Sunday, October 28, 2012

Collinsville Halloween Parade 2012

 What did the hot dog say to the nun? I have no clue but this is just one of the odd sights we saw Saturday night at the Collinsville Halloween Parade.
We love looking at all the costumes. People take this seriously and the costumes are creative and many are quite unique.

I could tell a funny story about this picture but I don't want to embarrass someone. If you see me you can ask me.

Even dogs wore costumes.

Halloween ghosts were strung across the street.

This guy loved posing for us.

This guy also asked if I got his picture okay.

This is hard to see, but the mad scientist shot ghosts of candy out of the cannon.

I wonder if they are all related.

Even jelly fish!

And of course, a little princess!

The sun was there. The moon was too.
These were the judges for the costumes.

Some houses along the parade route are decorated. This one had entertainment on the porch.

A grandfather clock.

These people were over the top with their yard....strobe lights, an electric chair and quite a little ham in the chair.

There were a couple of grave yards with humorous tombstones, for example: "Claire Voyant. She didn't see it coming."

Great carved pumpkin display.

Big bird carried a sign saying "Save me". (no comment) 

From the porch of this building, Boosilini makes announcements and encourages the children to yell for candy as he throws some out to the crowd. There is also a screaming contest.

The Great Boosilini!

I am still learning how to use my camera especially at night. I used the flash to be able to capture the wonderful costumes, but it takes away the ambiance.
You cannot see the candle burning in this jack o'lantern, so I took a picture without a flash. Below is the result.

These are only a sample of the many characters we saw. Great fun for all ages. Good job, Collinsville!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Columbus Day in Granville, Mass.

I won't get into a discussion as to whether Columbus deserves a day devoted to him. I am not going to argue about getting a day off from work. I am one of the lucky ones who has gotten Columbus day off for the last 30 something years (save a few years when we were allowed to go in for two hours to make the day after not so hard--now we just have a tough day on Tuesday). It's worth a day off.

With most of the state "not" in a day off mode, we have made it a tradition to hop over the border to Massachusetts where Columbus Day is a bigger event and we find ourselves strolling the grounds in Granville, MA every year as they celebrate their Granville Harvest Days. Crafts and food abound and ramble around the town. There are booths on the green, in the church basement, church parking lot, library parking lot, book sale in the basement of the library, craft booths in and out of the school, with shuttle buses taking people to the Meeting house for more displays and to the farms selling apples and such. There are tag sales all around town too and of course the Granville Country Store selling their world famous Granville cheddar cheese and other goodies.

We did a little Christmas shopping but mostly browsing and definitely some eating. Although the selection was sparse, for $3.00 a bag, we could find books to fill a bag at that price in the basement.

We talked to some people we knew and some people we didn't. My husband was in rare form with his quips and puns. We both were feeling better after a lingering cold. It was a little chilly and cloudy, but it didn't rain and was a great autumn day.

The first picture is of one of my customers and her beautiful products she makes--baskets and coasters and mats. She mails them out often and it was nice to see them on display. They are so beautiful that it was hard to chose between them. You can check out her stuff on Etsy at Yellow Violet.

 These  mittens were made by two of the craftiest sisters I know. Every year they come up with some wonderful new item they have crafted. They did have other items on display, but these were the latest edition. These beautiful unique mittens were made out of sweaters. Unfortunately they only sell them here and not online. (But I do know where they live).

 It always amazes us the different kinds of crafts people do and how there always seems to be something new. If you love jewelry, there is no way you could not have found something you liked.

We love the home made relish that they serve with the hot dogs. We did miss the potatoes and onions this year that for some reason weren't being served but we were assured they would be back next year. There was plenty else to chose from for food. You should not go away hungry.

Recent years they have added tours of the Noble & Cooley Company drum shop where I had my first summer job. We went last year and it was fun to once again be in that old building and the memories of my summer factory work experience for two summers.

This year we saw there was a quilt show in the building across from it.

If you have never been to the Granville Harvest Days, you should check it out. It always runs three days ending on Columbus Day--maybe you will find it becoming a tradition with you too.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A diversion on Facebook

1943 Thickly Settled EAST HARTLAND CT G.I. & Girl On Bikes USAAF Home From YALE

A friend of mine found this picture for sale on ebay and posted it on Facebook. This started a little flurry of curiosity as to who the couple were. The back of the photo stated that the GI was home from Yale in April or May 1943.

Today I spoke with one of the eldest members of East Hartland, Al Lilliendahl. He pretty quickly said he believed it was Jack Barber and his wife, Ruth. He said he wasn't positive, but that he even could have been the one to take the picture. This was close to the center of town, he believed and not at the town line.He is still in contact with Ruth who lives in Washington state.

The only piece of the puzzle that doesn't fit, is he said that Jack Barber went to Trinity. They were very good friends, therefore, he knew a lot about "Johnny" and he shared the following information with me. I took notes as he spoke to not miss any of the details that he related. I thought I'd share it with the rest of you.

He said that Jack Barber and his wife Ruth Simmons lived on Pell Hill Road. They owned the Silver Lane Pickle Company in East Hartford. I believe he said it was where Pratt and Whitney is today. He told me of the 6-8 feet high vats with agitators used to clean the cucumbers in soapy water.

He enjoyed telling me that during the war, synthetic soap was invented and one day when they ran out of soap, a kid was sent to the store to buy some more. He bought a half dozen boxes and used the soap in the vats. He said all of a sudden they saw clouds of suds overflowing from the synthetic soap.

Al also said that where the houses are on Route 20 now, that started out as cottages, there were no houses and at that time that is where they grew the cucumbers for the pickles.

At this point he digressed about the post office being in the Nielson house and that one day the wind was blowing so crazy and Dave, the postmaster wouldn't let him go because it was so windy. He said he stayed there an hour.

Other interesting notes, Jack's middle name was Randolph named after his mother's family who the town of Randolph, VA was named after.

Al also said that there used to be a sign in the center of town that said, "East Hartland, Higher than Mount Tom". He said it 's twenty feet higher.

As far as "thickly settled", he agreed that it has never been, but did note that there were more people here in the 1800's than in the 1900's. He also said there were far less trees when he moved here in 1936.

When we were done talking, he was getting out his car keys, I thought to leave, but there on his key chain he showed me an oval metal piece that had the initials of Jack Barber and a date. Al had gotten that when he was in their wedding. Evidently they were very close friends.

One final fun digression he related was of himself, Peter Pedersen, Bob Pedersen and someone else, who as teens went on a few trips--the Cape, Quebec and Florida. He said when they went to Florida they took a state highway sign with them that said, "East Hartland". They nailed it to a tree at the Florida Keys pointing it in the right direction and drew an arrow on it "1200 miles". Teenagers!

It is curious how this sign came to be in East Hartland. Who decided it was"thickly settled"? The things you see on the internet!