Sunday, May 29, 2011

Christiansen's Comments...Hinds County Gazette May 26 2011

 “What did you say you were doing?????”

My answer: “I am going to Raymond to help entertain Yankees.”

Question: “Why you? And what are Yankees doing in Raymond?”

Well, I don’t think it is a long story, but with me you never know. So here goes…. as I understand it,

The tale begins with Doctor Clark Stewart, Clark is a periodontist, Clark grew up in Raymond, after a bit of time away, he came back to Raymond to raise his family, giving them the small town experience he had growing up.

So anyway, several years ago, Clark was attending a conference in Jackson, where Doctor Bob Levine, an oral surgeon/periodontist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was speaking. In the course of conversation Clark learned that Bob has a passion for history. Clark invited Bob to come to Raymond, somehow Clark was able to get Raymond Mayor Isla Tullos and civil war historian, Parker Hills, involved with Bob. The Mayor and Parker took Bob on a ride around the area, pointing out the points of interest.

Parker is a retired general, who now is a tour leader with Battlefield focus Tours. Parker is a well qualify guide…. I was told, and I am quoting a source who wants to remain anonymous , “Parker knows everything there is to know about the battles of the civil war. He can even point to the exact spot Grant’s horse Pooped.”. I hope I do not have to go to jail to protect my source.

Parker Hills

Because of the efforts of many ….beginning with Clark… Bob has been back to Mississippi several times and is a generous donor to The Raymond Battlefield, plus Bob a cannon sponsor.

For this trip and tour with Parker Hills, to Port Gibson, Raymond, Champion Hill and Vicksburg, Bob and his wife were joined by several other people from Yankee Land and Memphis, they were mostly from the dental profession accept, a pilot and Ray. Ray is a retired psychiatrist. You all, I caught my self being very self conscious of what I said when I was with in ear shot of Ray…then I was offered a glass of wine and got over that, and asked “So tell me Ray, is this group is so messed up it needs a psychiatrist to travel with them?’’ didn’t get an answer…Patient doctor confidentiality no doubt.

Other members of the South’s team called on to entertain the Yankees were Bob Chun, Brenda and Charles Davis, Mayor Tullos, and of course Clark and Ruth Stewart. It was great fun, Thursday we met at the Mayor’s home on the Square for light refreshments before motoring on to Jackson to Cherchale’s to meet up with members of the tour group who’s plane had been delayed. Bob Cherchale went all out to make the Yanks feel at home.

Isla and Tilly

Friday evening we met at the Clark's home for light refreshments….Has Clark ever got the man room! He doesn’t just have a few stuff deer heads…he has whole animals stuffed and mounted to the walls….they are mounted in such a way they appear to be climbing down a rock wall.

Then way on after while we left the Stewart's and we caravaned to Learned, to Gibbes Grocery for dinner….We didn’t leave the restaurant until almost 11 o’clock. So obviously a grand time was had by all!

I know I wasn’t invited because of my vast knowledge of events surrounding the Civil War. I learned everything I know about the Civil War from my friend, Gordon Cotton and Parker Hills….But!!!! don’t ask me any dates… Or specific places…or names…. best not ask me any questions.

So any way…I believe, I was invited in case an interpreter was required. You know my field expertise … I can translate Yankee!

I do hope this band of Yankees comes back to Mississippi soon…I want to have them to my house for a party on the porch!

If you can…Adopt a Yankee…they are so much fun. But you can’t have these Yankees…they belong to Raymond.

Love to all

My deepest sympathies go out to the family of Dick Kilby, indeed the entire city of Raymond. Raymond has lost a friend.

Dick Kilby
getting ready to unload Cannon

Call if you need me

Friday, May 13, 2011

Christiansen's Comments Hinds county Gazette, May 12 2011

Well, it has been a while since I was last here. Hope your Easter was pleasant and your mothers day magnificent…..Easter and Mother’s Day was that the only holidays we have had recently?…seems to me we have a lot more holidays and special days then we use to. It could be that it seems that way because the stores promote them for sooooooooooo long before they actually get here.

Whit and I have been together a pretty good bit lately. As you know may know, Whit’s grandfather, Lewis Montgomery passed away recently.  Years ago, Lewis confronted me saying “don’t you ever write about me.” I looked him in the eye and with out smiling, I said very firmly, , “ Lewis you were born and raised in Hinds County, you have to take your turn being written about….just like everybody else.” Lewis grinned and no more was ever said about that….and we were buddies.

Saturday was May Day in Edwards, lots of activity down town, Whit and I strolled down to watch the parade….the band, horses , motor cycles , and politicians…….on the way back to the house, we stopped at a stand on the corner and bought a plate of barbecued ribs and a side of spaghetti.. Whit ate spaghetti and chewed on a rib bone. We had a grand time!

Square from bridge

Oh! The back porch…is my new favorite place in this house! I don’t remember if I told you, about me calling myself redecorating the back porch a year or so ago. I poured a fabulous concrete counter top and painted the walls and ceiling…. That made the screens look awful… The screen was so dirty… I tried cleaning them, nothing worked…the screen was so disgusting.…I ripped it off ! When the screen was gone, the door come across as just silly. So I took it off too. Well, possums, came in and ate cat food right out of the bag, birds flew in and out at will and ate cat food out of the cat’s dish…..and all of that dust, dirt and grime that was being caught in the screen? Well it was now coming straight on to the porch, directly through the back door, and in to the kitchen.

Possum behind concrete leaf, on back porch.

Enter Doug Turner…He made new screens that, by removing a couple of screws, can be taken out and hosed off…He hung a new door too, it is magnificent…The whole back porch is better now, then when it was new. It looks more original then the original 1920 porch….really it does…everybody who has seen it says so. Really they do.

Back Porch

Next Doug is going to work on some rotted boards round the sun porch. That is, when he is finished out at the Coker House. There is going to be a ceremony, a dedication of the newly rebuilt, historic Coker house. The Coker house figured prominently in the Battle of Champion Hill.

Doug sees after the Coker House, cuts the grass etc, he and wife Kay Windham Turner, live across the highway from it and Kay grew up in the Coker house.….so this week Doug is hard at it getting the Coker House spiffed up and ready for visitors. But he will be back….I know he will, because he left his saw horses.

Coker House before restoration

I will be back too
Love to all