Sunday, September 6, 2009

6 September 1955 “A Holiday in my own Town, some News, and Happy Home Movies.”


Hi everyone, a quick check in. I am still in our little cottage and waiting for the chance to move into the 'big house'. I have decided that 'waiting' makes the heart grow fonder, as having spent a week here on my property, but as a 'guest' of sorts, has made me even more covetous of the house and grounds. During the day, amongst our various furniture and boxes piled on the little porch (those that did not fit in the cottage or my two story barn/studio), I sip my coffee and peruse my various magazines, dreaming of setting up house again.

Today, Gussie and I spent a lovely ‘tourist day’ in our own town. We started out walking to our little breakfast place with hubby. I found the food good but longed to get back to the kitchen and make breakfast again. I realize how much this ritual has come to mean to me by not being really able to do it properly for a week. The act of rising before the alarm, padding quietly down to the kitchen with my dogs at my heals and beginning breakfast. The smell of the coffee brewing. The sizzle of the bacon and the crack of the egg. I had eggs Benedict and found the sauce okay, but longed for my homemade version and the hash was much too salty compared to my own home-made variety. It was nice to be waited on and to have a nice stroll to and from breakfast.

Next, Gussie and I were off to town. We walked to one of my new favorite antique shops to browse and dream. We wandered to an herb shop for Gussie was in search of dried hollyhocks. Then we stopped at one of our local historic houses, The Hoxie House. This salt box was built in the late 1690’s so it is older than ours, but not by much. Our home was built in 1718. The interior beams and floor were very similar (though our floors have of course been redone and glazed, but the flat head nails are still in tact.)hoxie-house 1Here is a shot of the keeping room of the house where the cooking fire place is. It was very interesting and I met some new people in my own town. hoxie house 2  You know how sometimes you do have to play tourist where you live to appreciate what you have. Our being unable to unpack and really move completely into our property afforded us the opportunity to play tourist today and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

I will definitely show pics of various parts of the house as things get done and added and changed etc.

I was struck by the fact the the Hoxie house has only been owned by two families during its existence. The last direct descendent Hoxie died in the 1950’s and the house went to the town. She lived in it in its rough state of no electricity, though the floors were covered with linoleum from the early 1900’s (thank god as it preserved the wonderful floors) I felt a little kindred there. Here she was, in the 1950’s, where I am suppose to be, huddled up in this three hundred year old house with some make shift stoves and living. It wasn’t all stainless steel and fake wood paneling in the 1950s. If I had the house I will now have in 1955, I am certain I would have kept many antique ideas and items, but of course had a ‘new’ range and ‘ice box’, which I shall do.

picnic ad I have mentioned the movie Picnic before, but found this old clipping artwork that I might see now here in my local paper as it played at one of the local drive-ins or theatres here on the Cape in 1955. Very racy, non?

emmit till On August 28, 1955, this young 14 year old African American boy (or ‘colored boy’ as he would have been known then) was brutally murdered for whistling at a white woman. It is suppose to be the act the lead to the American civil rights movement. I think this coupled with Rosa Parks act on the bus (which will not occur until December 1st of this year) did lead to that change of ideas.

This boys murder was brutal and savage. The main suspects were acquitted, but later admitted to the murder. Till's mother insisted on a public funeral service, with an open casket so as to show the world the brutality of the killing: Till had been beaten and an eye gouged out, before he was shot through the head and thrown into the Tallahatchie River with a 70-pound cotton gin fan tied to his body with barbed wire. His body was in the river for three days before it was discovered and retrieved by two fishermen. Here he is with his mother emmet and mother When a face is put on such a crime it hits home more. There are actual photos of his ‘after’ attack that I refrained from putting on here as they are graphic, but if you want to see them search his name. They really hit home when one thinks of a young boy and what it must have meant for his mother to see him thus.

Many people today see the 1950s as a racially bad time, but I see it as the time when we were, as a nation, realizing (perhaps after two world wars) that violence and hatred towards others would not be tolerated. These are things happening in the Mid 1950’s. I again feel the need to defend the decade. It was BECAUSE of the very mindset of the time that we were able to begin to look at freedom for all Americans. I feel, now, however that we seem to be unfair to all of us in our inability to have personal accountability for our actions and to not want to SEE how much of our products (food and dry goods) are being made outside our country and not supporting our own farmers, businesses, manufacturers and labor. Maybe we need our own form of American Rights movement against the corporate class.

Well, on a happier note, I found this home movie made this year here on Cape Cod and thought it was a fun way to end the post. It was nice to see the casual clothes and relaxed attitude that I would have had this year in 1955, though going out to dinner etc would have of course been hat, gloves, and stockings. It shows the water, the architecture, the attitude of the Cape. Enjoy.

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