31 March 2009

the lost coin.

the day after we visited the wiggins house, the weather was still puttin' on the Tease with plenty o'warm sunshine and gorgeous blue skies, which meant i could go out in the 1950s shorts i got from design archives.
my brother and i hit another stop on the eastern north carolina tour: brock mill pond in trenton. my fondest memories of trenton are going there with my aunt in the summers when she was working at the junior high school there. we would go to this supermarket called 'oz's' and the guy was really called oz! there was a big wizard of oz theme and i just loved it....of course it now has a new owner and has lost some of the oz feel, but, as you are quickly learning reading these past few entries, i hold onto my memories and don't let go!
i had never been to the mill pond, not that i remembered anyway. and man have i been missin' out! a bit of info about the dam: 'A dam was built prior to the American Revolution and it powered a sawmill and cotton gin during the earlier years and beginning in 1917, it provided the town with electric power. The present gristmill was built in 1944. It ceased operation in 1964. This dam was damaged during the hurricane Floyd flood of 1999; restoration has been completed to its prior beauty.
another door we couldn't get into, we could only look in and wonder how it once was. and daydream about who'd been there and what happens when it gets dark (!).
after basking in the sun we drove around downtown trenton, spotting some more deserted beauties along the way.

i couldn't resist a stop on the way back, a stop i like to make nearly every visit, to my maternal grandmother's school.
the adams schoolhouse in the huffmantown road, with its lovely tongue-and-groove walls and welcoming stoop, makes me long for a time machine that much more.

30 March 2009

forget all your troubles, forget all your cares and go...

southern downtowns, once neglected by sprawl and now embraced by young entrepreneurs, (and the easily heart-broken, myself among them!) are so romantic. i felt it more on this visit than ever before.
it's wondering what you missed. remembering what you had (and missing it more than ever). (wishing for that time machine again.) daydreaming about what comes next.
and smiling just knowing that for a moment, time stands still. it all makes me long for lazy sundays and john londei photographs.

26 March 2009

i slept in comfort.

i spent every summer 'til i was about sixteen in my mom's childhood home of comfort, a little town about an hour from the coast of north carolina. several generations of my family grew up there, so there's a rich history all around. i would cry when my parents drove away and cry when we drove away at the end of the summer, my grandma waving from the porch. we tended the garden, made homemade pickles, watched golden girls, did oil of olay facials and went to bojangle's and kmart with her girlfriends. i read babysitter's club books and made bulletin boards and shelved books with my aunt peggy in the school library across the road.
there's a few hundred people in the town, not much to do and not much to see. my paternal grandpa used to visit comfort [coming only from the mid-sized durham mind you!] and sit on the porch, counting the cars that went by on one hand. it's a bit busier these days but still most sundays about the only thing to do is pick up pecans.
those summers really shaped who i am and i will always cherish them but now well into adulthood i get a bit ancy after just a few days at the old homeplace. this time around i decided to hit a few of the tourist attractions i couldn't remember ever seeing.
one afternoon just before sunset my brother and i took a short drive to the 'wiggins house', comfort's namesake.
legend has it that george washington slept in this very house. when he woke up in the morning they asked him how he slept and he said, 'i slept in comfort'. and the rest is history.
or.....the rest is legend! i haven't been able to find very much about GW's stay but i did find this about the now torn down 'shine house' where GW stayed on his 'Southern tour' of 1791. the shine house sat just a few miles from the wiggins house. Washington departed New Bern after two full days of dining and dancing on April 22, headed toward Wilmington. As he left the town, he was escorted by some of New Bern’s leading citizens for several miles. He stopped in Trenton for a meal and then “lodged at one Shrine’s,” an “indifferent” inn or tavern along his route. The “Shrine” mentioned in his diary was probably a tavern operated by John Shine in Jones County. Shine can be found in the 1790 census as the head of a household containing nine whites and eight slaves. Washington’s tour was punctuated by visits with members of various Masonic lodges along his path and, during his time in Jones County, he was visited by the men of Trenton’s King Solomon’s Lodge. Washington left Shine’s tavern and enjoyed a quiet ride toward Wilmington for the next day.
GW or no GW....the wiggins house is truly a magical place. there's a real aura around the house, the land and all the little buildings and barns around it. being there for the sunset made it that bit more special, but i don't think i would want to go there in the dark! we couldn't get inside (a few tugs on the doorknob got me nowhere) but lookin' through the screen door you can see the main house is frozen in time, its last occupant's hat sat atop the coat rack and a tea towel hanging on the kitchen sink.
i fell in love with this little building with its quilt-like colours and shapes. and of course the tease of summery weather gave me the perfect opportunity to sport my 'new' 1940s shorts. i was so happy too to be reunited with the frail victorian blouse from my closet. two design archives beauties together, you can't go wrong!
the land is still being used for farming but the wiggins house sits empty as the family try to decide if they will give it to a preservation society. after going there i had a few thoughts of moving to comfort and saving the house (!). i hope someone saves it!

24 March 2009

as promised...

a bit more detail. this one will be hangin' on the wall for a while.

23 March 2009

from the vault.

of course i couldn't go back to north carolina and not visit design archives*, the shop where i once worked and which truly nurtured my love and lust for all things old [and often raggedy]. while packing all of my things away and carting seven bags of stuff away to thrift stores, the curb or design archives was a real chore and emotionally pretty draining, it was also a real thrill to let go and have less........for a minute anyway haha. i was good tho, restraining like i never have before. and leaving in the end with only one bag.
i spent the better part of two days with kit and co., once kit let me into the back where the archives [recently frequented for 'inspiration' by designers from anthropologie among others....] rest, there was no turning back.
like a kid in a candy store [sometimes i think it's more like crack than candy!] i dove in head first and didn't want to leave. every time i thought i was making progress i discovered a new unturned mound of stuff. i started a 'jess' pile and on the second day went back for more, to try my pile on but of course couldn't resist going back in the archive rooms for one more peek. a few of the regular customers came in too and it was like i'd never left! i felt like cinderella.
i had to go thru my loot several times and narrow it down to only the things i couldn't live without. there are a few photos for you here and you're guaranteed to see these and others if you check back here...wink.
the hi-lite are these 1940 tap shorts, the perfect fit, the perfect everything. if we have a real summer in london this year you betcha i'll be wearin' these out.
i've got my whole spring-summer wardrobe now so spring please hurry back. i'm currently on the hunt for the perfect shoes.
i couldn't resist wearing the 1940s housedress (already deteriorating tho!) to my ma's big sunday dinner. all my relatives said i looked like 'a girl waitin' for her boy to come back from war'.
*p.s. i should say design archives is a real dream for the ladies, if you're lookin' for great guys' stuff no one beats ragtime vintage in asheville.
Related Posts with Thumbnails