Hometown Graduation

May 22, 2007



The Stone Castle has played host to the Tennessee High Vikings for over 70 years. With some of my own dear granddad’s labor, the atheletes there still, today, have a terrific stadium, a one-of-a-kind historic sports palace known as the Stone Castle.

Constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the New Deal, the Stone Castle is currently still in use. This stadium is a reminder of the post-World War II era, another time when high school football received top billing around the state.

Situated on the campus of Tennessee High School in Bristol, the Stone Castle Stadium opened on October 8, 1936. First known as the Bristol Municipal Stadium, the Stone Castle is constructed of coarse rubble limestone from another WPA project at nearby Beaver Creek, the stadium seats approximately 6,000 and features most of the original Medieval Gothic details. Its unique corner towers, arched entries, and crenellated walls clearly make the Stone Castle the most architecturally significant stadium in Tennessee.

Seeing the Stone Castle again makes me remember my own years of high school and MY senior year. Our football team was state champ that year, I ironed my hair to make it straight and my favorite music was soul plus Neil and Eric, Bette and Elton. (Still is.) It was an exciting time. 

My grandad help build it, my brother was a starting football player within it’s stone walls, and now my keeper nephew just graduated. MVP. Soccer. Honor Society. Good Person.

Only nephew, class 2007, is product of his own hard work plus effective and loving parents, caring grandparents, hardworking great grands, and so far back that records are scarce being near the beginning of our very country.  So many generations choosing these very hills and valleys for their home.

So much of which to be proud. Like being hugged by your roots. And now only nephew will be starting over. Starting over as a graduate from a castle in Tennessee where the spirits of generations before him will forever be his support.







PS. Nephew’s graduation presents included (among others) the newest Blackberry and a hand made quilt from his grandmother (my mom). Appropriate mixture of the old and the new technology!

Warm wishes until next post!

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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.


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.