Thursday, August 06, 2009

parties then & now

We hosted a dinner with some special friends last evening. (Why wait until the kitchen and back wing is overhauled in order to have company?)

Andrew Eastmond , his cheerful and delightful wife Kathy, and their talented and sweet son came over for dinner, along with the Julia Marie Band, in order to have a jam session in the living room after dessert. Of course, a musical session of such distinction drew a few "extras" in just to listen.

A young man from Nashville Tennessee stopped by (surprise!) and of course, we cajoled him into strumming a few of his original and unduplicatable songs. He also regaled us with a few tales of what he has been up to.

As for me, I happily and unobtrusively hunkered under the piano and soaked in the vibes.

My new/old house is beginning to feel lived in by this family (my favorite family, that is). Music bounces from wall to wall. Warm smiles greet the dear faces who walk through the doors. Food is offered. ("We'll heat that up for you"...) New friends meet old friends. Friends bring other friends into the circle which widens are we move a few pieces of furniture, unfold another wooden chair, and make room on the floor.

The joy of opening a home for food, music, sharing, prayer, a couple tears, and what-have-you kept me thinking all day long.

Trolling through a local history website, I happened upon a mini-goldmine: a dozen years of old Madrid newspapers, online. I punch my words in the search engine, and voila! I discover things about our old stone home that make my insides all warm and quivery.

For example, we weren't the first ones to party in this old house.

Miss Edith Hall lived here for many years. She attended the teacher's college in Potsdam, taught school in Washington D.C. and Asheville NC and was quite the socialite. The social column is shot through with her name, her doings, her volunteer activy, and sometimes even her parties.

I wonder if I dare replicate an old-fashioned gathering such as the one outlined for me here:

June 1914

"On Tuesday evening about 100 people gathered at the home of Miss Edith Hall, where a delightful and interesting Washington and Lincoln entertainment was given by the Madrid W.C.T.U.. Ice cream and cake decorated with cherries were served at the close of an interesting program.

The program was as follows:
Guessing the Names of the Presidents; piano solo, sketch of Washington's Life, song, recitation, solo, sketch of Lincoln's Life, song, piano solo, "Why We Wear the Whire Ribbon", and "America" sung by all.

Many of the ladies were gowned in colonial costumes, Miss Hall representing Martha Washington. The home was tastefully decorated in the national colors, flags bunting and crepe paper used. Hung about the walls were the pictures of all the presidents, Washington and Lincoln being very conspicuous in handsome frames, draped with red, white, and blue.

This is by no means the first time the W.C.T.U. have entertained the public, showing their untiring effort to interest the people in this great and worthy cause."


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