19 January 2021

at last

"I suppose in this way, the past four years have been a bittersweet gift to us: a pulling away the curtains of decorum and phony civility, allowing us to see people’s hearts with clarity. We can no longer hide behind the stories we thought were true about those we love and share life with, and about the place we live. We’ve all shown what sides that we are on and the hills that we’re willing to allow relationships to die on." --- john pavlovitz

14 January 2021

the gene pool

i think i'm nearly done with great-aunt ruby lee's jumble of photographs --- one more dead-baby picture, this one high victorian, but sadly unidentified

some great images in the collection

my great-grandparents ipson and tommie lee and offspring --- my grandma front and center


my great-grandpa's sisters, all born before the civil war --- kerron, theodosia, roxanne, and missouri

too many people remain unidentified






not fake news

so much for the new year --- 

04 January 2021

photographing the gene pool

i have been sorting thru a bunch of photographs inherited from an old-maid great aunt --- in addition to the dead-baby pic, there is this little tintype of my g-grandpa ipson lee (1862-1930)
along with this fairly skeery one of four guys who are probably his half brothers

my g-grandparents ipson and tommie lee, taken easter 1920 --- they're standing at the end of the front porch of their house, which i remember seeing in its decrepit final years fifty years ago --- in the far background at left is the only image i've found of the house that his father, john lee, built in the 1840s --- part of the chimney may or may not remain in the twentieth century house that now stands on the site --- all on washington road in what is now southwestern side of east point


there are many others, including this one of my ma and her sister with bob the dog, ca 1925

i'll get the most of them posted to the gene pool soon
 

03 January 2021

bifurcated times

even drudge is lit about all the sedition and what not --- really and truly unbelievable
 
as is this photograph of my first cousin, twice removed, as a dead baby --- i think he is harvey jefferson betterton (1885-1886)

but who has an image like this and doesn't put a name on the back or something


01 January 2021

2020 in books ---

Neil Ansell, Deep Country: Five Years in the Welsh Hills

*Mark Kurlansky, Paper: Paging Through History (2016)

Douglas Hurt, The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830 (1996)

Marcus Whiffen, The Eighteenth-Century Houses of Williamsburg, an Architectural History (1960)

John Kenneth Galbraith, The Great Crash, 1929 (1955)

Eric Jay Dolin, A Furious Sky: The Five-Hundred-Year History of America’s Hurricanes (2020)

*Clive James, Cultural Amnesia: Necessary memories from History and the Arts (2008)

William N. Morgan, Pre-Columbian Architecture in Eastern North America (1999)

***Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent (2020)

***Edward Ball, Life of a Klansman (2020)

***Eric Cervini, The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America (2020)

*William E. Wallace, Michelangelo, God’s Architect (2019)

Erik Larson, The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz (2020)

Erik Larson, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin (2011)

**Geoffrey Moorhouse, The Last Divine Office: Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries (2009)

T. M. Devine. The Scottish Clearances: A History of the Dispossessed, 1600-1900 (2019)

Ernle Bradford, The Great Betrayal: The Great Siege of Constantinople (2014)

*Peter Heather, The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians (2007)

Alistair Moffat, Arthur and the Lost Kingdoms (1999)

Alistair Moffat, Remembering Charles Rennie McIntosh (1998)

Alistair Moffat, Before Scotland: The Story of Scotland Before History (2005)

*Alistair Moffat, To the Island of Tides: A Journey to Lindisfarne (2019)

Alistair Moffat, The Faded Map: Lost Kingdoms of Scotland (2010)

James Shapiro, The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1666 (2015)

**Matthew Kneale, Rome: A History in Seven Sackings (2019)

***David Coles, Chromatopia: An Illustrated History of Color (2019)

Alistair Moffat, The Highland Clans (2010)

*Simon Thurley, Whitehall Palace: An Architectural History of the Royal Apartments, 1240-1690 (1999)

David Zucchino, Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy (2020)

*Peter Ackroyd, Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day (2019)

Peter Ackroyd, Tudors: The History of England from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I (2014)

Peter Ackroyd, Dominion: The History of England from the Battle of Waterloo to Victoria's Diamond Jubilee (2019)

Peter Ackroyd, Revolution: The History of England from the Battle of the Boyne to the Battle of Waterloo (2017)

Peter Ackroyd, Rebellion: The History of England from James I to the Glorious Revolution (2015)

Peter Ackroyd, Civil War: The History of England, Volume III (2015)

***Toby Green, A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution (2020)

31 December 2020

"if hindsight's 2020, i think i'm going blind"

 lights and sound at atl bot gdn w/ robt was a fine way to end this miserable year and welcome the new one, whatever it may bring











26 December 2020

happy critters


 

hobbies

during the last century or so, it has been difficult to focus on anything useful, what with the covids, the horrors of trumpistan, and a totally insane election season — but we can see the end of all of that now:  the recent equinox has surely begun to grow the light again

in the meantime, i have, as recently as the present day, finished messing with my latest projects: atlanta's indian trails, which maps trails delineated in the state's first surveys of this part of the world after we stole it from the muscogee in 1821; improvising the peachtrees, which is a history of peachtree street and peachtree road from the time god made dirt to recent memory; and looking for the road to standing peach tree, which is just what it says, a guide to the route of the original 1814 peachtree road as it exists today 

i have hard copies as well as web versions of them all done and posted, but the seeds of all three were in what started with research for a history of midtown atlanta in 2014, which i may or may not pick up again

20 October 2020

dog water

one of dog's many endearing qualities is his insatiable need for water — a quart and a half and more per day, which is a lot for a 40-pound dog — he's been that way from the beginning, but the vet checked him out and thinks it's just a habit — all that water has to be processed and eliminated and he's gotten purty good at holding it — for nearly five hours before this video was shot the other night

19 October 2020

the liberry

dog has been a big help in the catalogization of my liberry, a project which i began a hundred years ago or so in september or something — 1,558 titles, of which around 200 are e-books and pamphlets — all of it now part of a database (readerware) that will sort them all sorts of ways  — i started the exercise when i asked a a neighbor about my homeowner's insurance coverage  —  he made me realize that should the place be destroyed, the liberry would be a huge part of the loss — $40k replacement value, at least  —  anyway it was semi-put-together when i moved in here fifteen years ago, but had become increasingly out of whack, what with additions and subtractions and what not  — i discarded some things that i knew i would never read again, and that freed up significant lineal footage of shelving , and now have everything arranged in a dozen or so categories over eight shelving units —  behind dog here, e.g., are biographies and urban histories in the shelving unit to the left, and an assortment of books on cooking, food, and drink; landscapes, gardens, and horticulture; and a this and that on architecture to the right ---  





06 October 2020

scarecrows in the garden, redux 2020

i usually don't much care for the stupid scarecrows in the garden, but the covids seem to have made the whole thing much more interesting











 

the beagle

yesterday was the first anniversary of the arrival of the used beagle --- i came very close to sending him back to the country from whence he came a time or two in the beginning, but we both toughed it out and he's done his part, more or less, to adjust to condo living, although he still might rather be running swamp rabbits or something --- a sweet vocal little hound who has contributed immeasurably to my ability to survive in covid-ridden trumpistan ---



 


03 October 2020

city woods

dog and i checked out old willis mill road today, now closed to motor traffic and used as a multi-use trail, another part of the wonderful web of trails being opened all around the city --- it runs through lionel hampton park, which adjoins westview cemetery --- crosses n. utoy creek and is a spectacular piece of woodland that somehow avoided suburban development long enough to be preserved



 

27 September 2020

annus horribilis, cont'd.

at this point, i just want it all to end — "i would kill for a good coma right now," to quote moira rose — short of that, all i can do is mental chants and a shitload of reading to drown out the awfulness of what is happening to our country — i've given more money to politics than i ever have and could easily be talked into giving away the rest of it if it would get us out of this nightmare —

regardless of how the election comes off, what will remain is the stark realization that so many people i thought i knew, including the majority of my biological family, are, at bottom, bigoted racist fools, and  hypocrites besides, to whom i have given the benefit of the doubt all these years but who weren't and aren't worth the effort — i understand too well how the nazis were able to destroy germany and fear that we're watching another episode of that here, probably without gas chambers and what not, but certainly with a goal of continued white, christian, male supremacy in service to mammon and his incorporated minions

 i also understand how some old people just get tired of it all 

in the meantime, i read, most lately these, with parenthetical publication dates and a 3-star rating system:

William N. Morgan, Pre-Columbian Architecture in Eastern North America (1999)

***Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent (2020)

***Edward Ball, Life of a Klansman (2020)

***Eric Cervini, The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America (2020)

*William E. Wallace, Michelangelo, God’s Architect (2019)

Erik Larson, The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz (2020)

Erik Larson, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin (2011)

*Geoffrey Moorhouse, The Last Divine Office: Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries (2009)

T. M. Devine. The Scottish Clearances: A History of the Dispossessed, 1600-1900 (2019)

Ernle Bradford, The Great Betrayal: The Great Siege of Constantinople (2014)

*Peter Heather, The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians (2007)

Alistair Moffat, Arthur and the Lost Kingdoms (1999)

*Alistair Moffat, Remembering Charles Rennie McIntosh (1998)

Alistair Moffat, Before Scotland: The Story of Scotland Before History (2005)

*Alistair Moffat, To the Island of Tides: A Journey to Lindisfarne (2019)

Alistair Moffat, The Faded Map: Lost Kingdoms of Scotland (2010)

James Shapiro, The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1666 (2015)

**Matthew Kneale, Rome: A History in Seven Sackings (2019)

***David Coles, Chromatopia: An Illustrated History of Color (2019)

Alistair Moffat, The Highland Clans (2010)

*Simon Thurley, Whitehall Palace: An Architectural History of the Royal Apartments, 1240-1690 (1999)

David Zucchino, Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy (2020)

*Peter Ackroyd, Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day (2019)

Peter Ackroyd, Tudors: The History of England from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I (2014)

Peter Ackroyd, Dominion: The History of England from the Battle of Waterloo to Victoria's Diamond Jubilee (2019)

Peter Ackroyd, Revolution: The History of England from the Battle of the Boyne to the Battle of Waterloo (2017)

Peter Ackroyd, Rebellion: The History of England from James I to the Glorious Revolution (2015)

Peter Ackroyd, Civil War: The History of England, Volume III (2015)

***Toby Green, A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution (2020)

14 August 2020

peachtree!

projects evolve along with one's research and what not, doncha know — and so my interest in "peachtree road," as in what is it? and where is it? the answers are not obvious, but i think i am now an authoritah on the subject — i am compiling a small booklet that is sure to be wildly popular and worth a great deal of money

the road was originally built in 1814 by the war department, and i found there is enough documentation to still trace its entire 40-mile route from hog mountain in northern gwinnett county to bolton in northwest atlanta — which is what kenny and i started doing today

i think we found the best preserved section today, running for about a mile southwest of duluth — the airline railroad was built a few yards away in 1870, but they were using the road and mostly worked around it --- the old road was bypassed by buford highway in the 1930s but later paved, badly, in the mid-twentieth century, before being entirely abandoned in the last quarter of the twentieth century.