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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Welcome, October!

Today, I am welcoming the month of October with two of my favorite things:  ~ Poetry and PreRaphaelite art ~

There is something so fleetingly beautiful about this month to which I have always been drawn... the reds, orange, yellows and green.

And, there is a feeling that creeps into me and I cannot help but wonder if I have always felt the veil between the worlds thinning, for my thoughts often travel to those loved ones who have gone before me.  I cannot help but drink in every color and absorb the wild emotion of this season; for soon, we shall be blanketed in white for months.  The last hurrah of nature never fails to deliver....

 Wild roses burst from their hips one last time.  

Goldenrod and purple asters are sprinkled along the roadside. 

 Mums stand guard on every doorstep.  

Apples and pumpkins are abundant at every farm stand.

The smell of the crisp Autumn air with the scent of wood burning from afar. Leave it to Robert Frost to describe it so perfectly....

"O hushed October morning mild, 
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall; 
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all. 
The crows above the forest call; 
Tomorrow they may form and go. 
O hushed October morning mild, 
Begin the hours of this day slow. 
Make the day seem to us less brief. 
Hearts not averse to being beguiled, 
Beguile us in the way you know. 
Release one leaf at break of day; 
At noon release another leaf; 
One from our trees, one far away."
-   Robert Frost, October

"Listen!  the wind is rising,
and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings,
now for October eves!"
-  Humbert Wolfe 

"The clump of maples on the hill,
And this one near the door,
Seem redder, quite a lot, this year
Than last, or year before;
I wonder if it's jest because
I Love the Old State more!"
-   David L. Cady, October in Vermont  

"O suns and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October's bright blue weather."

"Colors burst in wild explosions
Fiery, flaming shades of fall
All in accord with my pounding heart
Behold the autumn-weaver
In bronze and yellow dying
Colors unfold into dreams
In hordes of a thousand and one
The bleeding
Unwearing their masks to the last notes of summer
Their flutes and horns in nightly swarming
Colors burst within
Spare me those unending fires
Bestowed upon the flaming shades of fall."
-   Dark Tranquility:  With the Flaming Shades of Fall  

"Just before the death of flowers,
And before they are buried in snow,
There comes a festival season
When nature is all aglow."
-   Author Unknown

"The sweet calm sunshine of October, now
    Warms the low spot; upon its grassy mold
The purple oak-leaf falls; the birch bough
    drops its bright spoil like arrow-heads of gold."
-   William Cullen Bryant

"Between the heavens and the earth
The way now opens to bring forth
The Hosts of those who went on before;
Hail!  We see them now come through the Open Door.

Now the veils of worlds are thin; 
To move out you must move in.
Let the Balefires now be made, 
Mine the spark within them laid.

Move beyond the fiery screen, 
Between the seen and the unseen;
Shed your anger and your fear, 
Live anew in a new year!"
-   Lore of the Door  

"There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October." 
-  Nathaniel Hawthorne

"Youth is like spring, an over-praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes.  
Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits."
-   Samuel Butler

"The stillness of October gold
Went out like beauty from a face."
-   E. A. Robinson

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Great Hurricane of 1938

Photo credit: pbs.org
In 1938, predicting the weather was unsophisticated, and not yet a science that had been perfected.  On September 21, 1938, Vermonters were taken by surprise when the deadliest hurricane in New England's history made landfall.  The hurricane, often referred to as the Long Island Express, due to its power and speed similar to that of a locomotive, caused close to 650 deaths, and approximately 1,700 people were injured.  It destroyed or damaged some 57,000 homes and property loss was estimated at around $306 million US dollars (which would be approximately $4.7 billion in today's estimates). This storm, The New England Hurricane of 1938, remains the strongest and worst weather disaster in our history.

The tropical storm began to form off of the coast of Cape Verde, Africa somewhere between September 9 and 10th of 1938, and quickly became a category 5 hurricane.  When it reached Long Island it was a powerful category 3, on September 21st.  Those responsible for predicting its path had felt that the storm would blow out to sea.  Instead, it slammed into Long Island.

Photo credit: nearbeach.com
I found this description when researching this story and feel it really described what it must have felt like, and the surprise that those must have felt being in the "eye of the storm":

"So when the hurricane made landfall on Long Island in the middle of the afternoon on September 21, it caught people enjoying a warm fall day at the beach. They noticed large whitecaps and saw what they thought was a fog bank rolling toward them, but they had no idea a hurricane was about to hit.

The “fog” turned out to be a huge wave of water — the hurricane’s storm surge. Survivors of that initial surprise thought the worst was over when the sky cleared and the sun came out, but about an hour later the storm came back. The calm within the hurricane’s huge eye had merely deceived them and then dealt a second surprise." 

Source: vermontweather.wordpress.com/1970/09/21/hurricane-of-1938/

Having made it's 12 day journey across the Atlantic Ocean, it slammed ashore at Suffolk County, Long Island.  It then moved over the state of Connecticut where the eye was seen in New Haven.  On this day the sea was at astronomical high tide, causing significant coastal damage along Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts shores and communities. Winds were sustained at around 96 mph, and increased to 121 mph.  A peak gust of 186 mph was recorded, near Milton, Massachusetts!  Marinas, home, boats and yacht clubs were destroyed.  Rivers flooded in both states due to the fast accumulating rainfall, which were already at their capacity (up to the tops of river banks since the rain had been falling for days preceding the hurricane).  It devastated more homes, buildings and other property along the way.

The storm did not lose power, as blew into Vermont straight up through the Connecticut River Valley into Montreal.  The recorded speed was 47 miles per hour.

"The hurricane entered Vermont as a Category 1 at approximately 6:00 pm EDT, reaching northern Vermont, Burlington, and Lake Champlain around 8:00 pm. Hurricane-force winds caused extensive damage to trees, buildings, and power lines. Over 2,000 miles (3,200 km) of public roads were blocked and it took months for crews to reopen some of the roads. In Montpelier, 120 miles from the nearest coast, salt spray was seen on windows. A train was derailed in Castleton. Despite the damage, the storm killed only five people in Vermont. Maple and sugar groves were damaged. Until Hurricane Irene in 2011 (which had weakened to a tropical storm by the time it struck Vermont), the 1938 hurricane was the only tropical cyclone to make a direct hit on Vermont in its recorded history."

"By 5:00 pm EDT, the eye moved into western Massachusetts, and by 6:00 pm EDT, the hurricane reached Vermont. Both Westfield, Massachusetts and Dorset, Vermont reported calm conditions and partial clearing during passage of the eye, which is a rather unusual occurrence for a New England hurricane. As the hurricane continued into northern Vermont, it began to lose tropical characteristics. Still carrying hurricane-force winds, the storm crossed into Quebec at approximately 10:00 pm EDT, while transitioning into a post-tropical low. The post-tropical remnants dissipated over northern Ontario a few days later."  - wiki

Historically, the month of September is the busiest of the hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sites that from 1851 to 2014, the month of September has produced 566 tropical storms which became hurricanes, August having 375, then followed by October having 335 recorded events.

Photo images found on Google: Images: https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1745&bih=837&q=vintage+women+on+the+beach&oq=vintage+women+on+the+beach&gs_l=img.3...1708.7193.0.7408.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Whole Lotta' Rosie

At a glance, or even a second glance, would you recognize this woman?

This is Mary Doyle Keefe, and she was Norman Rockwell's model as "Rosie the Riveter", which appeared on the cover of POST magazine on May 29, 1943.  Keefe was 19 years old when she posed for his painting and worked as a telephone operator.  The magazine cover itself was the symbol for the millions of women who went to work in place of the men who became soldiers during World War II, and emphasized the fact that women were capable employees. One should take note that women also earned approximately 65 percent less income as the men who previously dominated these roles.

The original image, painted by Rockwell, shows a muscular woman wearing overalls, goggles and pins of honor on her lapel. She is also wearing a leather wrist band and her sleeves are rolled-up.  In her lap is a riveting tool, and she is eating a sandwich.  The word  "Rosie" is inscribed on her lunch pail.  Under her foot she is stepping on "Mein Kampf", a book written by Adolph Hitler.

Once this magazine issue hit the newsstands, stories from all over the country began to appear in newspapers about "real life" Rosies, and our Government began a campaign called "Women in War Jobs" to encourage women to leave their homes and enter the American workforce.  The campaign was a smashing success, and to this day is known as the most successful advertising campaign in U.S. history.

Today there is a common misconception that the "Rosie" depicted above, is the original, but now you know that is not the case.  This 1942 poster was created by the artist J. Howard Miller who was employed by the Westinghouse Company's War Production Coordinating Committee, In Pittsburgh.   The "We Can Do It!" poster was from a series, and became the most popular.  It was never given the title "Rosie the Riveter".

Prior to the Rosie phenomenon, there was actually a song called "Rosie the Riveter", which was most likely fueled inspiration for Norman Rockwell to use the name Rosie on her lunch pail in the painting.  Here is the original song, and the lyrics are below:

Mary Doyle Keefe,  was from Arlington, Vermont.  In April of 2015, she died at the age of 92, at the McLean Village Community in Simsbury, Connecticut.


While other girls attend their fav’rite
cocktail bar
Sipping Martinis, munching caviar
There’s a girl who’s really putting 
them to shame
Rosie is her name

All the day long whether rain or shine
She’s a part of the assembly line
She’s making history, 
working for victory
Rosie the Riveter
Keeps a sharp lookout for sabotage
Sitting up there on the fuselage
That little frail can do more than a 
male will do
Rosie the Riveter

Rosie’s got a boyfriend, Charlie
Charlie, he’s a Marine
Rosie is protecting Charlie
Working overtime on the 
riveting machine
When they gave her a production “E”
She was as proud as a girl could be
There’s something true about
Red, white, and blue about
Rosie the Riveter

Everyone stops to admire the scene
Rosie at work on the B-Nineteen
She’s never twittery, nervous or jittery
Rosie the Riveter
What if she’s smeared full of
oil and grease
Doing her bit for the old Lendlease
She keeps the gang around
They love to hang around
Rosie the Riveter

Rosie buys a lot of war bonds
That girl really has sense
Wishes she could purchase 
more bonds
Putting all her cash into national
Senator Jones who is “in the know”
Shouted these words on the radio
Berlin will hear about
Moscow will cheer about
Rosie the Riveter!

Paramount Music Corporation, NY, 1942

Photo credits:  All images found on Googe Images