St. Patrick’s Day

The nation turns green today – food, drinks, clothing, rivers – and we feast on Irish Soda Bread, corned beef & cabbage, and perhaps have a drink or two, and wish each other Irish blessing. While we do this, it is important to remember that the Irish were among the waves of immigrants to New York who toiled for low wages, lived in sordid conditions, and struggled on a daily basis to make end’s meet and to make the lives of their children and grandchildren better than their own. Let’s be grateful to everyone who fought so hard, and respect those who continue to fight hard for better lives ahead. Are you Irish? Where from? With a name like O’Shea, I can’t hide the Irish (not that I would!)

Previous St. Patrick’s Day posts on PiP: Irish Soda Bread & A brief history of St. Patrick’s Day & an Irish blessing.

 

 

Flamingo Valentine

20120213-233147.jpg

The Preservation in Pink flamingos send you love, preservation, pink, sweets & happiness today. Enjoy it with some coffee and chocolate or your favorite decadent treat. Happy Valentine’s Day!

So Long, Farewell 2011

A busy year it has been. Everyone always makes that remark at the end of a year, and it’s nice to hear people amazed and impressed  by the year that has just passed. And my goodness, it has been around here, too. From record setting snowstorms last winter, to flooding in the spring, a tropical storm and more flooding in August and the recovery efforts, – it’s been exhausting and uplifting to live in the year 2011.

Mr. Stilts &  Squawky: the flamingos wish you a happy 2012.

Wishing you all health, happiness and success in all aspects of life. Cheers! Happy New Year! Enjoy saying farewell to 2011 and welcoming 2012.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

An old Irish blessing for you today:

May love and laughter light your days,

and warm your heart and home.

May good and faithful friends be yours,

wherever you may roam.

May peace and plenty bless your world

with joy that long endures.

May all life’s passing seasons

bring the best to you and yours!

May you have the luck of the Irish today! Need some Irish architecture? Check out the Buildings of Ireland – National Inventory of Architectural Heritage or the Irish Georgian Society.

Groundhog Day

Up here in Vermont we are finally getting our snowstorm (along with the rest of the eastern half of the USA), so I doubt the groundhog is going to see his shadow anywhere. Lucky for his adoring public, he was not snowed in and came out annual prediction. No shadow was seen in Punxsutawney, PA – spring is near! Still, regardless of the groundhog legend, spring will surely not hit Vermont in only six weeks.

Interested in the groundhog lore? From Stormfax Weather Almanac:

n 1723, the Delaware Indians settled Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania as a campsite halfway between the Allegheny and the Susquehanna Rivers. The town is 90 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, at the intersection of Route 36 and Route 119. The Delawares considered groundhogs honorable ancestors. According to the original creation beliefs of the Delaware Indians, their forebears began life as animals in “Mother Earth” and emerged centuries later to hunt and live as men.

The name Punxsutawney comes from the Indian name for the location “ponksad-uteney” which means “the town of the sandflies.” The name woodchuck comes from the Indian legend of “Wojak, the groundhog” considered by them to be their ancestral grandfather.

When German settlers arrived in the 1700s, they brought a tradition known as Candlemas Day, which has an early origin in the pagan celebration of Imbolc. It came at the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Superstition held that if the weather was fair, the second half of Winter would be stormy and cold. For the early Christians in Europe, it was the custom on Candlemas Day for clergy to bless candles and distribute them to the people in the dark of Winter. A lighted candle was placed in each window of the home. The day’s weather continued to be important. If the sun came out February 2, halfway between Winter and Spring, it meant six more weeks of wintry weather.

The earliest American reference to Groundhog Day can be found at the Pennsylvania Dutch Folklore Center at Franklin and Marshall College:

February 4, 1841 – from Morgantown, Berks County (Pennsylvania) storekeeper James Morris’ diary…”Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.”

If the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, an animal would cast a shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of Winter. Germans watched a badger for the shadow. In Pennsylvania, the groundhog, upon waking from mid-Winter hibernation, was selected as the replacement.

Pennsylvania’s official celebration of Groundhog Day began on February 2nd, 1886 with a proclamation in The Punxsutawney Spirit by the newspaper’s editor, Clymer Freas: “Today is groundhog day and up to the time of going to press the beast has not seen its shadow.” The groundhog was given the name “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary” and his hometown thus called the “Weather Capital of the World.” His debut performance: no shadow – early Spring.

Visit Stormfax to see the history of the groundhogs’ predictions, as well as the name of the many groundhogs and information about the effect that the movie Groundhog Day had on the small town. Read more history from the official Groundhog Day website.

American folklore – always fun, right? Happy Groundhog Day!

If the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, an animal would cast a shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of Winter.  Germans watched a badger for the shadow.  In Pennsylvania, the groundhog, upon waking from mid-Winter hibernation, was selected as the replacement.Pennsylvania’s official celebration of Groundhog Day began on February 2nd, 1886 with a proclamation in The Punxsutawney Spirit by the newspaper’s editor, Clymer Freas: “Today is groundhog day and up to the time of going to press the beast has not seen its shadow.”  The groundhog was given the name “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary” and his hometown thus called the “Weather Capital of the World.”  His debut performance: no shadow – early Spring.

If the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, an animal would cast a shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of Winter. Germans watched a badger for the shadow. In Pennsylvania, the groundhog, upon waking from mid-Winter hibernation, was selected as the replacement.

 

Pennsylvania’s official celebration of Groundhog Day began on February 2nd, 1886 with a proclamation in The Punxsutawney Spirit by the newspaper’s editor, Clymer Freas: “Today is groundhog day and up to the time of going to press the beast has not seen its shadow.” The groundhog was given the name “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary” and his hometown thus called the “Weather Capital of the World.” His debut performance: no shadow – early Spring.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas cookies are always delicious.

Why, yes, there is a flamingo in that batch of Christmas cookies. I am happy to be home with my family, ready to partake in our Christmas extravaganza: cookies, wrapping, Christmas carols playing, decorating the 12 foot tree, hanging stockings, drinking coffee, and all sorts of fun family traditions.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday!

Merry Christmas from Preservation in Pink!

Bennington Battle Day

Unless you live in Vermont or are a Revolutionary War history enthusiast, you probably haven’t heard of Bennington Battle Day. It is a Vermont state holiday that commemorates the important Battle of Bennington on August 16, 1777, a victory that helped to deplete British forces and supplies, and led to their eventual defeat at Saratoga. The battle actually occurred in New York, but was over weapons and munitions kept in Bennington. I cannot summarize the Battle, but the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation has a well-written, understandable summary about the prelude, the battle, and the monument. The monument, a 306′ tall obelisk, will be lit tonight from dusk-10pm. Today, Bennington, Vermont, celebrates the holiday with a parade, a road, picnics, and a living history reenactment including the firing of real cannons!

Bennington Battle Monument is one of Vermont’s four state historic sites dedicated to the Revolutionary War; it is in good company with Mount Independence, Hubbardton Battlefield, and the Old Constitution House.

Happy Fourth!

You’re a grand old flag, you’re a high flying flag

And forever in peace may you wave

You’re the emblem of, the land I love

The home of the free and the brave.

Want the full lyrics and music? Click here (music will start right away, fyi). I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Do you need a refresher on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.? Read this biography from the National Park Service D.R.E.A.M. gallery (below or click this link):

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. Dr. King grew up as the son of a leading minister in Atlanta, Georgia, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. His mother, Mrs. Alberta Williams King, assisted her husband in the care of his congregation. Because of their efforts and interest in behalf of the congregation and the community, his parents were known as ‘Momma’ and ‘Daddy’ King. His community, centered on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta also influenced him. By the 1930s when he was a child, it was the center of business and social life in Black Atlanta and the major center for the Black Southeast. The community was so successful that nationwide, it was known as “Sweet Auburn”. The residential neighborhoods of the community, and especially the one where Dr. King was born were known for the diversity of the backgrounds of the residents. Though all Black, the neighborhoods had business people, laborers, college-educated, uneducated, rich, poor and successful all living close to each other.

As a boy, Dr. King experienced many of the same things most children do. He helped and played games with his older sister Christine and his younger brother A. D. He played baseball on vacant lots and rode his bicycle in the streets. He went to school at David T. Howard Elementary, three blocks from his home. He attended the Butler Street YMCA down Auburn Avenue. When the family moved to the house on Boulevard, he was attending Booker T. Washington High School, working a newspaper route, attending his first dances, and planning to attend college. But, Dr. King’s primary memories of his childhood were of the sting of segregation.

In 1941 Daddy King moved the family to a brick home. Here King continued his development and education until he graduated from Morehouse College in 1948. Dr. King still lived in this home when he attended College here in Atlanta, starting at the age of fifteen. After graduation he left for graduate work at Crozer Theological Seminary, then in Chester, Pennsylvania (now Colgate Rochester divinity School/Bexley Hall/Crozer Theological Seminary in Rochester, New York), and at Boston University. He became pastor at The Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery Alabama in 1954 and served there until 1960. From 1960 until 1968 he was co-pastor, with his father, of Ebenezer Baptist Church on Auburn Avenue, where his grandfather, Rev. A. D. Williams had also been pastor.

Starting with the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955-1956, Dr. King was also the foremost leader of the Civil Rights Movement. His dedication to the tactics of non-violent resistance led to successful campaigns in Montgomery, AL, Birmingham, AL, and Selma,AL as well as encouraging African-Americans throughout the South to campaign for their own freedom. After 1965, He expanded his work to include actions in the North, opposition to the War in Vietnam, and planning for a campaign to aid poor people.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968 by James Earl Ray.

Visit the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthplace (NPS site) in Atlanta, GA.