USA Made Jeans???

April 28, 2007





As part of her Starting Over, and to take her mind off the recent family loss, Liza was back on the streets of our small town yesterday and snapped the shot above of this stately old brick building. This building houses the Pointer Brand company and does today what it has done for almost 100 years…. produce good quality, durable jeans. Pointer Brand (see my blogroll) is a family business that has never closed and never laid anyone off. Here is a clip from their website:

“The L. C. King Manufacturing Company

Around the turn of the century, Landon Clayton King was raising championship birddogs. Seeing a need for tough and durable work clothing, in 1913, he founded The L. C. King Manufacturing Company.

L. C. King believed that if he could raise championship birddogs, he could produce overalls and jeans of the same distinction. Carrying on the family tradition four generations later, Pointer Brand is recognized worldwide.

The L. C. King Manufacturing Company is proud to make everything in the U.S.A. Having survived two floods and a fire, it still operates out of the original location in East Tennessee. The employees make bib overalls, coveralls, carpenter jeans, hunting apparel and denim chore coats. Several employees have retired after 50 years of service.

Bill was L.C. King’s favorite birddog. Born June 20, 1922, he soon became part of the Pointer Brand logo. He won most of the local field trials during his reign. His pups sold for $50 in the mid-1920’s. They also were given as prizes at trap shoots in Bristol. On point he was described as very intense and showed excellent style and character.”

This explains their birddog logo… but there is more to the story. The first picture in this post is of my GREAT GRANDPA, Papa Smithson (1879 to 1958), taken somewhere in the 40’s or 50’s, wearing Mr. King’s Pointer Brand jeans!

My own sweet granddaddy (a proud farmer and lumberman) wore Pointer Brand overalls everyday of his life as I recall (except for a few hours on Sunday, or the occasional wedding or funeral). And now Liza has re-discovered this American treasure and will only wear Pointer Brand jeans.

Makes me wonder why anyone would buy off shore produced jeans when we have such important, historic and hard working businesses right here in our own country to support. Since Pointer Brand is very popular in other countries, but not being worn by our own pop culture icons, it makes me think of something my Dad often told me about creativity…. “don’t be discouraged… very often the closest people around you are the least supportive and understanding of your new ideas.”

Thanks Liza for reminding us to look for, and appreciate, the USA-made jeans being produced by hard working Americans right in our own backyard.

Warm wishes. anitamorrell.wordpress.com


E.C. Rest in Peace

April 25, 2007


EC’s family and friends gave her a terrific send-off. Almost 30 strong, this big Irish Catholic family came together to celebrate EC’s life and to mourn her passing.

There are mental impressions that I will take with me always: the old stone St. Anne’s church; the smell of the incense as Father Tim, in his long white flowing robes, rocked the bronze incense holder to and fro above EC’s wooden casket; looking at all the sad faces of the loved ones seated below as I stood behind Father Tim’s podium to deliver the reading; the sound of the church bells ringing as Father Tim sang and the family marched behind the casket; respectful autos stopped and waiting along the roadway to the cemetary; and the helpless pain of seeing her casket lowered into the earth.

EC’s family gathered at our place after the funeral where love food had been delivered by my mom, my aunt and other friends of the family. And just as EC would have wanted, there was music and drinking and story telling. Photos were passed around while hugs were given and received randomly.

After thinking about this process of letting go and starting over yet one more time, I ask for each family member to examine their hearts and give me a few words to describe their feelings about this family time together. With a wide range of ages (11-73) and personalities present, here is their list of words:

bittersweet
reflective
sad
exciting
birthdays
insightful
mourning
celebration
comfort
laughter
a new beginning
strength
tears
joy
affection
emotional
sadness
thankfulness
scrabble
Oz not word
late nights
thank you
Grandma Ziz
Bear
satisfying
peaceful
rememberance
live life daily
appreciation
yesterdays
gift
heart
love
troublesome
happy
depressed
life
family
continuation
regrets
memorable
partly sad
here, there and everywhere
loving
stressful
mom
Johnny Carson
Camels
Elizabeth
food
smile
Neil is cool
overflowing recycleables
hard to leave
not long enough
Schaffer
grateful
togetherness
good-bye

and here are mine:
rest in peace dear EC

The family has asked me to give special thanks to Aunt Helen and girls for making a long trip to be with us, and to middle daughter’s boyfriend, Jerry, for the nerves calming family boat ride and cook-out. Thanks to the love food providers, the flower senders, the phone callers and e-mail senders, the Hospice workers, the family photographers, the airport transportation givers and the clean-up helpers. It is your support that sustains them now.

What I know is that we are all starting over. Starting over again. Starting over without EC.

Warm wishes. anitamorrell.wordpress.com


Goodbye E.C.

April 21, 2007




Liza usually takes the photos for this blog. But blame me for the less than perfect quality of the one here.

EC passed at 1:58 am today. Peacefully and quietly with all six children and myself attending. Hospice provided a lovely setting with space and understanding services.

Future blogs might include such topics as: “A Week at your Regional Medical Center” and how Dad used to always say he “didn’t care much for hospitals… filled with sick people.” Or maybe one called “Great Nurses” that honors skilled health care providers, then another called “When Good Nurses are Over Worked and Under Trained”.

I’m definitely going to write about dying with dignity and without it. I may blog about the patients we saw without any family or friends by their bedsides. I should blog about how having an advocate in attendance is mandatory in hospitals today. Or a blog about the generally broken health care system and my frustration at not knowing what to do about it.

I could blog and blog and blog about missing EC and Dad. I could blog about the gut wrenching pain of loosing loved ones. But for today… I will not. I will just say Goodbye EC.


More about E.C.

April 20, 2007

Instead of going to rehab, today E.C. is being moved to hospice. The second stroke was devastating to her already frail body. She can not see or speak but she is a fighter and just not quite ready to leave us yet.

All six children are by her side and trying hard to help her passing to be comfortable, preserving her dignity as much as possible.

I will be taking my own mother’s love food to hospice this afternoon. Good southern woman… thanks Mom.

Thanks to all who have called, commented or e-mailed. Wishing Liza and EC peace as they begin their “Starting Over”.


Another stroke!

April 19, 2007

To all of you who are keeping up with our family emergency… EC had a second stroke (in a week) last night and is not expected to recover.  Liza’s brothers from Ft. Collins, Denver and Fayetteville are in the air now on their way here. Her sisters are already here and with her.  Baby sister flew in from NH this morning.

I will wrap Liza in the good wishes from you all. As for me, A.D.D. I am just numb. Today is 10 months since Dad passed. We will make it through this sadness somehow I know. We will just be Starting Over one more time.


Starting Over for E.C.

April 17, 2007





Aging sucks. Seeing your parents struggle with aging is even worse.
Liza’s mom, EC, is recovering from a stroke. Above are Liza’s hospital pics (as promised). One looking out, one looking in. I can smell the bleach and the illness.

Eighty something EC made it through another round of tests today and was given the OK to eat solid foods (that would made me feel better). Discussions have started about rehab.

EC knows about starting over. Mr. EC passed away years ago (a big starting over) and since then she has recovered from several surgeries including hip replacement, the first stroke, and intestinal blockage. If she can recoup from this I am giving her an honorary degree from the University of Starting Over.

Warm wishes. anitamorrell.wordpress.com and dailyart.wordpress.com


Love Food

April 15, 2007

EC’s stroke has been confirmed as “not as bad as it could have been” but she has weeks of rehab ahead for sure. And more invasive tests tomorrow.

She has constant advocacy by family at her side. First son (Liza’s brother) arrived yesterday. Liza slept through the afternoon then went back to the hospital in the evening.

I did what every good southern woman does. Went on a up-and-down-every-isle grocery shopping trip and have been cooking since. Last night, banana bread with nuts and love.  Often made by EC usually with one ingredient missing. Often made by my own mother, EM, in little tin cradled loaves.

I have whipped up my best homemade chicken soup (young carrots, celery with leaves, lots of garlic). Boneless pork chops that marinated all night in Cuban mojo….  yum…  and a new green bean/artichoke casserole that I tried out on Liza after she returned from the hospital late last night.

Liza will deliver the chicken soup and banana bread to EC to be approved by Kelly, the sweet, young-enough-to-still-care nurse.

Since she has not been feeling well either, portions of the same I will take to EM along with the pork and casserole for her supper.

There is something in my wiring that says love food can fix anything.   A.D.D. (about me) I know this is not true. It is just all I know to do.

Warm wishes.