Crash Course Blog Notes

A number of regular features will be taking an intermittent month off in July because of my cycling schedule. They will return without interruption in August. At the same time, I am for the most part off of social networking for the same reason in July, but hope to post when I can – both in social media and the blog when time permits and when I can’t be quiet about something.

Thanks very much for visiting and for continually reading Crash Course!

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#ThrowbackThursday

I’m reintroducing Throwback Thursday on Crash Course. There are so many fascinating historical photos to be shared – because history is pretty cool!

1945 : 13-yr-old actress Elizabeth Taylor, holding one of her many pets, a black cat named Jill.

1945 : 13-yr-old actress Elizabeth Taylor, holding one of her many pets, a black cat named Jill.

May 1936 : The Hindenburg dumps water to ensure a smoother landing in Lakehurst, New Jersey The airship made 17 round trips across the Atlantic Ocean in 1936, transporting 2,600 passengers in comfort at speeds up to 135 km/h (85 mph).

May 1936 : The Hindenburg dumps water to ensure a smoother landing in Lakehurst, New Jersey
The airship made 17 round trips across the Atlantic Ocean in 1936, transporting 2,600 passengers in comfort at speeds up to 135 km/h (85 mph).

1931 : Film star Charlie Chaplin attends the premiere of his newest film City Lights in Los Angeles, accompanied by his guests of honor: physicist Albert Einstein, and his wife, Elsa Einstein

1931 : Film star Charlie Chaplin attends the premiere of his newest film City Lights in Los Angeles, accompanied by his guests of honor: physicist Albert Einstein, and his wife, Elsa Einstein

An old homestead on a farm in Washington state. The picture was made in 1908. Notice the cat up on the beam of the log cabin. The guns, butter churn and spinning wheel – all reminding us of the self-sufficient lifestyle of the first part of the last century.

1939 : 10 year old Jacqueline Bouvier sitting on a fence during Memorial Day celebrations at the Turf and Field Club, Belmont Park, Long Island, New York.

1939 : 10 year old Jacqueline Bouvier sitting on a fence during Memorial Day celebrations at the Turf and Field Club, Belmont Park, Long Island, New York.

1915 : Vintage photo of an Irish family from Waterford

1915 : Vintage photo of an Irish family from Waterford

1935 : An amazing photograph freezing a moment of youth and innocence when a young boy tries to share a soda with a kitten at the Boston Yacht Club.

1935 : An amazing photograph freezing a moment of youth and innocence when a young boy tries to share a soda with a kitten at the Boston Yacht Club.

1918 : Customers infront of a Ford Model T which has been converted into a sandwich shop on the streets of Washington D.C.

1918 : Customers infront of a Ford Model T which has been converted into a sandwich shop on the streets of Washington D.C.

1930 : A plane flies over Christ the Redeemer Statue under construction in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1930 : A plane flies over Christ the Redeemer Statue under construction in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Around the 1910s most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo. These young women of the Bill Mill in Macon, GA were photographed Jan 19, 1909.

Around the 1910s most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo. These young women of the Bill Mill in Macon, GA were photographed Jan 19, 1909.

Introduced in 1894, Bibendum (commonly known as The Michelin Man) is one of the world's oldest trademarks. This is a 1910 photo of Bibendum.

Introduced in 1894, Bibendum (commonly known as The Michelin Man) is one of the world’s oldest trademarks. This is a 1910 photo of Bibendum.

March 1950 : A group of visitors nervously wait their turn to kiss the Blarney Stone at Cork, Ireland.  The Blarney Stone is a block of Carboniferous limestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, Blarney. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of the gab (great eloquence or skill at flattery). The stone was set into a tower of the castle in 1446. The castle is a popular tourist site in Ireland, attracting visitors from all over the world to kiss the stone.

March 1950 : A group of visitors nervously wait their turn to kiss the Blarney Stone at Cork, Ireland.
The Blarney Stone is a block of Carboniferous limestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, Blarney. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of the gab (great eloquence or skill at flattery). The stone was set into a tower of the castle in 1446. The castle is a popular tourist site in Ireland, attracting visitors from all over the world to kiss the stone.

1949 : Three young women wash their clothes in Central Park during a water shortage, New York City.

1949 : Three young women wash their clothes in Central Park during a water shortage, New York City.

1951 : Two construction workers stop for lunch-break, 60 storeys above New York City

1951 : Two construction workers stop for lunch-break, 60 storeys above New York City

1922 : Collection of U.S. mail in Washington D.C. was made a little more difficult by the recent blizzard that swept through.  It is hard to imagine tromping over the mounds of ice and snow with a sack filled with mail slung over your shoulder.

1922 : Collection of U.S. mail in Washington D.C. was made a little more difficult by the recent blizzard that swept through.
It is hard to imagine tromping over the mounds of ice and snow with a sack filled with mail slung over your shoulder.

When women first began to work out with weights during the late Victorian era, it was considered dangerous to have them lift anything heavy and so they were given only two- or four-pound wooden dumbbells.  Here are two cheerful ladies work out in their street clothes in a photograph c. 1910 by Willis T. White.

When women first began to work out with weights during the late Victorian era, it was considered dangerous to have them lift anything heavy and so they were given only two- or four-pound wooden dumbbells.
Here are two cheerful ladies work out in their street clothes in a photograph c. 1910 by Willis T. White.

One of earliest photographs of US Capitol, c. 1846, before expansion & installation of great dome.

One of earliest photographs of US Capitol, c. 1846, before expansion & installation of great dome.

The first dog in Antarctica.
1912 : Blizzard the pup in Antarctica as a member of the First Australasian Antarctic Expedition.
The Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) was a scientific team that explored part of Antarctica between 1911 and 1914. It was led by the Australian geologist Douglas Mawson, who was knighted for his achievements in leading the expedition.

1955 : Two young Inuit boys and dog pose by the beach in Alaska  Inuit are a group of indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, and Alaska. In the United States and Canada the term "Eskimo" was commonly used to describe the Inuit.

1955 : Two young Inuit boys and dog pose by the beach in Alaska
Inuit are a group of indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, and Alaska. In the United States and Canada the term “Eskimo” was commonly used to describe the Inuit.

1965 : Cheerleader training under Bill Horan of the American Cheerleaders Association, Alabama

1965 : Cheerleader training under Bill Horan of the American Cheerleaders Association, Alabama

1951 : Two ecstatic little girls, Paris, France.

1951 : Two ecstatic little girls, Paris, France.

1954 : Marilyn Monroe reads Joyce’s Ulysses at the playground, Long Island, New York shot by Eve Arnold.  As it turns out she really was reading the book when the photographer took this picture.

1954 : Marilyn Monroe reads Joyce’s Ulysses at the playground, Long Island, New York shot by Eve Arnold.
As it turns out she really was reading the book when the photographer took this picture.

1949 : Vintage portrait of a cute little Girl with Curlers in Los Angeles  Photo by Ida Wyman

1949 : Vintage portrait of a cute little Girl with Curlers in Los Angeles
Photo by Ida Wyman

1952 : Teenagers on top of the Pulpit Rock, Ryfylke, Norway  Pulpit Rock is a famous tourist attraction and consists of a steep cliff which rises 604 metres above Lysefjorden.

1952 : Teenagers on top of the Pulpit Rock, Ryfylke, Norway
Pulpit Rock is a famous tourist attraction and consists of a steep cliff which rises 604 metres above Lysefjorden.

This superb 1917 photo is a reminder of what winter can do  1917 : This fountain was let to continuously run on Washington Boulevard in Detroit, Michigan during winter as a result slowly layer upon layer the fountain turned into a 30 foot ice spectacle Most newspapers across US had this photo on their coverpage with title : 'Ice fountain on Washington Boulevard.'

This superb 1917 photo is a reminder of what winter can do
1917 : This fountain was let to continuously run on Washington Boulevard in Detroit, Michigan during winter as a result slowly layer upon layer the fountain turned into a 30 foot ice spectacle
Most newspapers across US had this photo on their coverpage with title : ‘Ice fountain on Washington Boulevard.’

1912 : A rare picture of 10 year old Charles Lindbergh with his pet dog, Little Falls, Minnesota.

1912 : A rare picture of 10 year old Charles Lindbergh with his pet dog, Little Falls, Minnesota.

Crash

Sacred Sunday: Building The Greatest Cathedrals

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Gothic Cathedrals are intricately designed architectural features with Biblical influence, which date back to 1144 and possibly even earlier.

The architecture used to make these magnificent buildings took a very long time and it involved many different forms of talent, and skill as well as hard to find materials. They are a beautiful representation of our history.

The origin of Gothic cathedrals and architecture was started by the abby church of Saint Denis, which was a vision of Abbot Suger, who also invented the form of architecture called the façade, and the rose window. Suger wanted to create a physical representation of the Heavenly Jerusalem, a building with a high degree of linearity that was filled with beautiful light and color.

The first construction that was truly Gothic was the choir of the church, made in 1144. This intense building was made of thin columns, colorful stained-glass windows and a sense of verticality with an eerie look added to it from all of the angular and intricate designs. The choir of the church established the elements that would later be elaborated on during the Gothic period. Gothic architecture at this time was adopted by Northern France, and it later spread out through France, the English, the Low Countries, parts of Germany, and Spain all of which were interested in its curious features.

The characteristics of Gothic architecture are stone structures, large expanses of glass, clustered columns, sharply pointed spires, intricate sculptures, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses. One of their main characteristics is the ogival, or pointed arch. At this time the pointed arch was one of the newest technologies, and because of it many other features were developed basing off it. The pointed arch was used in every location in Gothic cathedrals where a domed shape was called for, both structural and decorative. Gothic openings such as doorways, windows, covered passages and galleries have pointed arches. A major external feature of the Gothic cathedrals that involved the pointed arch is slots that also contain statuary. Pointed arches lent themselves to elaborate intersecting shapes which developed within window spaces into complex Gothic tracery forming the structural support of the large windows that are characteristic of the style. Most of the architecture in Gothic cathedrals has a sense of verticality suggesting a goal to the Heavens.

The detailed sculptures were highly decorated with ethereal statues on the outside and beautiful rich painting on the inside. Both usually told Biblical stories, emphasizing visual typological allegories between Old Testament prophecy and the New Testament consisting of designs such as snarling stone gargoyles frozen in a sneer of ferocity.

Ribbed vaults, unlike the semi-circular vault of Roman and Romanesque buildings, can be used to roof rectangular and irregularly shaped devices such as trapezoids; vaulting above spaces both large and small is usually supported by richly molded ribs.

Flying buttresses or arc-boutant, is usually on a religious building, used to spread the thrust of a vault across an intervening space, like an aisle, chapel or cloister, to a buttress outside the building.

Because of the flying buttress’s presence the walls containing all the heavy decoration can contain cut-outs, such as for large windows, which would otherwise seriously weaken the vault walls and cause them to collapse.

Gothic cathedrals use mainly limestone as a material, and they demand such a large amount of it that usually people had to build quarries to be able to make them. Some Gothic cathedrals, mainly in northern and eastern Germany, and southern France, used brick instead of limestone. The hard sticky material used to help keep the bricks and other materials together is called mortar, which is kind of like an older form of cement. Another material used in Gothic cathedrals often is wood, which holds up the roofs, flying buttresses, and the doors. They use many different kinds of wood because they only used the types of wood that were easily available.

Gothic architecture came and then went over the years, and later began to reappear in our world, showing up more and more in little ways. In England, some discrete Gothic details appeared on new construction at Oxford and Cambridge in the late seventeenth century. At the Archbishop of Canterbury’s residence Lambeth Palace, a Gothic hammerbeam roof was built in 1663 to replace a building that had been sacked during the English Civil War. In England in the mid-eighteenth century, the Gothic style was more widely revived, first as a decorative, whimsical alternative to Rococo that is still conventionally termed ‘Gothick’, of which Horace Walpole’s Twickenham villa “Strawberry Hill” is the familiar example. Then, especially after the 1830s, Gothic was treated more seriously in a series of Gothic revivals, sometimes called Victorian Gothic or Neo-Gothic. The Houses of Parliament in London are an example of this Gothic revival style, designed by Sir Charles Barry and a major exponent of the early Gothic Revival, Augustus Pugin.

Another example is the main building of the University of Glasgow designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott. In France, the towering figure of the Gothic Revival was Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, who outdid historical Gothic constructions to create a Gothic as it ought to have been, notably at the fortified city of Carcassonne in the south of France and in some richly fortified keeps for industrial magnates.

Viollet-le-Duc compiled and coordinated an Encyclopédie médiévale that was a rich repertory his contemporaries mined for architectural details but also include armor, costume, tools, furniture, weapons and the like. He effected vigorous restoration of crumbling detail of French cathedrals, famously at Notre Dame so that the building could be presrved for a longer period of time, many of whose most “Gothic” gargoyles are Viollet-le-Duc’s. But he also taught a generation of reform-Gothic designers and showed how to apply Gothic style to thoroughly modern structural materials, especially cast iron. It is not easy to decide whether these instances were Gothic survival or early appearances of Gothic revival, because many of the previously made cathedrals have either rotted or were torn down for another reason, although there are still some left.

Cathedral is a Christian church which contains the seat of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, conference, or episcopate. Although the word “cathedral” is sometimes loosely applied, churches with the function of “cathedral” occur specifically and only in those denominations with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, and some Lutheran and Methodist churches. In the Greek Orthodox Church, the terms kathedrikos naos (literally: “cathedral shrine”) is sometimes used for the church at which an archbishop or “metropolitan” presides.

The term “metropolis” (literally “mother city”) is used more commonly than “diocese” to signify an area of governance within the church. The word cathedral is derived from the Latin word cathedra (“seat” or “chair”), and refers to the presence of the bishop’s or archbishop’s chair or throne. In the ancient world, the chair was the symbol of a teacher and thus of the bishop’s role as teacher, and also of an official presiding as a magistrate and thus of the bishop’s role in governing a diocese.

In the video below, take a dazzling architectural journey inside those majestic marvels of Gothic architecture, the great cathedrals of Chartres, Beauvais and other European cities. Carved from 100 million pounds of stone, some cathedrals now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, a team of engineers, architects, art historians, and computer scientists searches the naves, bays, and bell-towers for clues.

This NOVA episode (originally aired October 5, 2011 on PBS) investigates the architectural secrets that the cathedral builders used to erect their towering, glass-filled walls and reveals the hidden formulas drawn from the Bible that drove medieval builders ever upward.

Gothic cathedrals were well made buildings from long ago. They were made so perfectly that some still stand today because of their unique features, some of which are now used for reparing other buildings similar to them. With all of their history and beauty they truly are a magnificent addition to our past.

Crash

Sunday Reader: Realistically Colorized Historical Photos

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A new artistic trend has broken out around the world which changes our perception of history dramatically. Colorizing historic photographs from the late 1800′s and early 1900′s changes their appearance from something historic and different, into a scene from today.

The colorful image of Albert Einstein sitting beside the water gives us an entire new perspective on the genius. He goes from a brilliant historic relic, into a living brilliance of our era. The colorized photograph of Audrey Hepburn transforms our thoughts of beauty. Her photo goes from an intriguing historic photo to one of a sexy starlet of today. Historic events move forward decades, or even a full century, by the addition of color carefully planned and applied by artists like Jordan Lloyd, Dana Keller, and Sanna Dullaway.

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London, 1945 (Photo credit: valdigtmycketfarg)

Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels scowls at a Jewish photographer, 1933

Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels scowls at a Jewish photographer, 1933

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Hindenburg Disaster, 1937

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Anne Frank, 1942 (Photo credit: Sanna Dullaway)

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Oscar II, King of Sweden and Norway, 1880 (Photo credit: Sanna Dullaway)

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Abraham Lincoln, 1865 (Photo credit: Sanna Dullaway)

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Louisville, Kentucky, 1937 (Photo credit: Sanna Dullaway)

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Washington D. C., 1921 (Photo credit: Sanna Dullaway)

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Baltimore Slums, 1938 (Colorized by Jordan J Lloyd)

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Baltimore Slums, 1938 (Colorized by Jordan J Lloyd)

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View from the Capitol in Nashville, 1864 (Photo credit: Sanna Dullaway)

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Japanese Archers, circa 1860 (Colorized by Jordan J Lloyd)

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British Troops Board Their Train for the Front, 1939

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Unemployed Lumber Worker and His Wife, circa 1939

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn

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Theodore Roosevelt (Photo credit: Sanna Dullaway)

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Elizabeth Taylor, 1956

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Charlie Chaplin, 1916

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Nicola Tesla

Operation: Crossroads Atomic Detonation (Thank you Steven Vaught, Western Michigan University) (Photo credit: Sanna Dullaway)

Operation: Crossroads Atomic Detonation (Thank you Steven Vaught, Western Michigan University) (Photo credit: Sanna Dullaway)

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Big Jay McNeely, Olympic Auditorium, 1953

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Mark Twain, circa 1900

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Walt Whitman, 1887 (Photo credit: Dana Keller)

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Kissing the War Goodbye, 1945 (Photo credit: Sanna Dullaway)

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Thich Quang Duc’s self-immolation, 1963 (Photo credit: Sanna Dullaway)

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Old Gold Country store, 1939 (Colorized by Jordan J Lloyd)

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Charles Darwin, 1874 (Photo credit: Sanna Dullaway)

Crash

Atlanta’s Curb Market

Market1What sprang up from the city’s ashes became an unintentional place for a community gather

In 1917, an enormous fire ravaged 75 blocks of Atlanta, leaving 1 mile of destruction in its wake.  To replant the seeds of commerce, the city of Atlanta created an open-air market (1918 – 1923) in what is now the Sweet Auburn Historic District.  The gathering became so popular, a permanent structure was demanded and the Women’s Club of Atlanta raised money to help make it happen.

The fire of 1917 brought destruction, and opportunity.

The fire of 1917 brought destruction, and opportunity. (Photo courtesy of Atlanta History Center)

The Municipal Market of Atlanta, as it’s officially titled, opened its doors in 1924, selling produce, meats, and products to consumers of the day.  The market was in many ways egalitarian, meant for people of all classes and color, but not everyone was allowed inside.  The African American shoppers had to buy their goods from carts on the curb, prompting a nickname that still stands nearly 90 years later; today it’s affectionately called “The Curb Market”.

Public markets have the power to positively influence the image of a city.  Ask people what they like most about The Curb Market and you get one answer repeated: diversity. Much like the city it represents, The Curb Market not just offers diversity of people, but diversity of cultures, experiences, products, and ideas. From little old ladies who have shopped there since MLK, Jr. preached around the corner, to GSU students exploring downtown for the first time, from doctors and nurses at Grady, to tourists visiting the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, The Curb Market attracts us all.  And, on the food scene, diversity tempts our taste buds with each new merchant. Be it a chef-inspired ice cream shop, Venezuelan street food, or fresh juice to go, there’s always something tasty to catch eye and appetite.

The market celebrates 15 years - in 1939

The market celebrates 15 years – in 1939 (Photo courtesy of Atlanta History Center)

Managing the market and its diversity is Pamela Joiner.  Part “house mother”, part curator, Pam joins Gene to provide an inside look into the bustling day-to-day activity that makes The Curb Market such a cherished cultural asset, an enjoyed community treasure.

Markets are so popular right now we sometimes forget they’ve been around since antiquity. In a time of “market mania” (Ponce City Market, Krog Street Market, Buford Highway Farmers Market to name a few), The Curb Market stands as the city’s oldest public market, and one of extreme importance in regards to historic preservation and cultural significance. Richard Laub is Director, Master of Heritage Preservation Program, at Georgia State University; GSU and their 32,500 students surround the market. Richard has worked in the field of historic preservation for over 30 years, receiving his initial training as a restoration craftsman with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Richard adds his expertise to discuss the market’s preservation success story in an historical context, adding a professor’s touch to the importance of markets in communities worldwide.

People kick it to "The Curb Market" for all kinds of goods.

People kick it to “The Curb Market” for all kinds of goods.

As the Atlanta Streetcar’s Executive Director, Tim Borchers is a true community builder. Tim hops on board to talk about the impact and operations of our rising transit star; where it will go and where it’s taking us.  From what we can tell, the transformation will be transformational for the 2.6 mile loop leading from The King Center to Centennial Olympic Park. An estimated 2 million visitors enjoy both tourist destinations each year.  But, where do they eat?!  Of course, there’s an official Streetcar stop right outside the Edgewood Avenue front door of the Sweet Auburn Curb Market.  Why?  Tim says, “It’s where people want to go.”

Sunday Gravy quickly becoming a tradition at The Curb Market.

Sunday Gravy quickly becoming a tradition at The Curb Market.

Steven Smith is Co-founder and COO of Sunday Gravy, a NYC favorite that arrived in Atlanta just 4 months ago,  quickly making many friends at The Curb Market. Smith’s passion for gutsy fare and his New York-Italian heritage inspired the revival of a century-old tradition of sharing a slow braise of beef, pork, meatballs, and sausage in a rustic tomato ragu — Sunday Gravy. Smith has been featured in The New York Post, The Opie and Anthony Show, and Fox and Friends.

Yummy!

Steven’s business partner, and “roommate” at The Curb Market, is Keith Schroeder, a celebrated entrepreneur, chef, author, and food educator. He is the co-founder and CEO of the award-winning, chef-inspired High Road Craft Ice Cream, and is actively building a family of food brands, including his partnership with Sunday Gravy and Winnow Food Markets. Schroeder is currently completing his first book, and brings a lively conversation (along with ridiculously good Buttermilk ice cream) to the Sidewalk Radio studio.

Sweet Auburn Curb Market

209 Edgewood Avenue, S.W., Atlanta, Georgia

On the Web: The Sweet Auburn Curb Market

The Sweet Auburn Curb Market on Wikipedia

Crash

The Waving Girl

GirlPostCard

Savannah’s Waving Girl Statue is steeped in legend and commemorates the memory of Florence Martus who greeted every ship that came into harbor.

Stories about the Georgia woman passed ship to ship the world over. She was the slender lady with the long, flowing skirt and collie at her side. Her kerchief fluttered in the sunlight as sailors glided past her island home on the Savannah River. At night, they said her face lit up with her swaying lantern light.

One of Savannah’s favorite stories involves the life of Florence Martus (1868 – 1943), who was known well by Savannahians and sailors of the sea as the Waving Girl. The daughter of a sergeant stationed at Fort Pulaski, Florence later moved to a cottage along the river near the entrance of the harbor with her brother George, the Cockspur Island Lighthouse keeper.

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As the story goes, life at the remote cottage was lonely for Florence whose closest companion was her devoted collie. At an early age, she developed a close affinity with the passing ships and welcomed each one with a wave of her handkerchief. Sailors began returning her greeting by waving back or with a blast of the ship’s horn. Eventually Florence started greeting the ships arriving in the dark by waving a lantern.

Florence Martus continued her waving tradition for 44 years and it is estimated that she welcomed more than 50,000 ships during her lifetime. There is a lot of unsubstantiated speculation about Florence having fallen in love with a sailor who never returned to Savannah. The facts, however, about why she started and continued the waving tradition for so many years remain a mystery.

In any event, Florence Martus grew into a Savannah legend, known far and wide. On September 27, 1943, the SS Florence Martus, a Liberty ship, was christened in her honor.

The Waving Girl Statue by renowned sculptor Felix De Weldon, the sculptor of the United States Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, Virginia (also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial,) depicts Florence with her loyal collie.

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Born Aug. 7, 1869 near Fort Pulaski, Martus was raised on its Cockspur Island before moving with her mother to the lighthouse that helped mark the entry into Savannah’s busy harbor.

Both of her parents were dead by the time Martus turned 17. So, she remained with her brother, George, on Elba Island.

Loneliness led her to wave first at friends working the river, she said, followed by every ship. They included the tug boat captains, harbor masters and bar pilots.

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Perhaps counting herself among the critical river staff, she also risked on their behalf.

In 1893, Martus braved hurricane conditions with her brother to save several men from a sinking boat. She is said to have waved an American flag at the troop ship St. Mihiel, which returned to Savannah with the last of the U.S. Army of the Rhine after World War I.

Shortly after that, the Martuses, in what was described as their “large sturdy flat bottom row boat,” launched a pre-dawn rescue after overhearing a “low sorrowful moaning of a ship’s whistle.”

Florence Martus in 1940

Florence Martus in 1940

A brief biography, written by Ruth Healy in 1967, went on to describe the dramatic scene she researched:

“As always, (Martus) arose, lit her lantern, and went out to the porch. Reaching it she saw far off in another direction hungry flames leaping high over the water. She awakened her brother and the pair jumped into a small boat and put out to where a blazing government dredge was rapidly sinking. With the aid of the boat all but one of the crew were saved.”

The Martuses were known to attend church regularly, visit town once a month for supplies, library books and mail. Sailors around the globe sent their Waving Girl gifts and praised her with poetry. Many verses found publication in the days, months and years following her brother’s retirement in 1931.

Forced to give up his job as lighthouse keeper when he turned 70, the Martuses left their island cottage for good. Her admirers delivered $523, a staggering figure during the Great Depression, as a token of their thanks and support for her new life ashore.

But finding happiness was a struggle, she admitted. They hopped from home to home inland.

“I get along all right during the day, but when night comes on …” Martus’ voice reportedly trailed off. The writer Martus spoke to described the woman as waving her handkerchief as tears welled up in her eyes.

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“You know how it is,” she continued. “We had lived there so long.”

In another account, Martus explained further: “It’s just like trying to dig up that big oak tree and get it to take root some place else.”

Although she was surrounded by her collies and received visitors, it’s not clear whether Martus ever fully acclimated to her new life.

National journalist Ernie Pyle, who served as a traveling reporter before covering World War II, described the woman he met five years after her move. He learned that Martus had kept a diary and logs of each ship that passed her.

“She wrote down what she thought and did every day, and listed every ship that passed – its name, where it was from, what kind it was, and so on.”

She destroyed them with fire when she left the island.

“The daily record for forty-four years, one of the most legendary figures of the Seven Seas, kept in her own hand, gone up in smoke in two minutes.”

Pyle was flabbergasted at the loss of history.

But Savannah did its part to recognize her contribution. More than 3,000 people turned out for Martus’ 70th birthday party, a citywide affair.

A band serenaded her, officials praised her with speech, as women’s groups doled out cake and gifts. The shy Martus offered one comment on the outpouring: “This is the grandest day of my life.”

She died more than five years later, Feb. 8, 1943, after a short bout with bronchial pneumonia.

The four-tiered headline atop the Savannah Morning News story announcing her death cried:

“Waving Girl Bids Last Farewell; Miss Florence Martus Dies After Brief Illness; Known all over the World; She Became a Legend Among Seafaring Men.”

Crash

Saturday Spookiness: Neglected Cemetery Believed Haunted by Restless, Abandoned Spirits

MM Cem entranceEstablished in the early 1800’s, this cemetery was the original resting place for Betsy Ross and her husband until they were relocated at the Ross House in 1975.  In the mid and late 1800’s many cemeteries in the city were relocated to Mt. Moriah Cemetery.  The cemetery also is home to a National Cemetery, the Mount Moriah Naval Cemetery Soldier’s Lot.

Mount Moriah Cemetery is a historic cemetery in southwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, along Cobbs Creek. It was incorporated on March 27, 1855 and established by an act of the Pennsylvania Legislature. The cemetery, which originally occupied 54 acres (22 ha), was among a number of cemeteries established along the “rural ideal” popular at that time. An ornate Romanesque entrance and gatehouse were built of brownstone on Islington Lane, today known as Kingsessing Avenue.

MM gate frontMount Moriah Cemetery held a notable place among Philadelphia’s grand rural cemeteries like Laurel Hill Cemetery and the Woodlands Cemetery. It was easily accessible by streetcar. Over time, Mount Moriah grew to 380 acres (150 ha), spanning Cobbs Creek into the Borough of Yeadon in adjacent Delaware County, making it the largest cemetery in Pennsylvania.

MM panFor several years the cemetery has suffered from neglect and the ownership and management responsibilities of the cemetery have been in a state of confusion. Two military plots dating back to the Civil War are well cared for by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Horatio Jones, who was the last known member of the Mount Moriah Cemetery Association, died in 2004 and the cemetery closed its gates in 2011. An employee of the Association may have conducted business operations without proper authority from 2004-2011. Having no known owner, the cemetery may be in a unique legal situation in the United States. Several volunteer cleanup days have been organized by a private group,

MM photoshoot

Friends of Mt. Moriah Cemetery, and progress has been made to returning the cemetery to normal condition, but, as of January 2013, the legal situation is unresolved. Expected annual maintenance costs are about $500,000.

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