UVA Library Ghosts

A recent list of statistics published about the University library includes many of the expected facts, things like the number of books (more than 5.1 million) and manuscripts and archives (19.1 million). One entry, however, is more surprising: “Ghosts reported: 2.”–Robert Vicellio


Alderman Library, University of Virginia

From “Ghoulish Grounds” Vicellio identifies two ghosts:

Dr. Bennett Wood Green, a Confederate surgeon whose collection of books was donated to the University library after he died in 1913. According to legend, Green’s ghost once haunted the Rotunda, which served as the library until 1938. When the books were moved to the newly constructed Alderman Library, Green’s ghost followed them across McCormick Road.

Dr. Bennett Wood Green

Alderman is being modernized and remodeled. Many of the books have been transferred to the Ivy Stacks on Old Ivy Road. Some of the book have been transferred to the Clemons, the undergraduate library. I don’t know where the Green collection ended up, but I wonder if Dr. Green followed his books to their current location.

The library’s other ghost haunts the Garnett Room, which houses a large collection of books donated by the family of Muscoe Russell Hunter Garnett. The ghost is not a member of the Garnett family, and is instead believed to be the ghost of a physician who often visited the family’s home in Fredericksburg, Va. The estate was abandoned after the Civil War and was vacant for many years. The collection of books, however, remained immaculate, and some say the doctor’s ghost took care of the collection he had admired while alive. The books were eventually given to Alderman Library, where the ghost still watches over the collection.

This collection seems to have ended up in Ivy Stacks. I wonder if the ghost likes his new accommodations.

Fall Flowers, Flames, and Leaves

The colors have been brilliant this fall. The warm days and cool nights have given many October flowers a spring-like lease on life. Leaves are multi-hued. Fire pits help outside diners stay more comfortable as they try to lengthen the outdoor dining season.

At Glen Manor Winery near Front Royal, VA

A flaming bush Fog framing Skyline Drive Gnat in Hodder Hill wine

From the Devil’s Grill atop Wintergreen, near Afton, VA (about 3500 ft elevation)

Around the ‘Hood

Local wild and cultivated flowers

Wildflowers along Garth Rd Flowers at Cardinal Pt. Pumpkins & Pansies

Reblog: Why Do We Remember the Casualties of War?

Denzil Walton, of Discovering Belgium, has penned a thoughtful essay prior to Armistice/Remembrance Day (Veteran’s Day in the US) next month, on why do we remember the casualties of war.

Some of his points include:

  • Does it remind us of the horrors of war?
  • Does remembrance help avoid future conflicts?
  • Does it express our gratitude?
Old Guard Tomb Soldier at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery

Another Use for a Dead Card Catalog

When libraries began discarding their card catalogs in the 1980s and 1990s, there was much gnashing of teeth for people that grew up using one of the early information retrieval systems, typed or hand written on 3X5 cards. As long as there was an author, title, or subject card, you could find what you were looking for.

The wooden card catalogs were things of beauty. Whether a 6 drawer set sitting atop some file cabinet or rows of catalogs that filled a room with their lovely wooden symmetry.

The Graduate Hotel (formerly a Howard Johnson’s) in Charlottesville, has turned two card catalogs into their front desk. I don’t know their provenance but I hope they may have been repurposed from one of the University of Virginia Libraries.

In pre-Covid times, the tassels indicated which drawers held treats. The tassels near the floor held dog treats in this dog friendly hotel.

The Ghost and Miss Maddy

Maddy has been selected as the subject for this year’s Library Halloween t-shirt so I decided it was an opportune time to catch up with the Midway Library’s favorite mascot. 

  • What do you think about being the inspiration for this  year’s Halloween t -shirt?  Is your ghost, your buddy from Annex 2, Monty?

Mom and I were both happy and surprised when we found out about this year’s Halloween t-shirt.  Yes, Monty is the ghost in Annex 2, but I wouldn’t call him my buddy.  I don’t feel comfortable with him and I worry about him around my Mom.  After all, it is my job to protect her.

  • Your mom recently had another fall.  Was this as scary as the fall out of the  helicopter?  How did you help with her rehab?

It was very scary.  This time we were home all by ourselves.  I knew immediately something was wrong—my Mom fell so hard.  She hit her head on the door frame, broke her left arm and fractured her left foot.  Mom got herself up, made several phone calls, put her arm in a sling, and got my food, bowls and bed together and walked me up to the neighbors.  She left me there and told me she was going to the doctors.  That was a very long doctor’s appointment–she was gone 5 days!

When she finally got home, she couldn’t lift me up by herself so we came up with a way where I would jump up and she would get her right hand under my bottom and lift me into the chair.  It was a little clumsy, but it worked. 

After a couple of weeks, the doctor had her start bending her elbow, so I would sit on her lap and give her moral support.  If I thought she was slowing down, I would pat my paw on her tummy.  When she was done with those exercises, I would get a treat for being such a big help to her.

  • Do you like Halloween?  Do you greet the Trick or Treaters that come to do the door?  Do you dress  up for Halloween?

Yes, I do like Halloween.  Mom dresses me up for Halloween.  I have been an angel, a ballerina, a pumpkin and a ladybug.  I love putting on costumes—they make me feel very pretty and everyone always smiles. 

We are in Idaho a lot for Halloween, so I just normally sit on the couch with my Mom when the kids come to the door.

  • What is your favorite season?

My favorite seasons are fall and winter.  I like the cooler weather and Mom always decorates the house, especially for Christmas.  There are lots of good scents, pretty lights and different things in the house.  For Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas I get treats, so it’s hard to choose which one I like best.

  • Do you look forward to your Mom going back to work?  What changes do you expect because of COVID?

I know before Mom got hurt we weren’t going to the ship and I couldn’t understand—in fact we weren’t going anywhere and I really like going for rides.  We went to the ship last week for the first time for a meeting and there weren’t hardly any of my special friends there. The ship didn’t have as many people there either.  I don’t understand what COVID is, but I don’t like it.  I am looking forward to things going back to normal—hopefully that will be soon. 

  • I hear the Midway Library staff wants to write a book based upon the t-shirt.  Do you think it should be a picture book, comic book, or graphic novel?  What will be your part of the book writing and preparing?  You are going to be a media star and  you heard it hear first!

The meeting Mom and I went to last week was about the book.  I’m not sure what all of it was about but I know my Mom was very impressed with the work that had been done—I heard her tell them that.  My only part of the meeting was lying on the floor and listening and then getting pets from everyone there. 

  • Are there other publicity outlets you would like to explore—plush Maddy toys, YouTube channel,  Instagram, Pinterest?

Since I really like squeaky plush toys, maybe a Maddy plush toy would be something interesting.

  • What do you and your Mom have planned for Thanksgiving?

We’re going to go to my Aunt Shelba’s house in Riverside County for Thanksgiving.  In August, my cousin and her husband moved very close to Mom and me and they will be going to Aunt Shelba’s as well.  It will be a fun day—Aunt Shelba and I are very close.

  • What do you think of all of the wild fires on the West Coast?   Have you been affected by them yet?

The fires are terrible and I know they have hurt a lot of people.  We had one not too far from our home and with the Santa Ana winds moving in there was fear that it could come close to our home.  It was a very tiring day.  Mom spent a lot of time going from room to room and putting things together and since I knew she was upset, I had to follow her everywhere.  Finally when the afternoon came and I was exhausted, I would lay in the hallway so I could see what room she was in. 

  • What is one thing you would like your legions of adoring fans to know about you? 

I just hope everyone is well and that soon we get to do the things we always did.  I miss seeing all of my friends–you know I’m a very social girl!

Since Maddy and Nan answered these question, they are both happily back on the Midway.

Reblog: Book Review of the Photographer of the Lost

Britain made the decision not to repatriate the bodies of servicemen killed on the Western Front. Instead, the families would be sent a photograph of the grave marker. Denzil’s book review, The Photographer of the Lost by Caroline Scott, covers this, in addition to the story of a widow who receives a photo of her husband looking older than the last time she saw him. The photo arrives in an envelope with a smudged date stamp and no other information. To find out more, click here.

October 21 is National Reptile Day Awareness

While the history of reptiles may go hundreds of millions of years back, National Reptile Awareness Day has an unfortunately short history in comparison. Additionally, it wasn’t really until 1966 when the first Endangered Species Act was passed that awareness of the needs and threats facing reptiles (or any animal, for that matter) started to make its way into our cultural mainstream. 

Herpetophobia is a common specific phobia, which consists of fear or aversion to reptiles, commonly lizards and snakes, and similar vertebrates as amphibians–so fear of more than just reptiles.

Famous fictional reptiles

  • Geico Gecko
  • Godzilla
  • Reptar
  • Yoshi

Top 5 Characteristics of Reptiles

  • Reptiles Are Four-Legged Vertebrate Animals. …
  • Most Reptiles Lay Eggs. …
  • The Skin of Reptiles Is Covered With Scales (or Scutes) …
  • Reptiles Have Cold-Blooded Metabolisms. …
  • Reptiles Breathe With the Aid of Lungs.

Examples of Reptiles

  • Snakes
  • Lizards
  • Turtles
  • Tortoises
  • Alligators
  • Crocodiles
  • Komodo Dragon

WWII Sketchbooks have been Digitized by Library of Congress

Eyewitness drawings of military life created while Victor Lundy served in the U.S. Army; from his training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina; through transport aboard ship across the Atlantic; to frontline duty at various locations in France.

To Lundy, who survived the war to become an architecture, sketching was as natural as breathing.

From Modern Met, “Lundy, who went on to have an acclaimed architecture career, donated his eight sketchbooks to the Library of Congress in 2009. The sketchbooks have all been digitally archived and are now available for viewing online. Lundy’s gift is a precious one, as in this age of continued war and terror it is more important than ever to learn from our past history.”

Lighter side of 2020

From a forwarded email

The devil whispered to me, “I’m coming for you.”  I whispered back, “Bring pizza.”  

It’s weird being the same age as old people.  

When I was a kid I wanted to be older…this is not what I expected.  

Life is like a helicopter.  I don’t know how to operate a helicopter.  

Chocolate is God’s way of telling us he likes us a little bit chubby.    

Never sing in the shower!  Singing leads to dancing, dancing leads to slipping, and slipping leads to paramedics seeing you naked.  So remember…Don’t sing!  

 I don’t think the therapist is supposed to say “wow,” that many times in your first session but here we are…  

If 2020 was a math problem:  If you’re going down a river at 2 MPH and your canoe loses a wheel, how much pancake mix would you need to re-shingle your roof?  

I see people around my age mountain climbing, I feel good getting my leg through my underwear without losing my balance.  

We can all agree that in 2015 not a single person got the answer correct to ‘Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?’  

If you can’t think of a word say “I forgot the English word for it.”  That way people will think you’re bilingual instead of an idiot.  

I’m at a place in my life where errands are starting to count as going out.  

Cronacoaster  noun:  the ups and downs of a pandemic.  One day you’re loving your bubble, doing work outs, baking banana bread and going for long walks and the next you’re crying, drinking gin for breakfast and missing people you don’t even like.  

I’m getting tired of being part of a major historical event.  
I don’t always go the extra mile, but when I do it’s because I missed my exit.  

How many of us have looked around our family reunion and thought “Well aren’t we just two clowns short of a circus?”    

At what point can we just start using 2020 as a swear word? As in:  “That’s a load of 2020.”  or “What in the 2020.” or “abs-2020-lutely.”  

You don’t realize how old you are until you sit on the floor and then try to get back up.  

We all get heavier as we get older, because there’s a lot more information in our heads.  
 
This is the day dogs have been waiting for. They realize their owners can’t leave the house and they get them 24/7. Dogs are rejoicing everywhere. Cats are contemplating suicide.  

If you are trying to impress me with your vehicle it better be a food truck.

Days of Wine and Roses

They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Vitae Summa Brevis by Ernest Dowson

Why are roses planted at the end of each row of grape vines?

Rose bushes at the end of a each row of grapevines at Barboursville winery

I somehow thought that it was to help identify whether grapes were white or red because I saw white roses or red roses planted in front of differing rows of grapes. But actually it’s more of a canary in a coal mine reason.

Enjoying some prosecco (including rose) at Barboursville winery

Humidity helps the disease spread and one of the signs of an infected vine is white felting on the foliage and grapes. Another reason for the presence of roses harks back to the days when horses and oxen were commonly used to plough the vineyards. Rosebushes at the end helped the animals navigate the vine rows. Idealwine

Fall at Linden vineyards

October is Virginia Wine Month

The whole month seems wine inspired:

Early morning air has the effervescence of freshly open champagne while the damp earth can smell like the must of freshly pressed grapes.

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Green leaves, backlit by a barely risen sun, seem translucent like a white wine bottle.

As the sun rises, its light enriches from the pale straw of a chenin blanc to the richer hues of an oaked chardonnay before washing the late afternoon earth in the rich gold of a sauterne dessert wine.

Leaves turn the color of merlot purple, oak cork brown, aged riesling yellow, tawny port orange, pinot noir copper.

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I’ll sit outside to soak up the sun and warmth so that I can play it back in my mind to warm myself during the dark and cold of winter grey skies.

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Janine’s Mission 46

Reblogged from National Anthem Girl

Some of you may recall Operation Holiday salute from last year – well you all did such an AMAZING job that Veteran’s Last Patrol decided to make this annual effort! 

Teachers, managers, families, coaches, associations, companies…this is a GREAT group project.  There are veterans who are in hospice care confined due to social distancing that could use extra love this holiday season. Please take an hour or so out of your day to write to them.  


Create your own cards, buy a batch of cards, send postcards…they will love it all!  You can also use the very same cards that I used during my 50 state journeyHere is all the information you will need to participate: 

Patriotic citizens from around the country will join us in bringing some holiday cheer to America’s veterans in hospice care. Last year we received over 4000 cards from Americans that we then delivered to veterans in nursing homes and hospices. The response was amazing. It was a beautiful thing to see the “WOW” in their eyes.  This year we again wish to receive cards and small gifts from grateful patriots, folks with a family military connection, children, clubs, schools, and other organizations that would like to help us express gratitude one final time during the holiday season to those who have served in our Armed Forces. We’re motivated to deliver as many Christmas & Holiday Greeting Cards to veterans in hospice care around the country as we can.

To support us please mail your cards to:


Veteran Last Patrol
140B Venture Blvd
Spartanburg, SC, 29306
The salutation on the card itself should be: “Dear Veteran” or “Dear Hero” We would like to receive all cards not later than DEC 7th.
Learn more about Veteran’s Last Patrol’s year-round efforts here.

When All Else Fails….

Email the company.

Last weekend my sisters were in town which meant that our dishes for two, suddenly doubled to dishes for four.

They were good company and helped rinse the dishes and put them in the dishwasher. That is wear the trouble started.

Our two Calphalon sauce pans somehow got forcefully nested in the dishwasher and when we took them out, we could not get them apart.

My attempts:

  • Trying to pull them apart using the handles
  • Banging on a handle to jar them apart
  • Leaving them for my husband

His attempts:

  • Greater brute force on pulling them apart
  • Greater brute force on jarring them apart by using a hammer on the handle
  • Putting them back in the dishwasher and taking them out when both were hot

My sister recommended that we email the company which I did. After I describe our attempts at separation I finished the comment “We are neither stupid or kidding.”

I got an immediate auto-reply from the company saying that would get back to us in a few days but email was currently backed up.

After a few days of no reply from the company, we started looking for replacements pots, but Walmart was out of Calphalon saucepans and only had Calphalon frying pans.

We got home and got a very helpful email reply from the Company,

Hi Patricia,

Thank you for taking the time to contact Calphalon. We apologize if there has been a delay in our reply since we have experienced a backlog of emails. We are working diligently to respond as quickly as possible.


We’re sorry about what happened to your pots. Hope this advise will help.

  1. Fill your sink with hot water. Place the stopper in the bottom of the sink.
  2. Set the stuck pans in the sink, just covering the bottom pan with the hot water.
  3. Place a handful of ice cubes in the upper pot. Wait five to 10 minutes. 
  4. Twist the pots in opposite directions. For instance, you could choose to twist the bottom pot counterclockwise while twisting the top pot clockwise, or vice versa.

To help us make Calphalon the best it can be, we would like to ask for your feedback. A brief survey may be sent on your email to rate the service you were provided. Please take a moment and let us know how we are doing.

We wish all the best for you and stay safe. Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

My husband tried that but could not get enough contrast between hot water in the bottom pan and ice cubes in the upper pan. He decided to very carefully heat the bottom pan on the stove, being careful not to get the burner too hot. SUCCESS! The pots are now separated

I sent the company an email back telling them their advice was perfect and thanks for getting back to me.

Celebrating October 12 in Spain and Latin America

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue to “discover” America. Columbus has since fallen out of favor and the day now has other names. The Don Quixote blog shares how Columbus Day is celebrated in Spain (where Columbus sailed from, although Columbus was originally Italian) and Central and South America.

Spain: Spanish law establishes it as the Fiesta Nacional de España, or the national day of Spain, although many Spaniards continue referring to it as Día de la Hispanidad, which was the former name of the Spanish holiday.

Latin America: October 12 is still known as el Día de la Raza in some Latin American countries including Mexico. Other Latin American countries however, that once commemorated the day as el Día de la Raza have in recent years changed the name to honor diversity or to celebrate indigenous heritage.

See the blog for more information.