Old Fort Park

Old Fort Park is about a block from my house.  It isn't much of a fort.  It was a Civil War era observation post with perhaps an artillery piece, overlooking the approach to Tallahassee from the Gulf coast.

The park is the site of our Woodland Drives Neighborhood Association picnics.  People walk their dogs there, children play games.

An historical marker at the park reads:
This earth work located on ground once part of the plantation of E.A. Houston, father of Captain Patrick Houston (later state adjutant general) who commanded the Confederate artillery at the Battle of Natural Bridge, is a silent witness of the efforts of the citizens of Tallahassee to protect the capitol of Florida from capture by federal troops under General John Newton.

Newton's force landed at St. Marks light house and advanced up the east side of the St. Marks River, only to be decisively repulsed at Natural Bridge on March 6, 1865, by a hurriedly assembled Confederate force commanded by General Sam Jones, which included a company of cadets from the West Florida Seminary, now Florida State University.
So not a shot was fired in anger from this fort, nor a Yankee seen.


There is another line of breastworks downhill to the south in someone's back yard.  I saw them once when the house was for sale.

These were taken with my Droid Mini phone.  Not bad at all.


Long Walks

Two weeks off.  I used so much sick leave for my eye surgeries last year that I have to use some "annual" leave this month or lose it.  It's been very cold for Florida, hat & coat weather, but I have to move or my mind stagnates.

Back to my Canon S90 here.  Far superior to my Droid Mini's camera, and no more trouble to carry.

Sarasota & Country Club Drive; built in the 1920's.

Northeast perimeter of the golf course.

Where to send your golf ball.

Houses facing Old Fort Park at Seminole & Maple

House at Azalea Dr. & Alban Ave.

Ferns in my yard after a hard freeze.


Review and Book List for the Iraq & Afghan Wars

Michio Kakutani has published an interesting round-up in the New York Times of recent reportage, memoirs and fiction about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Human Costs of the Forever Wars, Enough to Fill a Bookshelf, accompanied by, A Reading List of Modern War Stories.
Even as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan morph into shapeless struggles with no clear ends in sight, they have given birth to an extraordinary outpouring of writing that tries to make sense of it all: journalism that has unraveled the back story of how and why America went to war, and also a profusion of stories, novels, memoirs and poems that testify to the day-to-day realities and to the wars’ ever-unspooling human costs.
 The reading list is not exhaustive, but would make a good start for a library display.  In my library, war displays tend to appear twice a year, for Memorial Day and Veterans Day.  This past summer we put up a special display for the one-hundredth anniversary of World War I, which moved pretty well.  But I am not sure how an Iraq & Afghan Wars display would be received.

I struggled over whether, and then how, to post these links, but they were clearly good material.  And the books themselves delineate better that I ever could the tragedy of these wars.  Would our readers pick them up?

I remember the time we tried a display on some anniversary of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack.  I don't think a single book was checked out.


Seeing Again & Old Newspapers

After a couple of years of deteriorating vision, and five eye surgeries over the last 14 months for cataracts and corneal transplants, I can at last see again!  For a librarian, this is a pretty big deal.  Add to this my recent acquisition of a smartphone with a decent camera, and I find I'd rather share pictures than write.

Our little Christmas tree
Fried cheese-grits, ham & egg, a Southern man's delight.
This was a black A.M.E. church, across the street from the library, now the offices of a non-profit org.  An ancient mossy live oak tree in front.
From Ancestral Voices, the first volume of the diaries of James Lees-Milne, I find an observation that has often come to me while browsing old newspapers on microfilm, "He only reads eighteenth-century newspapers, of which he has an enormous stock, for he says the news in them is just the same as it is today.  You merely have to substitute the names of countries occasionally, and not invariably."