Baseball great Christy Mathewson (1880 - 1925) lies surrounded by obelisks in the beautiful Lewisburg Cemetery. The right hander's career spanned 1900 - 1916; he pitched for the New York Giants and the Cincinnati Reds; he never pitched a game on a Sunday, which earned him the nickname "The Christian Gentleman." He won baseball's triple crown in 1905 and 1908, and pitched 79 shutouts. Although he never graduated from Bucknell (he left in 1899 to start his professional baseball career with Taunton of the New England League), today the Bucknell Bison play football in Christy Mathewson Memorial Stadium. His early death was a result of lung damage caused by exposure to poison gas while serving in the Army during WWI (in the same unit as Ty Cobb).
Many graves from the 1860s were marked by obelisks in the Lewisburg Cemetery adjacent to Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. The cemetery was founded in 1848. A sad fad from the 1850s through the 1880s was the use of very small obelisks to mark the graves of small children.
Spotted by the blog on the way home from the football game last week at the corner of Reynolda and Polo Road. Gone during the week ("All signs removed SUN PM), but back in the same location today. The blog had to consult a dictionary to learn the meaning of relinquishment in this context. It wasn't easy, but finally another blog came to the rescue: "Remerchandising is a retailing term for “freshening up the store layout” to highlight seasonal or special items, rouse hapless shoppers out of their walking slumber, and, of course, encourage them to buy more. Relinquishment isn’t anything more cryptic than its standard meaning: the process of ceasing ownership. Their stuff gets transferred elsewhere."
Is North Carolina Senator Richard Burr related to Aaron Burr? The answer is yes, but the family tree is tangled, just like this tree. Richard thinks that there are no direct descendants, and that he is a descendant of Burr's brother. Hard to remember that Burr was considered Vice Presidential in 2008, but also hard to remember that his senate seat was considered "at risk" in 2009 and even late this summer. In addition to leading in the polls, Burr is also leading in the Winston-Salem yard sign competition.
Times are tough in Mexico, and the mood seems to preclude a festive celebration of the Mexican Bicentennial. The blog was particularly saddened by this recent report in the NYT: Major commemorative public works projects, including the bicentennial monument itself, the Estela de Luz, a 30-story quartz obelisk in the capital, will not be completed in time for the big day.What? No obelisk? But as the photo above reveals, the situation is not as dire as it seems. The planned monument is definitely NOT an obelisk, so the loss is not as great as the blog feared. Jon provided a hopeful note by drawing upon his knowledge of American history and reminding Susan that the big obelisk in Washington DC also experienced significant construction delays.
This personal-size obelisk was spotted by the blog in a front yard in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of DC on Labor Day weekend. Nice obelisk, but it raises the question: does an obelisk require a function? Or can an obelisk just be?
Maurice is now officially the Washington, DC "stringer" for the blog. Despite the generally poor quality of his photographs, he is an astute observer, and his contributions are welcome. The blog thought that there might be an interesting story behind this No McMansions sign that Maurice sent to us...and indeed there is. The sign was posted by the Woodley Park Community Association. Here's the story, in their own words:
The house at the corner of Garfield Street and 29th Place, 2910 Garfield Street, was recently sold. The buyer was a developer, ZP 29th Place LLC, which represents a developer who has built other houses in Woodley Park in recent years. The developer wants to tear down the house and replace it with two much larger homes. DC zoning regulations prescribe minimum sizes for lots. In this zoning classification, the minimum is 5000 square feet. The lot of 2910 Garfield Street is 9946 square feet, so it would appear to be too small to accommodate two houses. However, the Zoning Administrator, who works for DCRA, has the authority to approve a "minor deviation" from this requirement. The Zoning Administrator granted such a deviation for this property in November 2009. No notice of the request to subdivide the lot or for a "minor deviation" was given to the neighbors or to ANC3C, nor were they notified the requests had been granted.
Zillow reveals that the house was built in 1957, and that it sold this past January for about $1.4 million.
The blog cleverly parked at the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds and strolled over to the football stadium. There is a tunnel that allows fans to cross Deacon Boulevard safely. We saw murals of familiar scenes in progress on the walls of the tunnel: Wait Chapel, of course, and Reynolda Hall. Despite a steady heavy drizzle, the game was extremely entertaining - what else can one say of a college football game tied 35-35 at halftime?
Susan waits all week for Frank Rich's column in the Sunday Times. She's sad when he takes a week off, and was concerned that he might be off celebrating Labor Day somewhere. But this past week Rich was even more eloquent than usual. Writing about the approach of September 11, he said:
Of all the pro forma passages in Obama’s speech, perhaps the most jarring was his entreaty that Iraq’s leaders “move forward with a sense of urgency to form an inclusive government that is just, representative and accountable.” He might as well have been talking about the poisonous political deadlock in Washington. At that moment, there was no escaping the tragic fact that instead of bringing American-style democracy and freedom to Iraq, the costly war we fought there has, if anything, brought the bitter taste of Iraq’s dysfunction to America.
The blog made its first visit to the renovated Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (on the grounds of the estate of Winston-Salem hosiery king James G. Hanes) this past Sunday to see a very interesting performance by the Alban Elved Dance Company. Prior to the performance Susan, Nate, and Jon strolled through the current exhibit, titled Look Again. There were several interesting pieces here. The most surprising was a wall of facial silhouettes, all produced by light shining on crumpled pieces of paper. (Look to the left of each piece to see the face.)
"ONCE upon a time there were Three Bears, who lived together in a house of their own, in a wood. One of them was a Little, Small, Wee Bear; and one was a Middle-sized Bear, and the other was a Great, Huge Bear. They each had a pot for their porridge, a little pot for the Little, Small, Wee Bear, and a middle-sized pot for the Middle Bear, and a great pot for the Great, Huge Bear. And they each had a chair to sit in; a little chair for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized chair for the Middle Bear; and a great chair for the Great, Huge Bear. And they each had a bed to sleep in; a little bed for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized bed for the Middle Bear; and a great bed for the Great, Huge Bear. And they each had an air conditioner to keep their own part of the house cool; a little air conditioner for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized air conditioner for the Middle Bear; and a great air conditioner for the Great, Huge Bear."
Jon and Susan are professors at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. Jon is in the Department of Theatre and Dance. He has lived in Winston-Salem for 25+ years. Susan is in Biology, and has lived in Winston-Salem for 5+ years. Jon's neighborhood is Sherwood Forest; Susan's neighborhood is Ashley Forest. Maurice, who lives in the District of Columbia, serves as occasional capital correspondent.
"The reality is the reality."--Pedro Martinez
"It's only gonna get funner."--Roy "Doc" Halladay
"I believe in a relatively equal society, supported by institutions that limit extremes of wealth and poverty. I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it."--Paul Krugman
"Nobody is going to come out of this looking good."--Maggie Christman