When I Was 69

When I Was 69
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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The ruins of a mansion

There's a nice little community here with a retreat center, conferences and camps in summertime, and some homes mainly for retired ministers I think...called Christmount.

I went to a party in one of the conference rooms last Saturday.  The only other time I've visited was to enjoy  Sunday brunch which is open to the public in the main dining room...and is quite a good affair of a variety of foods.

But on my way home I stopped to see what has more interest to my "historic places" funny bone.

 In case you're wondering if I stuck my head into the barred opening...and the answer is, no way. A dark space exists, and I love sunshine...and it just felt too spooky.

The Gustavino mansion ruins are right inside the Christmount entrance.  They were completely hidden by growth of native plants for a long time, which have not only been uncovered but have signs talking about the areas you're looking at.  You have to park on the narrow road however.

I'll share a few more pictures of the ruins later.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Tri-state boundary

A 1913 photo (according to the writing at bottom) of the markers of the states which join here. Tennessee and Virginia are on the white stone, and for some reason the Kentucky marker is a few yards away.  But they all do have a corner in common somewhere up there.  Which mountain, and what's the town down the hill?

So I wanted to know what the mountain was. And what the town in the distance was.
I stumbled upon the history of these surveyed boundaries.  And of course they go back to when European men decided they wanted to live on Native American's land. And the French and Indian War, and the Revolutionary War.  And how kings of England gifted property in the Americas to those who did them favors.

But here's a detailed description of the history, and some great maps. virginiaplaces.org/boundaries/

I am so glad that there's now a national monument, much better than the one depicted above.

 Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, showing the Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky borders meeting.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Too cold for a walk

Nice rime ice on the tops of the mountains, or maybe snow still.  It didn't get above freezing in the last 24 hours (written Jan 21 6:30 pm). Anywhere in western North Carolina.  Lake Tomahawk did have some hardy folks walking around it. And it hasn't been cold long enough for the lake to freeze.

The more hardy people were in Asheville probably at the Martin Luther King march...but I hope nobody brought kids this year.  The weather man said 30 minutes in this temperature and there could be frostbite on exposed skin.  Yep.  I'm indoors most of the day!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Hooker Falls trip there and back

Over hill and dale -
starting in Black Mountain, go south and west, Asheville airport, south on US 280 through Mills River to the Brevard intersection with US 64.  If you take a right and head west, you're on US 276 into the Pisgah National Forest which passes Looking Glass Falls right on the road, and in a few more miles you meet the Blue Ridge Parkway.

However, if you turn left at the intersection of US 280 and US 64, going east, you are headed to Etowah.  But don't go that far (though there's not really a "town" that represents Etowah...just a few shops spread about, and a golf course.  Before getting to that area, there's a signal light at a quarry on your left, and a turn on the right.  The quarry is part of a large cliff face as well as some rocks near the road. The best clue for your turn is the small airport and a sign to DuPont State Forest. Or maybe it says Waterfalls...I can't remember.  They are both to the right.

 You immediately cross railroad tracks that are no longer used, actually the tracks are gone and just the crossing guard is left.

The waterfalls signs are blue, and another one will come along (another right turn) in a few miles.  It's less than 10 miles.  The hills really climb at that point, and there're only a few private drives off this road.  The first parking lot of the state forest is on the left, but that's not the one I go to.  A quarter mile further is one on the right.  That lot gives access to both Hooker Falls in one direction on the river, and Triple Falls in the other direction.

 The sand was deposited all over after a flooding rain on the Little River

 Once you have walked down the hill, there's a nice flat area around the rock-enclosed swimming/wading area below the falls.

Since it's mid-winter, people have come here for fire circles.

Or perhaps to see the kayak and rafts that went down the falls the day I visited.

Returning to Hwy US 64, you can see the quarry easier.

And back to home again in reverse.  I was pleased that the odometer said it was exactly 50 miles from my home.  I can do that in around an hour usually, and find someplace to eat lunch as well as sight-see, and I will enjoy a half day trip coming home in another hour's drive.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Feats of engineering

 A bit of drainage from the hills through rhododendrons, comes down to the path/roadbed, but it doesn't cross it.

Some smart engineer types dug a pipe and that way the water goes under the pathway...to run down to the Little River just a few feet away.

 Some port-a-pottys are located ahead on the path also.  I dare say they were especially welcome during summer picnics down by the swimming hole next to the falls.

 There's a lower and an upper viewing area, and a sign which says...

 Rules of the area.  No rock climbing.  No swimming or wading above the waterfalls. In the 10 years that I've visited Hooker Falls, there have been reports of several people dying who were climbing the rocks above the falls.

First view of white water.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

The woods in winter

 The Little River flowing towards Hooker Falls.

A birch with a strange configuration.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Then and now downtown Black Mountain

More old buildings to post about today.

This is an early photo of a building which still stands today in downtown Black Mountain.

"Along the north side of West State Street is the Kaltman building, a series of eight similar store fronts constructed in 1928 by Samuel Kaltman, a clothing manufacturer from New York who came to the area in 1921 for his health. By 1926, along with his wife, Bessie, he was a leading developer in Black Mountain controlling about half of the real estate in Black Mountain’s downtown business section. Besides the Kaltman building he also built a garage and store building at the corner of State and Cherry Street. Kaltman died of a stroke in 1938 in his shop on Church Street where he made men’s trousers. These store fronts have been home to a wide variety of businesses since their construction including a drug store, hardware store, grocery, meat market, tea company, barber shop, cupcake shop, wine market, and running store.  (Source: Swannanoa Valley Museum and History Center post on Facebook, Jan 15, 2019.)

2018 view - The Merry Wine Market on left, the Vertical Runner, then Kitchen Emporium, then Hey Hey Cupcake...and I think a hair salon is next.  The Kaltman engraved stone is still visible on the edge of the center part of the building.  I'm also impressed that there are still trees in the background, and some may be the same ones that were there 90 years ago.  Obviously the canvass awnings have been replaced!

My photo of the shops in the same building in 2013.

In the postcard below, the same building is shown, and a white gas station at the far end, which is across Montreat Rd.  The 7up sign is on the wall of a taller building that abutts Kaltman's building. In the first photo (around 1928-30) Standard Oil was using that wall for its sign.
"In 1927, the gas station at the corner of Montreat Rd. and State Street, the site of Black Mountain's town square, pumped more gasoline than any other station in North Carolina. The New Theatre, just to the east on state Street was renamed the Pix, and was managed by Lee Hiltz's stepson Laddie Terrell.  It closed in the 1960s. (Source: Swannanoa Valley, by history museum.)

I admit to having no idea who Lee Hiltz or her/his stepson Laddie Terrell were.  That gas station was gone by the time I moved here in 2007...but there was just a parking lot where now a nice Town Square has been established. (And we haven't had a movie theater since I moved here either.)

In 2014 I took this photo looking south along Montreat Rd. The signal lights are at State Street, where if you turn right you'd see the Kaltman building on your right, and to the left in this photo all those blue awnings are part of Tyson Furniture.  But closer to where I was, you can see some greenery next to the sidewalk, and that was the early stages of the Town Square.

Below you can see the beginning of the Women's March in Black Mountain in January 2018.  It began in the Town Square, and I'm standing close to the bench in the foreground in a grey coat, hands in my pockets looking at the camera.

I'm sharing this post with Sepia Saturday this week.

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share history through old photographs.

We're always looking for others to share their old (or not so old) photos with the Sepia Saturday folks.  Come link to your post, give a comment and join us!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Next door to today's other house there's a derelict home

Who used to live here?

Probably nobody has walked inside in years.

 Interesting that the bigger tree was cut down, leaving the stump by the wall, but there's a new tree growing in the porch area, probably over 10 years old.

Oh the echoes of mothers doing the cooking, children chasing each other, smells of breakfast coffee...long gone.  The grandchildren may drive by every once in a while.  Maybe not.

An old home still being lived in

I love how many additions you can see on this old house.  And probably each of them was a big improvement at the time.

But wait till you see the one next door!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Do you need any words?

OK, here's an article about why Trump supporters still support him. I quote just a few paragraphs below.

A Complete Psychological Analysis of Trump's Support

Science can help us make sense of the president's political invincibility. 

Posted Dec 27, 2018
"While dozens of psychologists have analyzed Trump, to explain the man’s political invincibility, it is more important to understand the minds of his staunch supporters. While various popular articles have illuminated a multitude of reasons for his unwavering support, there appears to be no comprehensive analysis that contains all of them. Since there seems to be a real demand for this information, I have tried to provide that analysis below.
 "Some of the explanations come from a 2017 review paper published in the Journal of Social and Political Psychology by the psychologist and UC Santa Cruz professor Thomas Pettigrew. Others have been put forth as far back as 2016, by me, in various articles and blog posts for publications like Psychology Today. A number of these were inspired by insights from psychologists like Sheldon Solomon, who laid the groundwork for the influential Terror Management Theory , and David Dunning who did the same for the Dunning-Kruger effect.

"This list will begin with the more benign reasons for Trump’s intransigent support. As the list goes on, the explanations become increasingly worrisome, and toward the end, border on the pathological. It should be strongly emphasized that not all Trump supporters are racist, mentally vulnerable, or fundamentally bad people. It can be detrimental to society when those with degrees and platforms try to demonize their political opponents or paint them as mentally ill when they are not. That being said, it is just as harmful to pretend that there are not clear psychological and neural factors that underlie much of Trump supporters’ unbridled allegiance. 
The psychological phenomena described below mostly pertain to those supporters who would follow Trump off a cliff. These are the people who will stand by his side no matter what scandals come to light, or what sort of evidence for immoral and illegal behavior surfaces.Some of the explanations come from a 2017 review paper published in the Journal of Social and Political Psychology by the psychologist and UC Santa Cruz professor Thomas Pettigrew. Others have been put forth as far back as 2016, by me, in various articles and blog posts for publications like Psychology Today. A number of these were inspired by insights from psychologists like Sheldon Solomon, who laid the groundwork for the influential Terror Management Theory, and David Dunning, who did the same for the Dunning-Kruger effect.
 (see the article for details...)

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Someone lived there

By the size of the parking lot, perhaps this was a business at one time.  But the roped off area says "private property, no turn around." And that's what I was actually doing there.  But I had to capture this poor building, which has certainly seen better days.  I am intrigued how buildings are left to the elements, and what parts of architecture stand up longest.

This wasn't in Black Mountain, but on the road down from Etowah to DuPont State Forest.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Hooker Falls changes

Different flow of water when I visited first in February 2009.  Notice all the rocks that show!

2019 flow much heavier.

Since 2009, many changes have happened.  More parking for one, portapotties for another. (And now I see they are building a real bathroom for visitors, but it wasn't open yet.) A footbridge for people to get from parking lot to the path which goes up to Triple Falls is also pretty new.

For all the 10 years I've been visiting (and not even every year) by driving the 50 miles from my home to that parking lot, there are some fun stories.  Like the February visit with 2 other friends, when I locked my keys in the car, and we waited and waited till AAA came to unlock the car, only to find they hadn't been in my purse in the trunk after all.  They were way down at the bottom of my back jeans pocket.  In the hour that I stood around, one friend at least slid herself around on the icy walk over to the river, but none of us made it to the falls that trip.  I was glad that she got to see the river at least, because I shared some of her "visits to water" in that year, her last in this lifetime.

2019, one of the men who was rafting over the falls!

This year I visited and saw 2 men go over in a kayak and a raft (respectively).  2 years ago I was with my son on his one day visit from Ohio...which certainly was a lovely thing...but a bit hurried of course. We tried waking up to Triple Falls, but I didn't have the stamina for that.  I had done it back in 2009 though!

I may try Triple Falls later in the year.  Who knows.