Saturday, May 23, 2015

Wolf River Greenway



This section of the Wolf River Greenway connects the Germantown section with the arboretum loop. There is one vehicle entrance with parking and a couple of bike/pedestrian access points close to the street. This is the view from the parking lot:


There are several interpretive signs along the trail:




The flowers across from the pond were lovely:


The trail is easily accessed and easy to walk:


The plan is to extend the Greenway along the Wolf River all the way to the Mississippi River, which will be wonderful.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Orpheum 42


The Daughter and I were walking down Beale Street one day discussing Mary, the Orpheum Theater's ghost, when we happened to see this 42.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Black Moth

1st edition book cover from Wikipedia

The Black Moth is a 1921 novel by Georgette Heyer. Set in the mid-1700s, this is a historical romance novel available online and chosen to fit the "Romance Novel" category in the 2015 Read Harder Book Challenge. I don't read romance novels. I read some historical romance novels when I was in junior high and early high school (in my early teens) but not since then. I have read one paranormal romance novel about 10 years ago only because I knew the author, but I didn't care for the subject matter, the "romance" aspect of it or the awkward sex scenes (numerous references to "his manhood" got old). It's just not my "thing". I knew I didn't want to spend money to meet this challenge and was glad when I found this public domain work listed in a Wikipedia article as an example of the genre.

Wikipedia says of the English author (1902-1974):
Heyer essentially established the historical romance genre and its subgenre Regency romance. Her Regencies were inspired by Jane Austen, but unlike Austen, who wrote about and for the times in which she lived, Heyer was forced to include copious information about the period so that her readers would understand the setting. To ensure accuracy, Heyer collected reference works and kept detailed notes on all aspects of Regency life. While some critics thought the novels were too detailed, others considered the level of detail to be Heyer's greatest asset.

Heyer continued writing until her death in July 1974. At that time, 48 of her novels were still in print;
I still don't like romance novels, but reading this fun, quick, light-hearted book brought back fond memories of time spent reading historical romances in my youth. And in this one there was no talk of anyone's hard stirring pillar of throbbing manhood. Honestly, I don't know how people read that kind of thing.

There is a prologue, and then Chapter 1 (of 29) begins:
AT THE CHEQUERS INN, FALLOWFIELD

CHADBER was the name of the host, florid of countenance, portly of person, and of manner pompous and urbane. Solely within the walls of the Chequers lay his world, that inn having been acquired by his great-grandfather as far back as the year 1667, when the jovial Stuart King sat on the English throne, and the Hanoverian Electors were not yet dreamed of.

A Tory was Mr. Chadber to the backbone. None so bitter 'gainst the little German as he, and surely none had looked forward more eagerly to the advent of the gallant Charles Edward. If he confined his patriotism to drinking success to Prince Charlie's campaign, who shall blame him? And if, when sundry Whig gentlemen halted at the Chequers on their way to the coast, and, calling for a bottle of Rhenish, bade him toss down a glass himself with a health to his Majesty, again who shall blame Mr. Chadber for obeying? What was a health one way or another when you had rendered active service to two of his Stuart Highness's adherents?

It was Mr. Chadber's boast, uttered only to his admiring Tory neighbours, that he had, at the risk of his own life, given shelter to two fugitives of the disastrous 'Forty-five, who had come so far out of their way as quiet Fallowfield. That no one had set eyes on either of the men was no reason for doubting an honest landlord's word. But no one would have thought of doubting any statement that Mr. Chadber might make. Mine host of the Chequers was a great personage in the town, being able both to read and to write, and having once, when young, travelled as far north as London town, staying there for ten days and setting eyes on no less a person than the great Duke of Marlborough himself when that gentleman was riding along the Strand on his way to St. James's.

Also, it was a not-to-be-ignored fact that Mr. Chadber's home-brewed ale was far superior to that sold by the landlord of the rival inn at the other end of the village.

Altogether he was a most important character, and no one was more aware of his importance than his worthy self.

To "gentlemen born," whom, he protested, he could distinguish at a glance, he was almost obsequiously polite, but on clerks and underlings, and men who bore no signs of affluence about their persons, he wasted none of his deference.

Thus it was that, when a little green-clad lawyer alighted one day from the mail coach and entered the coffee-room at the Chequers, he was received with pomposity and scarce-veiled condescension.

He was nervous, it seemed, and more than a little worried. He offended Mr. Chadber at the outset, when he insinuated that he was come to meet a gentleman who might perhaps be rather shabbily clothed, rather short of purse, and even of rather unsavoury repute. Very severely did Mr. Chadber give him to understand that guests of that description were entirely unknown at the Chequers.

There was an air of mystery about the lawyer, and it appeared almost as though he were striving to probe mine host. Mr. Chadber bridled a little, and became aloof and haughty.

When the lawyer dared openly to ask if he had had any dealings with highwaymen of late, he was very properly and thoroughly affronted.

The lawyer became suddenly more at ease. He eyed Mr. Chadber speculatively, holding a pinch of snuff to one thin nostril

"Perhaps you have staying here a certain–ah–Sir–Anthony–Ferndale?" he hazarded.

The gentle air of injury fell from Mr. Chadber. Certainly he had, and come only yesterday a-purpose to meet his solicitor.

The lawyer nodded.

"I am he. Be so good as to apprise Sir Anthony of my arrival."

Mr. Chadber bowed exceeding low, and implored the lawyer not to remain in the draughty coffee-room. Sir Anthony would never forgive him an he allowed his solicitor to await him there. Would he not come to Sir Anthony's private parlour?

The very faintest of smiles creased the lawyer's thin face as he walked along the passage in Mr. Chadber's wake.

He was ushered into a low-ceilinged, pleasant chamber looking out on to the quiet street, and left alone what time Mr. Chadber went in search of Sir Anthony.

The room was panelled and ceilinged in oak, with blue curtains to the windows and blue cushions on the high-backed settle by the fire. A table stood in the centre of the floor, with a white table-cloth thereon and places laid for two. Another smaller table stood by the fireplace, together with a chair and a stool.

The lawyer took silent stock of his surroundings, and reflected grimly on the landlord's sudden change of front. It would appear that Sir Anthony was a gentleman of some standing at the Chequers.

Yet the little man was plainly unhappy, and fell to pacing to and fro, his chin sunk low on his breast, and his hands clasped behind his back. He was come to seek the disgraced son of an Earl, and he was afraid of what he might find.

Six years ago Lord John Carstares, eldest son of the Earl of Wyncham, had gone with his brother, the Hon. Richard, to a card party, and had returned a dishonoured man.

That Jack Carstares should cheat was incredible, ridiculous, and at first no one had believed the tale that so quickly spread. But he had confirmed that tale himself, defiantly and without shame, before riding off, bound, men said, for France and the foreign parts. Brother Richard was left, so said the countryside, to marry the lady they were both in love with. Nothing further had been heard of Lord John, and the outraged Earl forbade his name to be mentioned at Wyncham, swearing to disinherit the prodigal. Richard espoused the fair Lady Lavinia and brought her to live at the great house, strangely forlorn now without Lord John's magnetic presence; but, far from being an elated bridegroom, he seemed to have brought gloom with him from the honeymoon, so silent and so unhappy was he.

Six years drifted slowly by without bringing any news of Lord John, and then, two months ago, journeying from London to Wyncham, Richard's coach had been waylaid, and by a highwayman who proved to be none other than the scapegrace peer.

Richard's feelings may be imagined. Lord John had been singularly unimpressed by anything beyond the humour of the situation. That, however, had struck him most forcibly, and he had burst out into a fit of laughter that had brought a lump into Richard's throat, and a fresh ache into his heart.

Upon pressure John had given his brother the address of the inn, "in case of accidents," and told him to ask for "Sir Anthony Ferndale" if ever he should need him. Then with one hearty handshake, he had galloped off into the darkness. . . .

The lawyer stopped his restless pacing to listen. Down the passage was coming the tap-tap of high heels on the wooden floor, accompanied by a slight rustle as of stiff silks.

The little man tugged suddenly at his cravat. Supposing–supposing debonair Lord John was no longer debonair? Supposing–he dared not suppose anything. Nervously he drew a roll of parchment from his pocket and stood fingering it.

A firm hand was laid on the door-handle, turning it cleanly round. The door opened to admit a veritable apparition, and was closed again with a snap.

The lawyer found himself gazing at a slight, rather tall gentleman who swept him a profound bow, gracefully flourishing his smart three-cornered hat with one hand and delicately clasping cane and perfumed handkerchief with the other. He was dressed in the height of the Versailles fashion, with full-skirted coat of palest lilac laced with silver, small-clothes and stockings of white, and waistcoat of flowered satin. On his feet he wore shoes with high red heels and silver buckles, while a wig of the latest mode, marvellously powdered and curled and smacking greatly of Paris, adorned his shapely head. In the foaming lace of his cravat reposed a diamond pin, and on the slim hand, half covered by drooping laces, glowed and flashed a huge emerald.

The lawyer stared and stared again, and it was not until a pair of deep blue, rather wistful eyes met his in a quizzical glance, that he found his tongue. Then a look of astonishment came into his face, and he took a half step forward.

"Master Jack!" he gasped. "Master–Jack!"

The elegant gentleman came forward and held up a reproving hand. The patch at the corner of his mouth quivered, and the blue eyes danced.

"I perceive that you are not acquainted with me, Mr. Warburton," he said, amusement in his pleasant, slightly drawling voice. "Allow me to present myself: Sir Anthony Ferndale, à vous servir!"

A gleam of humour appeared in the lawyer's own eyes as he clasped the outstretched hand.

"I think you are perhaps not acquainted with yourself, my lord," he remarked drily.

Lord John laid his hat and cane on the small table, and looked faintly intrigued.

"What's your meaning, Mr. Warburton?"

"I am come, my lord, to inform you that the Earl, your father, died a month since."

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wolf River Arboretum Loop


This section of the Wolf River is a level 1 arboretum. It's a broad, asphalt path, wheelchair accessible, and is well-labeled.


There's a mark at the edge of the path in front of each labeled tree:



There are benches all along the trail:


and nice views of the river:


This loop is just over a mile long, and there were plenty of pedestrians enjoying the day when I was there. Here's a map:


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Coffee Song

The Coffee Song:



a 1946 song sung by Frank Sinatra, who died on May 14 in 1998 at age 82 of a heart attack after suffering several years of declining health. He lived a long and full life, receiving many awards, is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, and was successful both in his music and film careers. He was married 4 times, had 3 children, and died a practicing Catholic.

He is reported to have said, "I would like to be remembered as a man who had a wonderful time living his life, and who had good friends, a fine family. I don't think I could ask for anything more than that, actually." I can't think of a better way to be remembered.

Join the drink-related posts over at the T(ea) Tuesday link gathering at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Here Comes Louis Smith

Louis Smith is a Memphis-born jazz trumpet player who will celebrate a birthday on the day after tomorrow. Happy Birthday, Mr. Smith! These are from his 1958 debut album Here Comes Louis Smith:


Tribute to Brownie


Brill's Blues


Ande


Stardust


South Side


Val's Blues

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Great Expectations (1946 film)

Great Expectations is a 1946 film based on the Dickens novel by the same name. It's directed by David Lean and stars John Mills, Anthony Wager, Jean Simmons, and Alec Guinness. I haven't read the book (I'm not sure how that happened), and I can't say how closely this movie follows the book. The book can be read online if you want to compare.

via the Internet Archive:


Senses of Cinema says, "Great Expectations received five Academy Award nominations in 1947 and won Oscars for best cinematography and art direction/set decor. The film established David Lean, along with Carol Reed, as England’s leading director of the post-war era." DVD Talk says, "Great Expectations is an exceptional film and a more than worthy adaptation of one of the 19th century's most enduring works of literature." Empire Online speaks of it as 43rd of the 100 Best British Films Ever.

The Guardian says,
this handsomely designed, unobtrusively edited and thoughtfully acted film moves at quite a clip, reminding us what a fantastic, morally complex, eternally relevant story the book tells us of good and evil, decency and generosity, snobbery and love, of dealing with forces beyond our control, of accepting life and understanding the world.
It's listed in the book 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. Roger Ebert considers it a Great Movie and says, "Lean brings Dickens' classic set-pieces to life as if he'd been reading over our shoulder". Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 100%.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Germantown Greenway and Wolf River Nature Area


A few days ago I headed to the Wolf River Nature Area for a walk. I'd never been here before, and I enjoyed the time I spent. The Wolf River has its beginning in a pond in Holly Springs, MS, and enters the Mississippi River in Memphis.

Here's a map of this trail, which is along a section of the river in west Germantown (an incorporated town which is a Memphis suburb):


The trail is a bit over 2 miles from start to finish, and I parked at the trailhead and walked to the other end and back. There's also a woodland loop at the western trailhead end and I walked it, so it was about a 5 mile walk in all. There are picnic tables and a restroom close to the little parking lot:


There is an asphalt path the entire way:


And lovely views of the Wolf River:


There are educational stations along the way. This one was Turtle Bayou:


More views of the river:


There are benches located all along the trail:


More views of the river:


The trail runs between the Wolf River and a busy 6-lane road, and this picture gives a good idea of how close the route is to the businesses:


The woodland loop has a beaver display:


The woodland section is also close to the river, but parts of it run closer to the road:


More views of the river:


This is the main trailhead entrance as seen from the road: