From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tennessee Renaissance Festival 2013

Our day at Tenn-Renn


Welcome to Covington Glen!

We made our annual visit to the Tennessee Renaissance Festival on the third Sunday of May this year. Isaac, Rachel, and I arrived at the festival so early that we were able to park in the first row, directly in front of the gates.

Soon after we bought our wristbands, it was time for the faire to begin. To our surprise, the Queen and court assembled for an opening ceremony in front of the gates. They probably do this every morning of the faire, but it was new to us.

Fairies at play
A royal lineup
Talented minstrels
Inside the front gate, the fairies were already busily blowing bubbles. Isaac and Rachel wandered away, and I sat down to wait for Keely and Taurus who were a few minutes behind us. Some of the nobility stood nearby and observed the arrival of the day's guests.

A wizard and family put on
wristbands at the fair entrance.
When Keely called to tell me they had arrived, I went back to the ticket line to meet them and share my spray-on sun block. At the entrance to the festival, workers were checking armbands and looking carefully inside every bag. Many uniformed members of the sheriff's department were present throughout the day, and security seemed to be a little tighter than in the past.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Too Wet for Planting

Rainy, cool spring in Christian County, KY



We've had a difficult spring in Christian County, Kentucky. We hate to complain about rain, knowing how badly they need it in other areas, but it's so wet here that our farmers can't get the crops planted. The water puddles in this field near my home are typical for the area. Small lakes have formed in some fields that have pronounced low spots. The farmers who have managed to get their machinery in the fields and their seed in the ground are reporting mixed results. Some seed has failed to sprout, and some seedlings have been stunted or killed in water puddles.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Mogul This and Mogul That

Powerful "Moguls" of days gone by


Vintage image of a Mogul tractor  from dok1 

In 2013, the word "mogul" has a vaguely negative feel to it. We might speak of "shipping moguls" or "manufacturing moguls", meaning the powerful people who control those industries. But a hundred years ago, "mogul" was a positive word, often used as a brand name for powerful machines and equipment.

 Mogul Motor Trucks were manufactured in St. Louis and in Chicago.  The Mogul  Street Sprinkling Truck was probably made by that company. And certain large locomotives were called moguls.

Mogul 1629 locomotive. Image by tkksummers. Gene
Autry purchased this Mogul 1629 after it was retired
 from a long life of of service on the rails. It  was used
in several Western movies and shows. You may
remember seeing it on "Gunsmoke" or "Wyatt Earp."
Mogul tractors with kerosene engines were manufactured by the International Harvester Company of Chicago, Illinois, through 1924. (If you enjoy mechanical curiosities, watch this YouTube video:  Harry Henderson starting his old Mogul tractor.)

I've written several times on this blog about the hard-working Mogul Wagons that were manufactured in Hopkinsville, KY from the 1870s through 1925. Production was halted by a fire that destroyed the factory, but the Forbes Brothers sold their remaining inventory of Mogul wagons, wheels, axels, and other parts for another 25 years.

Moguls didn't always live up to the promise of their name. The Mogul Steamship Company is mainly remembered for a court case in England that concerned it. The Mogul Mining Company was declared a poor investment by a financial adviser of 1920.

How to look and feel like a Mogul yourself? Just light up a Mogul cigarette! (Ugh. I have a feeling they were terribly strong.)

The following definitions are from a dictionary of the period, The Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary of 1913

Mogul \Mo*gul"\, n. [From the Mongolian.]
1. A person of the Mongolian race.
2. (Railroad) A heavy locomotive for freight traffic, having three
pairs of connected driving wheels and a two-wheeled truck.

Mogul \Mo*gul"\, n.
A great personage; magnate; autocrat.

Related:
Mogul Wagons from Hopkinsville sold in Mississippi, North Carolina

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.