured the Kidd in summer...a hard lesson, but I've not forgotten it.

  4. I've seen the Kidd at a distance but didn't realize it floats in its cradle. It's now on the to-do list for my next visit. Thanks.


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