Sunday, April 30, 2006

day of rest

RT 220 south of Martinsville, VA

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

PUD free

The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors.
The OD folk say I take pictures of "Scenes, and people from rural lifestyles. Old buildings, interiors, and candid portraits."
Dogs too!

The farmhouse above on Washington family lands near Pope's Creek.
Doing what I am supposed to do...

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Friday, April 28, 2006

Cathy Thomas

Today is Cathy Thomas' last day on the Woolen Mills route. She has been delivering in an accurate timely fashion since before I can remember. She smiles with her eyes in rain, snow, sleet.
She'll be missed!

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Pireus dawn

The neighborhood expanded ?rst up the C&O railroad line that followed the ridgeline to Charlottesville. It then spread to adjacent high ground. Although noise and smoke from trains must have been bothersome, the location kept workers safe from the ?oods that periodically inundated the low ground beside Moore?s Creek and the Rivanna River. It also kept them away from the main sewage pipe that drained from town, as well as from the run-o? from the outhouses and animal pens that lined the backyards.

?The Charlottesville Woolen Mills: Working Life, Wartime, and the Walkout of 1918? by Andy Myers


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

God's Poem Writer

By Harold Jerome Arnold


Monday, April 24, 2006

not forgotten

?Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather
have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.? - Aristotle

Malcolm Holcombe's
CD will be released tomorrow. Malcolm's music was the inspiration a year back for a photo essay on excellence.

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Friday, April 21, 2006


Living in a free-standing house with a porch is a good thing.
That is the character of our neighborhood, single family homes. The blue squares up top, from left to right, are existing homes built in 1947, 1890, 1926, 1900, 1885, 1957 and 1957. The houses were built over time, as families expanded, children grew up and had children of their own. It was an organic growth that reflected the shifting fortunes of the Mill Village's residents.
The seven yellow squares are emblematic of a real estate developer's desire to get paid. Those are the "units" he hopes to build. Money in his pocket and walk away.
Help save the Woolen Mills!

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

99 years

(Personal appeals to this City agency not to short-cut through our residential neighborhood go unheeded.
Nothing changes except quickening pace of the erosion of quality of life.)
Note: when concrete trucks accelerate at this corner, the decibels generated are 95db +/-. Very very noisy

This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting one of our candidates for City Council. He was out walking the neighborhood, shaking hands, listening to citizens' concerns. Mr. Candidate's years of selfless public service mark him as a good man.
In fact, if you look at the resumes of the councilors we have had in the City of Charlottesville over the years, they are a worthy group.

As the Candidate proceeded westward on Woolen Mills Road, I knocked on a neighbor's door and said "here comes Mr. Candidate, would you like to meet him?" After a pause Mary said "No, no I don't think so..." and turned away.

Mary's family has lived in that house since 1906. It's a great house, lovingly cared for. For 100 years Mary's people have upheld their end of the social contract. They have sent children to school, worked in the community, paid taxes.
Mary is retired. Twice a year she holds a potluck and welcomes new people in the neighborhood. She is a citizen any one of us would be proud to count as a neighbor.

So why not meet the candidate? Why not say "hello". No harm in saying hello.

I am speculating here, but I suspect the last four decades have been laced with too many disappointments for Mary to greet a City representative.
Mary has lived in the 900 square foot house of her grandparents and watched as the quality of life in her neighborhood has been steadily eroded by urban planning (or lack thereof).

The neighborhood has engaged the City in a dialog. For close to thirty years, since the formation of neighborhood associations, we have begged, pleaded, chided, cajoled, implored.
It is a short litany, we ask for assistance:

Preserving the rural historic character of our neighborhood
Preventing Inappropriate dense zoning
Eliminating Sewage smell
Dramatically reducing cut through traffic on Franklin Street

How many years have we had a solid Democratic council, plenty. How many Democrats are there in the Woolen Mills, plenty.

We remain hopeful. We can't give up hope.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

hanging by a thread

A hundred people, a hundred years, what's that amount to in the calculus of life? Ten thousand human years. Three million six hundred thousand days. But wait, they were married, they had children. Fourteen million days, conservatively, in the shadow of Monticello, on the south bank of the Rivanna, working, working, working.
And who were these people? What were their names? Why were they here?

No one cares.

Andy Myers cares.

God bless Andy Myers. Godspeed Andy Myers.

The Charlottesville Woolen Mills: Working Life, Wartime, and the Walkout of 1918
Andrew H. Myers


Monday, April 17, 2006

Moore's Creek

Some of the land being considered for protection by means of conservation easement as a stream buffer for Moore's Creek

The Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority will unveil the area's water supply plan tomorrow night. It is a good plan.
Part of the plan will necessitate what the EPA folk call wetlands mitigation. The wonderful thing about how this is playing out is that it looks as if our local riverine environment and the viewshed of Monticello will both be improved by this project.
Charlottesville City Council member Kevin Lynch has a great idea how to accomplish these improvements.
RWSA is holding a Public Outreach Meeting 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at Monticello Highschool, tomorrow, Tuesday April 17.
Please attend and support the water supply and mitigation plans.
The mitigation plan would help address one of our significant local "impaired waterways."

this is Moore's Creek just upstream of where Jefferson would cross on horseback and, 70 years later, Woolen Mills Village residents would cross by footbridge

Of the three segments listed for fecal coliforms, the one with the
smallest watershed, 35 mi2, is that of Moore's Creek (which has 6.37 miles that are listed
as impaired, from the intersection of Rts. 29 and 1106 to the confluence with the Rivanna
River). In spite of its size, it is a diverse watershed which reflects the diversity of the
Rivanna Basin.

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

day of rest

Reflection in the window of St.Stephens Episcopal Church, Esmont, Virginia


Saturday, April 15, 2006


I am thankful for the serious people. For the people whose life work makes a difference. I haven't met many of them, my life is narrowly circumscribed, 90% of my time spent between Secretary's Ford, Riverbend and the Timberlake house. Don't get out much.

Circumstances brought me into contact with the serious man above. Engineer turned medical man. Head of the UVA Urology department. I can't do his resume justice so, my shorthand description for him, he is my medical Jesus.

Gratitude and thanks. This man, and his dedicated colleagues, RN's, PA's, MD's, hospital staff- this group of people gave me a shot at a long life.

How will it work out? It might, it might not. Too early to know. I am cautiously optimistic. The thing is, the UVA Urology department is doing technologically miraculous work. It's a complicated team effort. William Steers MD is head of the team.

Dr. Steers gave me life five months ago.

Heartfelt thanks.

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Friday, April 14, 2006


My Mom gave me this life fifty thee years ago. She is my source and inspiration.


Thursday, April 13, 2006


These are the people that held me together while I was down. More valuable than gold.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Proof of Life

Sam LeBeau, UVA da Vinci program manager. POD 2


Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Whose going to save you? Your friends, your prayers, medical professionals, karma? All of the above?
Here's to those who have courage necessary to wield the knife.


Monday, April 10, 2006


My sister is headed for big surgery in a hospital I've never seen, surgery scheduled to start at noon today.

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

day of rest


Saturday, April 08, 2006

cats and dogs Ecclesiasticus

Woke up this morning, the street full of cars, an estate sale on Woolen Mills Road. None of the neighbors had mentioned it to me, indeed, none of the neighbors were on hand, the notification went out via Internet.

Professional Personal Property Liquidation
What constitutes a life? Oh! Sadness beyond expression. I suppose it's the job of the Liquidator to drop a neutron bomb, separate out all the organic material and personal ephemera. Pack the living past in garbage bags for immediate disposal.
Leave behind the ashtrays, silver service, tools, furniture, Life magazines, all the collectible items that could have come from anywhere, from any old person's house.

What constitutes a life? We struggle to look back in time, to save shards of an era and a neighborhood that possessed a sense of community beyond anything we will know.
Blessedly the Liquidators missed a few items. One of them, a "certificate of longevity" issued to the beautiful Edna, three days after her 109th birthday, April 2, 1999.
The other, Louise's 1931 high school yearbook.

And some there be, which have no memorial;
who are perished, as though they
had never been; and are become as though
they had never been born;
and their children after them.

Sirach 44:9

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Friday, April 07, 2006

cats and dogs

Received feedback that "cats and dogs" was inaccurate. There was only one cat and that cat out of focus.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

cats and dogs


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

cats and dogs

How does the tree dog do it? One step at a time. The first arboreal dog I met was LD (Little Dog, Lightnin's excellent canine). This is the second, twenty five years later.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

cats and dogs

This morning my computer says my website has gone-

"site cannot be opened, no backup is found, site data is corrupted."

Sounds like a job for SuperDog!


Monday, April 03, 2006

cats and dogs


Sunday, April 02, 2006

day of rest


Saturday, April 01, 2006

Woolen Mills

In honor of HCM's 168th birthday historian Rick Britton has loaned his article:
The Charlottesville Woolen Mills, Clothing a Nation
to the new site, historicwoolenmills.
Who was Marchant?