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Diary moved to its new home for the year 2017 at midnight December 31. Please come visit   http//diary2017.wordpress.com

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Thanks for coming to visit in 2016. Stats show that 1,136 of you stopped by from more than 40 countries to read our 190 posts about this-and-that this year.

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Williamsburg, Virginia == December 31, 2016 Saturday == Bassett Hall

 

BASSETT HALL was the home of John D. Rockefeller, jr, when in Williamsburg (the guy had a bunch of bigger houses elsewhere). Mr. Rockefeller restored the hamlet of Williamsburg making it Colonial Williamsburg over a period of more than 30 years and at a personal cost to him of $68-million. The house is open only three days a week these days.

BASSETT HALL was the home of John D. Rockefeller, jr, when in Williamsburg (the guy had a bunch of bigger houses elsewhere). Mr. Rockefeller restored the hamlet of Williamsburg making it Colonial Williamsburg over a period of more than 30 years and at a personal cost to him of $68-million. The house is open only three days a week these days. We have come to visit it on the last day of the year before setting out for the evening celebation, “First Night” all across Williamsburg. First Night is a series of music and food venues pretty much everywhere. It is so spread out they run free bus routes around town.

Carol Anne stands at the rear of the house which is only steps from the Capitol building and the Williamsburg Inn. Carol Anne's father graduated from Harvard with John D. Rockefeller's son, David, who, at age 101, recently returned to visit Bassett Hall.

Carol Anne stands at the rear of the house which is only steps from the Capitol building and the Williamsburg Inn. Carol Anne’s father graduated from Harvard in 1936 with John D. Rockefeller’s son, David, who, at age 101, recently returned to visit Bassett Hall.

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It will always be 1948 at Bassett Hall because Mrs. Rockefeller died that year and treasured their home and time here. The Christmas tree has aluminum tinsel and if you had a Christmas tree in 1948 -- and I remember ours in Kirkwood, Missouri, well from that year, this tree should look very familiar, the docent said. And it does. Some years we had a top of the tree as on this tree, and other years we had an angel, but the angel wore out, as I recall.

It will always be 1948 at Bassett Hall because Mrs. Rockefeller died in April that year. Because she treasured their home and time in Williamsburg it has been preserved as she would have left it. The Christmas tree in the dining room at Bassett Hall has aluminum tinsel and if you had a Christmas tree in 1948 — and I remember ours in Kirkwood, Missouri, well from that year — this tree should look very familiar, the docent said. And it does. Some years we had a top of the tree as on this tree, and other years we had an angel, but the angel wore out, as I recall. Colonial Williamsburg has to take each strand of aluminum tinsel off and re-card it each year because it is no longer manufactured. We did the same because we were cheap. My father would decorate our trees with the tinsel by standing across the room and inviting his four children to heave the tinsel at the tree. My mother sternly disapproved but he, and we, did it anyway. Aluminum tinsel, by the way, was not easy to throw — there was an art to it.

The phone book in the kitchen at Bassett Hall.

The phone book in the kitchen at Bassett Hall.

The Traveler's Insurance Currier and Ives calendar hangs in the kitchen. These calendars were so popular people saved them and later framed the pictures. We have a large collection of them that I bought years ago and they are ... somewhere. I laugh -- as Christmases go for me as a kid, the Christmas 1948 at the most disastrous Christmas of my life, although in 1949 when at the age of 6 I got really unhappy, Santa (my mother) came and took most of my presents back. OMG. What was the woman thinking of.

The Traveler’s Insurance Currier and Ives calendar hangs in the kitchen. These calendars were so popular people saved them and later framed the pictures. I have a large collection of them that I bought years ago and they are … somewhere around … somewhere. I laugh — but as Christmases go for me as a kid, the Christmas 1948 ranks as the most disastrous Christmas of my life, although in 1949 when at the age of 6, I got really unhappy, Santa (my mother) came and took most of my presents back. OMG. What was this woman thinking of.

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Williamsburg, Virginia == December 30, 2016 Friday == ‘First Night’

In the spirit of mooching, we have figured out how to go to 'First Night' and pay nothing. That's forty-bucks, right there, saved! I'm not sure how Carol Anne did it, but for two years now we have sold First Night tickets at the Colonial Williamsburg visitor's center for two hours the day before, and they fork over two tickets to us.

In the spirit of mooching, we have figured out how to go to ‘First Night’ and pay nothing. That’s forty-bucks, right there, saved! I’m not sure how Carol Anne did it, but for two years now we have sold First Night tickets at the Colonial Williamsburg visitor’s center for two hours the day before, and they fork over two tickets to us.

One problem is that they put us by the door and sometimes a gust of icy air blows in and things go flying. Let's stay focused here -- two FREE tickets ... forty  bucks.

One problem is that they put us by the door and sometimes a gust of icy air blows in and things go flying. Let’s stay focused here — two FREE tickets … FORTY bucks.

Carol Anne does all of the work, of course, and I hang with the Williamsburg policeman who has been dispatched to protect us (or maybe to keep an eye on us?). I love visiting with police -- domestic is, of course, that main problem they work, always, but this year gangs of kids are roaming I-64 opening doors of unlocked cars and looting money and anything else of value to sell for drugs. Yes, the cops and the bad guys are always on first name basis, and they are here as well. The policeman guarding us, he told me, is known by his colleagues as "The Reaper" because when people die, it's mostly this man who has been on duty and he works the cases so often that he's gotten the nickname. He went through a few of the ghoulish ways students and others have committed suicide in Williamsburg. I asked him how well he copes with it all, and he replied no one copes with this, they just try to forget it.

Carol Anne does all of the work, of course, and I hang with the Williamsburg policeman who has been dispatched to protect us (or maybe to keep an eye on us?). I love visiting with police — domestic is, of course, that main problem they work, always, but this year gangs of kids are roaming I-64 opening doors of unlocked cars and looting money and anything else of value to sell for drugs. Yes, the cops and the bad guys are always on first name basis, and they are here as well. The policeman guarding us  told me that he is known by his colleagues as “The Reaper” because when people die, it’s mostly this man who has been on duty and he has wound up working these cases so often that he’s gotten the nickname. He went through a few of the ghoulish ways students and others have committed suicide in Williamsburg when I said “you have stories to tell” and he started telling them without further bidding. I asked him how well he copes with it all, and he replied no one copes with it, they just try to forget it.

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Diary2016 moves to ‘ http://Diary2017.wordpress.com ‘ on Sunday

We're moving to http:Diary2017.wordpress.com on January 1.

We’re moving to http://Diary2017.wordpress.com on January 1.

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Crozet, Virginia == December 28, 2016 Wednesday == Family Pics as we head on …

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... Calla is getting very good at flying her drone. She can make it cruise right up to you, spin and then go on, all the while videotaping and recording you. On the other hand, if the drone gets too close to a tree, this might happen. Cecelia photographs the drone hung up on a limb. What to do? Have me climb up on a step ladder and snag it.

… Calla is getting very good at flying her drone. She can make it cruise right up to you, spin and then go on, all the while videotaping and recording you. On the other hand, if the drone gets too close to a tree, this might happen. Cecelia photographs the drone hung up on a limb. What to do? Have me climb up on a step ladder and snag it.

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‘Will Newspapers Survive?’ — the one-sheet for several of my upcoming lectures

In January I will speak to a local civic organization in Celebration for about twenty minutes on the topic of ‘Will Newspapers Survive?’. That talk will be a preview of a class I will teach for three weeks in February at Stetson University on the same subject.

Below is the promotion sheet that will be used to promote the February Stetson series of talks.

one-sheet

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Crozet, Virginia == December 27, 2016 Tuesday == Captain America, her sister ‘Ironman’ & the Drone taking flight

CAPTAIN AMERICA, right (AKA Calla) flies her Drone as her sister Cecelia looks on. The Christmas gifts are open and it's time to put them to work.

CAPTAIN AMERICA, right (AKA Calla) flies her Drone as her sister Cecelia looks on. The Christmas gifts are open and it’s time to put them to work.

The Drone in flight. No, it is not in the trees and yes, the previous day, it did miss a car. That said, Calla is fast becoming very proficient and skilled in guiding her Drone. The rumor that it can airlift Henry-the-Dog whose sight is failing anywhere Henry would like to go are untrue.

The Drone in flight. No, it is not in the trees and yes, the previous day, it did miss a car. That said, Calla is fast becoming very proficient and skilled in guiding her Drone. The rumor that it can airlift Henry-the-Dog whose sight is failing anywhere Henry would like to go are untrue.

Calla and her sister in uniform. Calla is a green belt in karate. Yeah -- she really is.

Calla (Captain America) and her sister, Ironman (Cecelia) (right) in uniform and ready for action. Don’t cross these ladies.. Calla is a green belt in karate. Yes — she really is. Their uncle Charlie has happened into the room and either feels menaced or really safe.

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Donovan and his daughters.

Donovan and his daughters.

Auntie Tracy, Carol Anne's daughter.

Auntie Tracy, Carol Anne’s daughter.

Carol Anne has retreated to the safety of the porch as the Drone takes flight. She need not have worried. The Drone has a video camera and it photographed us all from the air and it flew this way and that.

Carol Anne has retreated to the safety of the porch as the Drone takes flight. She need not have worried. The Drone has a video camera and it photographed us all from the air and it flew this way and that.

Wednesday morning was toe day -- Carol Anne, her daughter Anne, and Anne's two daughter, Cecelia and Calla, all got their toenails done. My suggestion that Calla consider having each toe done in a different color did not please Carol Anne, their grandmother, who was footing the bill. She was afraid that each different toe might be considered an individual pedicure and that having each toe done diffetnly would be ten pedicures.

Wednesday morning was pedicure day — Carol Anne, her daughter Anne, and Anne’s two daughters, Cecelia and Calla, all got their toenails done. My suggestion that Calla consider having each toe done in a different color did not please Carol Anne, their grandmother, who was footing the bill. She was afraid that each different toe might be considered an individual pedicure and that having each toe done differently would be considered ten pedicures.













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