Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Sunday, April 20, 2014
by Lyn Horner
“An Easter Bonnet represents the tail-end of a tradition of wearing new clothes at Easter . . . .” ~~Wikipedia
But did you know Easter bonnets actually pre-date Easter itself? It’s true. In pagan times a circlet of leaves and flowers symbolized the coming of spring and rebirth. Later, Christians adopted the same symbols for new life and redemption at Easter.
The Easter bunny also evolved from pagan roots. On the Vernal Equinox in pre-Christian Germany, feasts celebrated Eostra, the Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. Eostra was symbolized by a rabbit. Remember the expression breed like rabbits?
1907 Postcard of the Easter Bunny ~ from Wikipedia Commons
When Catholicism blended with pagan beliefs in 15th century Germany, Easter celebrations usurped the bunny and eggs to stand for the resurrection of Christ. Later, German settlers brought the tradition of egg-laying bunnies to America in the 1700s. Their children made nests for colored eggs – called Osterhase.
However, Easter wasn’t celebrated by all early Americans, especially the Puritans. Author Steve Englehart says, “They knew that pagans had celebrated the return of spring long before Christians celebrated Easter…for the first two hundred years of European life in North America, only a few states, mostly in the south, paid much attention to Easter.”
It took the Civil War to make Easter an accepted holiday in this country. In the south, Easter was called “The Sunday of Joy.” Widows, mothers and daughters gave up wearing black, donning pastel colors and spring flowers, perhaps signaling the beginning of new life for them.
Around 1870, the German tradition of coloring eggs became widely popular, and parents started giving small treats to their children. The 1870s also introduced New York City’s famed Easter Parade, which wended its way from St. Patrick’s Cathedral down Fifth Avenue. I’m sure you all recall Irving Berlin’s song:
In your Easter bonnet
with all the frills upon it,
You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.
Easter Parade, 1900 ~ from Wikipedia Commons
What about on the western frontier? Did pioneer women dress up in new clothes and fancy bonnets to celebrate Easter when just getting to church could be a hard, dangerous undertaking? Maybe not, but as life became a bit more settled, I bet they did. Frontier moms also colored eggs with their kids. (See Tanya Hanson’s post “To Dye For” from April 16th.)
Friday, April 18, 2014
"Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds."
- Theodore Roosevelt, 1901
"Don't hit at all if it is honorable possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft!"
- Theodore Roosevelt.
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
- Theodore Roosevelt.
"When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty'."
- Theodore Roosevelt.
"When you play, play hard; when you work, don't play at all."
- Theodore Roosevelt.
"Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it."
- Theodore Roosevelt
"No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency."
- Theodore Roosevelt, 'The Strenuous Life,' 1900.
"There is a homely old adage which runs: "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." If the American nation will speak softly, and yet build and keep at a pitch of the highest training a thoroughly efficient navy, the Monroe Doctrine will go far."
- Theodore Roosevelt, Speech in Chicago, 3 Apr. 1903.
"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."
- Theodore Roosevelt, Speech in New York, September 7, 1903
(Theodore Roosevelt Memorialized at Mount Rushmore)
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
Romance Author, A GIFT BEYOND ALL MEASURE
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Bejar, Feby. 24th. 1836
To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World—
Fellow Citizens & compatriots—
I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna — I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man — The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken — I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls — I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch — The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country — Victory or Death.
William Barrett Travis.
Lt. Col. comdt.
|A stone memorial on the Alamo grounds honors|
the Immortal 32. (courtesty TheConduqtor)
All but three of the rangers rode into history as the Immortal 32.
The story started months earlier in Gonzales, a settlement in DeWitt’s Colony, one of the original empresario land grants in the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. Established in 1825, Gonzales became known as “the Lexington of Texas” when the first shot in the Texas Revolution was fired there Oct. 2, 1835. The Battle of Gonzales began over a cannon the Mexican government had given the Texians in 1831 so they could protect themselves from frequent Indian attacks. In September 1835, as disputes between the Texians and the Mexican government heated up, the governor of Coahuila y Tejas sent 100 Mexican soldiers to retrieve the cannon.
The men of Gonzales — all eighteen of them — refused to give up the artillery. Defiant to the core, they told the soldados to “come and take it.” The Mexicans tried, the men of Gonzales — later known as the Old Eighteen — held their ground until reinforcements arrived, and the resulting skirmish went to the Texians.
The Mexican Army did not take the defeat well.
|This cannon, displayed at the Gonzales Memorial Museum,|
may be the disputed artillery. (courtesy Larry D. Moore)
The Immortal 32 fell with the Alamo on March 6, never to see the wild land for which they died become an independent republic. They composed about 20 percent of the Anglo casualties. Mexican troops burned the bodies of all the Alamo defenders, whom they considered traitors.
The majority of the Immortal 32 were husbands, fathers, and landowners. Five had been among the Old Eighteen, and one was the younger brother of an Old Eighteen member.
The Immortal 32
Isaac G. Baker, 21
John Cain, 34
George Washington “Wash” Cottle, 25 (brother of an Old Eighteen member)
David P. Cummins, 27
Jacob C. Darst, 42 (Old Eighteen)
Squire Daymon, 28
William Dearduff, 25
Charles Despallier, 24
Almaron Dickinson (Old Eighteen)
John Flanders, 36
Dolphin Ward Floyd, 32
Galba Fuqua, 16
John E. Garvin, about 40
John E. Gaston, 17
James George, 34
Thomas Jackson (Old Eighteen)
John Benjamin Kellogg II, 19
Andrew Kent, 44
George C. Kimble, 33
William Philip King, 16
Jonathan L. Lindley, 22
Albert Martin, 28 (Old Eighteen)
Jesse McCoy, 32
Thomas R. Miller, 40 (Old Eighteen)
Isaac Millsaps, 41
George Neggan, 28
William E. Summers, 24
George W. Tumlinson, 22
Robert White, 30
Claiborne Wright, 26
|A crypt in the San Fernando Cathedral purports to hold the|
ashes of the Alamo defenders. Historians believe it is
more likely the ashes were buried near the Alamo.
Byrd Lockhart, 54, later served in the Texas army.
John William Smith, 44, became the first mayor of San Antonio.
Andrew Jackson Sowell, 21, became a Texas Ranger.
A monument in the Alamo Shrine commemorates the valor of the Immortal 32, as does an entire cemetery in Gonzales's Pioneer Village.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
My family's roots are deep in Dallas, Texas, I was born there a few years back.
Amon McCommas, my g-g-g-g-grandfather came to live in Peters Colony in the Fall of 1845, just after John Neely Bryan arrived, and helped start the town. He preached the first sermon on the banks of the Trinity River and started the first Christian Church. Part of his original land ownings encompassed the area in and around Dealy Plaza and the Triple Underpass. He donated the land for the original Courthouse and for the Old Red Courthouse that still stands today.
So, when I decided to write a historical, it made sense to me to set a portion of the story in Dallas. As most know by now, research is a necessary part of writing a historical. If we don't get the facts right, someone will let us know.
The story line I decided on is actually a prequel to my Texas Code Series. I wanted to write a couple of short stories for each generation of the Bennings and McTiernans to chronicle their beginnings in Texas and to show how these two family names were intertwined through their history. I sat down and prepared a genealogy record for each generation all the way back to 1870 with the main players. Any family members that hitch up for the story can be added as needed.
So, here I am starting in Jefferson, Texas in 1870. I do my research of the town at this time, including the mode of transportation. Train travel is an option, so Dermot McTiernan and Ian Benning travel to Dallas to his ranch located north of the city. This is great. There are pictures of the downtown area, although the dates say they were taken circa 1873, I figure I can make my descriptions work.
Writing. Writing. Writing. My heroine, Kathleen Gilhooley, lives over a busy eatery in town. She goes downstairs early one morning to start breakfast for the patrons. She needs eggs and milk and gets them from -- I know there's no refrigerator. Do they have ice boxes then? Were they able to have ice then? I don't know.
Here's where I have to be specific. In all my searching, I finally found out that ice making was possible, but started in San Antonio circa 1870, then moved north to Austin and Waco. Dallas didn't have an ice producing plant until 1880 where it possessed Texas's largest single ice plant. Artificial ice cost Dallas consumers about 2 1/2 cents a pound.
Well, here's where you know the rest of the story. Kathleen goes to the back room where the eggs and milk have been delivered fresh that morning and she receives the meat from the butcher, who, it turns out, is sweet on her and gives her good cuts of beef. WooHoo!
Anyway, it's all part of the process and one I found interesting this afternoon. I hope you do, too. Thank you for stopping by. When I get Katie and the Irish Texan finished, I'll let you know and you can tell me how I did - historically speaking.
fall in love, under Texas Skies
I changed the year to 1873. ;-)
Find me on my website: http://carracopelin.com