Posts filed under ‘Women of Worth’

Memory Lane – The Ladies who lunched and accomplished


I received a phone call yesterday from Barbara MacGregor and memories of good times in Lorain surfaced. I wrote about some of them in this post

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/ladies-of-lorain/

I was in my very early twenties when I first arrived, a Mrs. Osmundson of the “Lorain Chapter of the Welcome Wagon” knocked on our apartment door and there followed the introduction to the Ladies of Lorain.

These ladies , some of whom have passed away , then introduced me to the “volunteer aspect” that was and is Lorain. The ladies that saved the Palace Theatre, built Lorain Community Hospital, literally ran the entertainment for Lorain International , planned the ” Hospital Follies” and fundraisers, celebrated the “anniversaries” and gently bullied administrations, newspapers and public servants to join in and refused to take No for an answer . They organized their projects and committees with a battle plan and strategy that would have made any General proud.

Ruth Calta, Jean Schaeffer, Marylou Connone, Lori Hoke, Barbara MacGregor, Corky Bruck, Charlotte Zakowski, Jane Baran, Jane Norton, Lou Kepler, Alice Weston, Phyllis Pfaff, Sally Bobel , Lilly Yuzon, Sally DeLuca , Mirium Schneider , Jean Anne King , Lee Mattei, Darlene Brown , Mrs. Robert Bostwick, Mrs. Dave Herzer , Carol Kramer, Frances Cellozzi, Marie Bonaminio,

and so many others whose names have faded with my memory . Some of these ladies are still volunteering and making a difference in Lorain everyday.

Barb had called to tell me of the 40th anniversary celebration of the Palace Theatre and of burning the mortgage
http://lorainpalace.org/theater/

“December 10, 1977 was a landmark date. On the stage of the theater that night following a Christmas musical program, the mortgage was burned ceremoniously, thanks to the generosity of many groups and individuals.”

Oh those were the days before the mortgage could be burned though fundraising took place at 319 Broadway ( the annex)

” Forty civic groups participated in this week long street fair, Stores soon to be torn down were converted as if by magic into an old fashioned ice cream parlor, a “Second-Hand Rose” shop, a casino, a book and plant store, an open air barbecue, international shops, etc. The Saturday night “Great Gatsby Party” at the Palace climaxed the week’s activities.

Civic Center Madness – Oh and it was, the ladies served lunches , painted poppies on pianos, sold artifacts-


I still have a little chair -was left after one auction in a terrible state – it was headed for the dumpster when Ruth Calta decided I should buy it for a dollar – and you didn’t say no! – rehabbed and upholstered is still with us – a memory of can do!

I was just a young newly married transplant when Jean Schaeffer decided I needed to be introduced.

There was so much joy- energy – a pushing ahead through problems- these were the “can do ladies” and they did and they pulled each volunteer along with them in their net of enthusiasm. These ladies who saved a theatre and built a hospital. The Great Gatsby Party – what great fun – The Palace Players and Henry 8th night- not to be forgotten-

Cover Arcade MJ

As Barb and I talked, I remembered a time of energy and of loss of those ladies no longer with us- 40 years of life tends to do that. Still the Palace is there a testament to perseverance and pride- still needed in this old town.

April 19, 2017 at 4:06 pm 3 comments

Lorain – History Mystery- Her name was Clara- Pt3

212-w18thres

Part One https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/12/27/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara/

Part Two https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-pt-2/

I have decided to put up the last pages of “Clara” that were written on the back of the Lorain Lumber and Manufacturing Co. letter head and then breaking until after the 1st of the year . This will give me and the “History Mystery Squad” time to delve into maps and census reports.

Also, the rest of the pages are written on paper that is tissue paper thin and not on the letterhead. The journey continues to Oklahoma territory ( before statehood) I have contacted the Oklahoma Historical Society to see if the places and names are familiar to them as an internet search so far has been less than fruitful- all except the connection of a name to an “outlaw”.

dennis Flores
Dennis tells me the furnace was installed in 1926 into the home at 212 W 18th, so the papers were hidden away before that date. I have to wonder why they were secreted away and from whom? Were they forgotten until too late to retrieve them, and who if not “Clara” wrote them?

CLARA The continuing conversation in the woods : Page three:

page-3res

” … But in.. spring everything seems to burst forth and have life. And that is the gift God has given all living things “To produce like” and reproduce their kind.

The birds find their mates and build their little nests “That is their home” And then in a short time there are tiny eggs and Mrs. Bird guards them and keeps them warm while Mr. Bird goes out and hunts food, worms and bugs. Finally there is a nest full of tiny baby birds. And dear it is the same with all living things, they mate and produce their kind.

And Daughter do you see all those Daisys ( Flowers) over their on the bank? Well they mate and produce their kind. The Bees go from (one crossed through) flower (to the other-crossed through) and they carry the pollen from one flower to the other and then the next year there are more and more (Daisys crossed through) Flowers. Now Daughter you are beginning to understand and see what life really means And I said “Why yes mother and you mean that human beings are just like the birds and flowers”. And she said “Yes Dear and their lives can be just as sweet and clean and pure. If they are fair and honest with their mates and keep their lives as God intended they should
Someday when you are older you are going to ……

PAGE 4
letter4res

… meet some young man, and like all girls will fall in love and want to marry. But there is one thing I want yu to promise me and that you will always come to me with all your problems and I will always give you good advice, and there is only one rule I want you to promise to keep. And that rules is this, “When ever you are in doubt as to anything you are tempted to do as to whether it is right or wrong . Just stop and say to yourself “Would I do this if my mother was here with me “

And then as I promised she took me in her arms and kissed me again and again. And while in her arms I said ” I suppose one day your mother told you a story just like this one you have told me today?”

And then with tears in her eyes she said No (?)(torn) Dear my mother never told me the story . And for a long time my mother sat and just cried and then I said Why mother please tell me and I will understand. And at last she looked up and said sweetheart I did not intend to tell you this story until I really had to do so, but I think I can tell you now. (You remember dear 4 years ago when) crossed out)

You will see by the condition of the last page this is not easy, there are words missing gaps and this is in pencil . This is the last page written on the letter head
clara-let-5res
Page 5
( unreadable and missing) …. Clare(a)? was a small town in Iowa

(ED NOTE there is indeed a town in Iowa named Clare)http://www.celticcousins.net/irishiniowa/clarehistory.htm
Illegible ……one of those places where everybody knows everybody else . I can just remember my
(torn away and missing) my assumption is the sentence would have “mother – she”
passed away when I was six year ( torn) missing my Father’s sister came to keep house for us. I was the only child and I can remember my Father took me on his knee and explained to me about my Aunt Mary coming to live with us and that I was always to be a good girl and always to do as she told (missing)

I can see now that Aunt Mary meant “alright??” but she was one of the kind that I really believe never really loved anyone. You know there are people like that in this world.

( torn and missing assumption is the word Father?? was a Foreman in a Planing Mill

ED NOTE- from Clare History http://www.celticcousins.net/irishiniowa/clarehistory.htm

Other stores were soon completed and opened- Tom Cunningham’s Hardware,
Conway Lumber Co., John Hanrahan Hotel, Kelleys, the center I.C. Company
Coal and Crowley’s Shoe Store.

There was a Lumber Company ( there is that connection to lumber again) and where there is lumber there is usually a “Planing Mill”

The map below is the Lumber Company in Lorain from the 1888 Sanborn Fire Maps and look when it was “Forest: the older street name of 18th Street- Did Clara’s family come to Lorain for work???

planing-millres

and left the house each morning at 6:30 and came home each evening at 5:30. Every ( torn and unreadable) went to Lodge Meeting and torn and missing went down town and paid the ( unreadable) , Butcher and so forth other nights he was always home

the rest is torn and erased through water damage .

So many questions

One is this a family history of a girl named Clara ? OR perhaps a budding writer making notes of a story?

Why did she hide her pages in the basement on top of a beam. How old was the writer ?
Who lived at 212 18th street before the Greggs?

The rest of the pages take us to Oklahoma Territory in the year 1902 ….

The enhanced BW pages of 3,4,5
page-3bw-res
letter-4-bw-res

clara-let-5bw

To be continued

December 29, 2016 at 9:02 pm 3 comments

Lorain- History Mystery-Her Name was Clara Pt.2

212-w18thres

PART ONE : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/12/27/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara/

The last 48 hours have sent me on a journey, and I am not alone, the History Mystery Squad have been delving into what little facts we can obtain on the subject of just who was Clara?

We have, I believe, solved the mystery of C.C MOORE – Vice President of the Lorain Lumber and Manufacturing Co.

My assumption as to the identity of C. C Moore – Vice President of Lorain Lumber and Manufacturing Co – 9th Street on the letter head may be that of his wife “Carrie Christine ( Friends) Moore” whom Leonard Moore married in 1895-
moore-lcres
moore-lc2res

Carrie’s father was Charles F Friend – The information on Find a Grave has Charles F Friend as a tug boat captain and fisherman but also according to the history of Lorain County Charles F Friend was the Vice President of Lorain Lumber and Manufacturing Com organized in 1881 –

That makes sense to me, those earning their living on the lake need to have an alternative source of income during those months when all the lake gives up is ice and rough seas. The letter head definitely says C. C. Moore .

Was Lorain ahead of her time in having women in important positions? I was told that it was quite normal in that day and age , many of the wives of the ship’s captains, for instance, took over the roles of running the on shore businesses as their husbands, fathers and brothers were on the lake and needed elsewhere.

So I believe, the linkage as to lumber, the Moore of the letter head may be solved but on the other side of the page we still have Clara – what was her relationship with Lorain Lumber if any, the lumber company’s letter head used for her story?

You can see the paper mache replicas of the Moore family, including Carrie, at the Moore House on 5th street. However following the links below will take you to photos and more information:

Lisa and Mrs. Moore

Lisa and Mrs. Moore


Lisa of Lorain 365 Blog https://Lorain365.com meeting Carrie in 2014
Meeting the Moores

http://www.chroniclet.com/news/2014/11/29/Lorain-s-Moore-House-Museum-opens-to-public.html

We last left Clara going on a day trip with her mother for her 14th birthday
clar-2res

Page 2.

Mrs. Martin had been our House-keeper, sort of a nurse (for(crossed through)to me since I had been 7 years old (and I now to tell her-crossed through).
In a short time we were in Mother’s Roadster and drove to Brighton

ED NOTE: The only Brighton I could find in Ohio and in Lorain County – is Brighton Township and from Wikipedia ” Some say the community was so named on account of it being a “bright spot”, while others believe the name is a transfer from Brighton, New York, the native home of a share of the first settlers. A post office called Brighton was established in 1825, and remained in operation until 1904 The first country store at Brighton opened in around 1839.[4]

and there had a nice lunch and then into the car again and out into the country. Finally we stopped at a beautiful woods and mother said let us get out and explore. We were soon deep into the woods and finally came to the small stream of water. A beautiful day in June and we sat under a large Oak tree and then mother started speaking of the birds, the flowers the trees and spoke of their beauty.

Then she said “Clara I am going to tell you the story of my life and dear it is such a beautiful story if it is correctly told and daughter that is why I have brought you out here today , to this beautiful place.
You are at the turning point in life and will soon step from (girl-hood?) into womanhood (and then she pointed to a bird- crossed through) Clara if you and I had come out her last winter we would have found the trees bare, the grass dead and there would have been very little signs of life, (and-crossed through) But in ………………….

Black and white enhancement of Page 2
clar-2bw

December 28, 2016 at 10:26 pm 10 comments

Lorain – History Mystery- Her name was Clara

dennis Flores

Dennis Flores, 2nd Ward Lorain Councilman , knocked on my door before Christmas with a folder. Dennis has been rehabbing a home at 212 W.18th Street. The home, which at one point must have been a substantial family home, had gone the way most of these beautiful old dwellings have gone in Lorain- dilapidated and forlorn .

212-w18thres

As Dennis was taking out the old cast iron ( coal burner ) furnace he exposed a main cross beam. Tucked up into the top of the beam was a shaft of yellowing and aged papers . The paper has ripped , fallen apart in some areas and difficult to read but as I read the first page written on the back of a company letter head paper my eye was drawn to the letterhead.

lorain-lumberres

C.C. Moore (Vice President) of The Lorain Lumber and Manufacturing Co. East Ninth Street. C.C. Moore

Now I was aware that a Leonard Moore was a Mayor of Lorain was at one point on the BOD of Lorain Lumber and Manufacturing Company
http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/2014/05/monument-to-mayor-leonard-moore.html
and was instrumental in bringing about Lakeview Park
( readers will remember that was the original Gilmore Farm )
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/generally-gillmore-lorain-part-4/
and that Mayor Moore’s home is now a museum of sorts on 5th Street . Leonard Moore according to the Lorain Historical Society ”
moorehouse1

Moore’s daughter Helen lived in the home until 1980 when the Moore family donated it to the city, Zilko said.
Before passing in 1920 at the age of 51, Moore played an instrumental part in the city’s development, Zilko said. Moore began his working career at the Lorain Lumber and Manufacturing Company, which was located at the foot of East 9th Street, while he was a young boy.

http://www.morningjournal.com/article/MJ/20140310/NEWS/140309655
A quick search found that Leonard’s fathers name was also Leonard
Father: Leonard William MOORE b: 9 FEB 1836 in Black River Twp., Lorain, OH
Mother: Amanda Catharine MILLER b: 31 JAN 1836 in Avon, Lorain, OH

so I am unsure of the connection with CC Moore

But the Lorain Lumber Company and its officers was not the main thrust of my curiosity – it was the hand written pages on the reverse side:
leeterp1
I have retyped ( as best I am able) the contents of the first page
CLARA?????

To tell the story of my life, I can see that ( torn) is going to be necessary to first tell of the life of my mother. And to tell of her heart aches and suffering and also to of her courage and fighting spirit.

My earliest childhood (memories( crossed through) recollection is that when I first realized that all the other girls and boys had a Daddy and I had none. And when I asked my mother about it , I was told that my Daddy had died when I was a tiny Baby. But when I reached the age of 14 years I was then told a story that (made me (crossed through)not only made me know and understand life, but also made me love my mother (in a bigger and better and (crossed through) more and more.

On the morning of my 14th Birthday my mother said “Clara I think it would be wonderful if just you and I could have the day all to ourselves” and of course I knew that she had made plans which would mean a trip somewhere and (torn) I was more than anxious to know all of the plans. Mother said ” Well (illegible) we will first tell Mrs. Martin that she need not prepare and (serve??) lunch or dinner for us as we shall be away all day

I held in my hands , gently , the words written over a hundred years ago by “Clara” as she started to chronicle her life, just as I have been doing a century on using the power of the blog. I have not read the other pages – some are in such bad condition but I am hoping I will find more to Clara’s life as I too, chronicle her story a century on in another time ………….
Page One scanned and cleaned up
leeterp1res

December 27, 2016 at 3:16 am 11 comments

In the pink- 97 years – and counting – Mum!!!

mum

My husband swears they switched babies at my birth and Mum got someone else’s child, as I am nothing like my mum! My mum is gentle , sweet, never sees the bad in people ( sometimes a failing), can bake for Britain, loves people with a depth beyond knowing, always makes excuses for their not so nice behavior, and has a strength to her that has sustained her for 97 years.
grandadbs
Born after the Great War 1914-1918 – February of 1919- she realized that she was the result of a soldier’s homecoming from the trenches ( my granddad) that fact has always taken her a little aback – a product of a homecoming passion.

digging for victory

digging for victory


Mum has seen and lived through the Great Depression, lived through the bombing and times of World War Two- Korean War -the Suez Crisis- lived on two continents and three different countries but has always loved England – she is rooted in England. She is truly an English rose. She is never happier than when she is on English soil but as age creeps up and airlines get worse her dreams of another trip are probably just dreams.

I have a vague recollection of being in my pram facing my mum as she pushed me away and let the pram slide back to her smiling- then being in a push chair at a shop and a man ( presumably the shop keeper) giving me what is known as a lady finger ( biscuit).
dadmejpg
Other memories flash in an out but the one I remember most vividly was of a panicked little girl rushing into my parents bedroom , crying after a nightmare about dogs biting me. Mum calmed me by telling me she would never let anything bad happen but I was so scared

“what happens if you aren’t here?”

“don’t worry I will be “

and then I remember making her promise she wouldn’t die for 20 years – 20 years at the time must have felt like forever to my small child thinking. She kept her promise.

Her hands – I loved and love her hands- Oh they aren’t beautiful in the accepted sense of the word. They are comforting and strong hands ( even today) cool hands that stroked my fevered brow during , mumps, measles and chicken pox. Hands that held mine as she guided me through life. Hardworking hands that helped keep a roof over our heads when times were tough and they were extremely tough from time to time. My mum has made friends all over the world – hundreds of Christmas cards come through our letter box each December. My mum is loved by all who know her and knew her for the wonderful friend , aunt and person she is. When wrongs are done to her it is not she who complains but her daughter has no such compassion for those that would hurt her.

Ah my mum , she loves pink and she loves flowers

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and I am reminded of that this morning as she cooks her breakfast dressed in a fluffy pink robe and her flowery pajamas .

It was another pink robe that reminded me of her strength. A trip to England and the return journey in 2006. Ten years ago – I thought she was a marvel at 87 and NOW 97 but she still had her English backbone! An excerpt from that trip!……

Gatwick Airport – the International gateway – HA! although a wheelchair had been booked and confirmed three times, there was nary a sign of one as I loaded my and my mum’s suitcases onto the wobbly trolley. I struggled and worked our way through the mass of humanity – all with trolley’s on overload – to the North West Airlines counter.

Here I had to prop mum up with our suitcases whilst I went through the “electronic” check in. What a joke! how they expect “we of the needing reading glasses” generation to juggle passports, e-tickets, purses and keep an eye on our all important luggage is beyond me

– I think they go out of their way to make life difficult at departure so you will be thrilled to finally get on the ”flying cattle cars” that are “pond life class” – and you are reminded constantly
KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR BAGGAGE AT ALL TIMES -UNATTENDED BAGGAGE MAY BE CONFISCATED AND DESTROYED!!!!-
all this in the midst of 2,000 of people all trying to do the same thing.

Finally you get to the North West Airline’s counter – where you act as your own baggage handler – and STILL NO WHEELCHAIR for the 87 year old mother who is fading fast. I ask

where is the wheelchair?

Oh! said the “automated attendant”
you have to go through security first
and points in the direction of a line that makes the ones at Cedar Point look pathetic.

“Oh and Madam this airport’s security will only take ONE item on board you will have to combine your purses and carry-on bag into one.

Well ROBO – that is the name I decided fit the “automated robotic attendant” – best – 2 INTO 1 WON’T GO! Especially these 2 into 1’s.

“If you want to get through to the departure lounge you will have to ! Oh – and that is where you will get wheelchair assistance.” droned the automated man

ROBO – MY MOTHER NEEDS THE ASSISTANCE NOW not once I get into the departure lounge where there are seats DUH!!!
Nothing Nada just the blank robotic stare.

“Don’t make a fuss, keep your mouth shut Loraine or this automated muppet will deny your boarding” thought I.
bathres
So doing what any good little girl should do I followed directions!
I sat on the cold granite type floor of Gatwick airport – like some 3rd world tinker spreading my wares for sale in the middle of this throng of humanity sorting through what I could throw away to make room.

I threw away a pair of slacks and a sweater and managed to stuff, pull and push my purse into my carry-on. (it felt a bit like giving birth in reverse) My mother absolutely refused to throw anything away.
“I certainly will not throw away my pink dressing-gown – absolutely not! – that is a waste, I WILL WEAR it”.
And that is exactly what she did !

We spent another 3/4 of an hour waiting to get through security. Mum, dressed now in her bright pink dressing gown with hood, clutching her sandwiches (she knows all too well how airline food has deteriorated to that of “cuisine de dumpster”) valiantly struggled through to the departure lounge – her British stiff upper lip intact! The generation that stood against the onslaught of the fascists once again stood her ground- had to- there was still no wheelchairs.

I can picture her whenever she wears a pink dressing gown- her little face defiant as she went through security, back straight the epitome of the English spirit.

I am lucky to have my mum- she has been with me through the very worst of times and still takes care of her child when the nightmares come.

Happy 97th Birthday mum – we love you …..

hearts and flowers

February 10, 2016 at 1:49 pm 10 comments

CH..ch…ch Changes- Herstory- Lorain-History Part 2

Part One
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/ch-ch-ch-changes-herstory-lorain-history/

Peggy
Peggy Gillmore has, like most of us will and those who have gone before, ended up with but a few lines in a local paper
http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/morningjournal/obituary.aspx?pid=169880019
Yet there is so much about Lorain, and the founding of Lorain then Black River, Charleston Village in those few lines

“Ms. Gillmore was a sixth generation member of the Gillmore family who came from Massachusetts to settle in Lorain in 1810. Peggy loved researching the history of her family and Lorain”

Yes, she was the last living descendent in Lorain of one of the founders of Lorain.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/lakeview-revisited-2008/

It is true she loved her family history , was proud of their accomplishments and fought to preserve it.
cvpark

Twice she fought City Hall and developers from taking the centuries old green space donated by her family –
Gillmore Donation ( newspaper cutting 1925)

now known as Veteran’s Park” – first a parking lot in the 1970’s and then Condos for Cole and John Veard and Foltin in 2005-6.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/veterans-memorial-park-fini/
I met Peggy when we moved into “my” “this old house” just 6 houses down the block.

11274

We shared a love of history, neighborhood, theatre and art. I spent many hours over the years on her front porch and on the phone chatting about Lorain. Peggy, knew all the stories of these old houses , who was who and spoke of people long ago as if they still walked and lived in the neighborhood she knew so well.
403 Oberlin
Peggy wanted to do more and

“I must get to that trunk of papers in the attic” “I have to get this all down” I need to get this house on the Historical Register

but age and ill-health precluded her from accomplishing that goal . Her house has become just another old house destined for what is unknown- although Peggy wanted it maintained and kept in the family, it is now unclear if that will be the case.

So why should we , in Lorain, care about just another old house.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/these-old-houses-are-talking-are-we-listening/
wilford house
We don’t care about the Wilford- Bartenfeld House,
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/civil-war-letters-fannie-gilmore-lorain/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/02/12/capt-wilford-a-hero-of-the-inland-seas/

or any of the other homes that have a history in this old neighborhood.
Seher

http://pointingthecannon.blogspot.com/2012/01/slattery-house.html

http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/2012/01/own-one-of-houses-on-vintage-postcard.html

They , their links to heroism , contribution to country are not embraced by the majority of this community . They too, like the contents of previous owners lives are kicked to the curb.

Those items, precious to those that live with them and their memories, become just trash to be disposed of as quickly as possible. It broke Peggy’s heart to see what was happening to her beloved trees, in fact just few days after her death they came and cut down the ones she was fighting to save. Their stumps mute testament to her loss of the fight.

All was not lost, although I know there was and is probably so much more that has ended in a landfill, what is left is just a few items of Lorain’s history reverently guarded by the last of Gilmore’s of Lorain are taking up a small space in my dining room.

TO BE CONTINUED ……….

April 10, 2014 at 4:31 pm 8 comments

Clotted Cream, The Grey Lady , The Iron Lady, The lost gardens

As most readers are already aware my brain, since the death of my son, has taken various detours from the norm. I seem to be on a memory hyperdrive although most of my recent memories are harder to pull up. It is like I am no longer part of their making- robotic actions and going through the motions seemingly haven’t imprinted on my little grey cells.

devon ceram com[pany Fragmented as I am sights, smells objects can send me on a journey and to places long forgotten; such a journey was “triggered” yesterday by my husband bringing in a jar of Devonshire Clotted Cream from Giant Eagle. He must have been in a particularly loving mood as it cost $9.00 for this 6 oz jar. A rare extravagant for one who preaches to us daily about the cost of bread and milk .

He had remembered a holiday in England where we were driving through country roads from London to Devon. We were off the beaten path thanks to my mother’s remembered direction. The weather was beautiful but the petrol was running low. All the way along mum had wanted to make sure we would stop for a Devonshire Cream Tea but thanks to her directions we knew not where we were.

petrol
http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1697858
**NOTE THIS PETROL STATION IS IN SOMERSET NOT DEVON OR CORNWALL BUT AS CLOSE AS I COULD GET TO THE AMBIANCE OF THE MOMENT
Finally, a little old-fashioned petrol station came into view with a lovely cottage tea room off to the side . Gratefully we filled the tank and made our way to The Grey Lady Tea Room.

clotted-cream
My mother, happy at last, enquired to the lady running the tea room –

Oh I can’t wait for some “real devon” clotted cream

“Madam “

said the lady with a tone that could freeze tea water solid-

” you will not find “Devonshire” Clotted cream HERE- YOU are in CORNWALL!!!

My mother had well and truly put her foot in it as there is quite a rivalry between whose clotted cream is best – that of the county of Devon or that of Cornwall –
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clotted_cream

To change the subject and to ease ruffled Cornish feathers I asked about the name of the tea room.

original artwork 1859  Daniel Macnee

original artwork 1859 Daniel Macnee


Apparently the “grey lady” referred to was a ghostly inhabitant of the old cottage whose lover was lost ( in the sense of missing on a battlefield) so his fiancée, the lady in question, never went into mourning black until she had received confirmation of his death- but always wore grey. He never returned to her and apparently she still waited patiently by the fireplace for news long, long years after her death.

I tried to find the tea room on the internet this morning but I suppose, like most things, it has long since closed ; not many would find their way off the major highways to support its existence.

However, my mind soon segued from the Grey Lady to The Iron Lady and the news that Maggie Thatcher had died.

Margaret Thatcher in 1982.
Ah! Maggie love her or hate her but you knew she was there

In politics, if you want something said, ask a man; if you want to get something done, ask a woman.”

I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.

Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.

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The lamp sitting on the desk in my living room is a poignant reminder of her policies. It is nothing special to the onlooker just an old-fashioned oil lamp ( except it is not so old) . My father purchased the lamp due to the miners strike, Maggie Thatcher and the trade unions , you never quite knew when the lights would go out in London.

As I looked at the lamp this morning, I thought of Maggie Thatcher, the people who are apparently rejoicing in her death . Maggie’s position on the Falklands War. I was at home that year on another trip I watched the patriotism, the news and the young men going to their death. I was proud of the land of my birth, she gave us that pride.

I know most of us thought the Falklands was some island off the coast of Scotland – the association with the dreaded French – errrrrrrrrK the French ( cringing with disdain) well the thoughts about the French will have to wait for another post.

Maggie, who was “our council person” at one time in Finchley, who dared opine council meetings should be open to the public . Maggie who alway took a long beat/ pause before answering an interview question. No ! you may not have liked her , you may not have agreed with her policies but you knew who she was and for that I admire her.

My internet search for the Grey Lady took me on another journey and another “lost” only this time the grey lady was in a lost garden – The Lost gardens of Heligan
http://www.heligan.com/
where giants, sleeping ladies and legends can be found in amongst the ancient woodlands in Cornwall. You can even stop for tea but remember don’t ask for Devonshire Clotted Cream 😉
Lost gardens

April 12, 2013 at 6:09 pm 2 comments

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