Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween *Murder *Mystery

*You decide*

Promised you a story and what better day to report than on Halloween 2012?

Great Grandmother Eunice (Nicey) Anderson's home as it looked 1977. Secret room behind trees.

Back in the hills of Western Virginia - circa 1920/30's - many tales were echoed back and forth between the mountains. These stories were a way for the locals to get information as well as entertainment since most homes did not have electricity or even running water. 
My Great Grandmother Eunice (Nicey) Anderson was a true mountain woman.
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Strong willed but with always a twinkle in her eye, you were drawn to her but intimidated at the same time.
There was one room in her home no one was allowed to enter. No one did. Naturally this became a contender for whoppers as stories were whispered about as to why she would keep this room private.
This is the story I heard at a very impressionable age:

Great grandpa Morgan (Nicey's husband, whom she has born nine children with) had been in a 'bar fight' and crawled all the way up the mountain while full of gunshot wounds. Mountain women were sometimes as apt to be able to remove bullets as any of the horse and buggy country doctors around there. She got him into their feather bed and story goes she tried to remove them but there were too many and he began to beg her to finish him off. No 911, no hospital, no help before it would be too late. I was told that she refused at first but with his continued moaning and begging for mercy and her conviction that no living thing should have to suffer, she slit his throat with her kitchen knife and held him softly until he bled out there on the bed. The same bed that was still in the secret room until the day she died. 
These were Nicey's garden shoes and fork still on the porch in 1977. She died in her garden  Dec. 16th, 1967.

O.K. Hard to believe. But I did for years. It was a very hushed tale and I felt privileged, if not horrified, to know the story and never asked questions as this happened way before I came along. She was left to raise 9 children and had a very hard way of life - who was I to inquire?

Woodstove main source of heat or to brew a mean pot of coffee.

Brother Rod on Nicey's front porch 1977. The house was torn  down shortly after this photo was taken.

Great Grandpa's Obit

Granny Julies's cement well for her water pump and where she did  the laundry once a week.

About six months ago my niece posted this on Facebook:
Morgan T Anderson the Dickenson Star

Now this explains what really happened - at least to sheriff's and court records. It chills me to know the man who shot my great grandfather could be alive and well and maybe living near us. But this still does not explain what happened so long ago in the cold dark night in the mountains in that feather bed.

Happy Haunting!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Old Slides and Negatives and Family History...

Oh, the things I have discovered that I can do with my iPad and new HTC Sense with its cool digital camera. I have thousands of old slides and negatives that I have put off purchasing a slide/neg scanner for but now I do not have to! You can also use a light table but the iPad acts like one with a little app called Hello Photo which works quite well with my HTC cell phone camera.

This is a slide strip of my daughter Julie that is over 25 years old.

This is cropped, tweaked and enhanced. Not very good for making prints straight on but might make a nice transfer and other mixed media. 

Since most of the negatives I have were large, I used my Light Tracer table for these. I grouped them together and took the photo with my phone camera.

This was a photo negative that I cropped out of the group.

This is what I got after inverting image in Photoshop:

Again, images are not crystal pristine but I am loving what you can create even with the negatives themselves!
In my very next post (maybe later today) I will show how and why I got involved in going through my stacks of slides in the first place.
Hint: It involves the murder of a family member and is a spooky read for this time of the year! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Summer Shadows

Woke up this morning to a cool 68 degree clear blue sky day. Summer is officially over in the desert. 
I have a thing for shadows. Big or small, on concrete, wood, snow or water...

Reflection (a palindromic poem)

Still waters, deep, 
surface like glass reflecting green above; 
and below are trees, sky, 
shadows, leaves, sunlight, 
moving and motionless.
Here silent images shimmer now, 
and - air breathing suddenly - break.
Unbidden feelings confuse
reality and fantasy.
Which is which? 
Fantasy and reality confuse; 
feelings unbidden break, suddenly breathing air; 
and now shimmer images, 
silent here, motionless
and moving....
(sunlight leaves shadows) .
Sky, trees are
below - and above -
green, reflecting, glass-like surface.
Deep waters, still. 
Paul Hansford

I say goodbye to summer shadows...