Goin’ Down Slow (Duane Allman) Music Video — Old Southern Medical Remedies — GI Bill Brings Crush of Vets to Schools — Sanford leaves constituents cold — Southern Avenger Video: The Sanity of Secession — The Story of the Hope Diamond

im-001-ss-09-tsmith_smRows of Life – Smiths Grove, Kentucky 2007 (Tabitha Smith-Elliott)

(h/t:  Maggie’s Farm)


Felix – Coon Hound Memorial Graveyard, Colbert County, Alabama, 2005 (Jere Alexander)

Old Southern Medical Remedies

Burns: My grandmother would often use mayonnaise applied directly to the burn area.

Acme, pimples, Skin infection, etc:  One full Tablespoon of Nutmeg, repeat as necessary.  My grandmother said this would “cure the blood”.

Castol Oil: May be used as a laxative.  My grandmother would try to give me a tablespoon of castol oil whenever constipated however I could never swallow this stuff and would always gag.  She gave up after many attempts of chasing me around the house.

Sunburn:  Vinegar.  I sunburn often and my grandmother always would apply vinegar on a cloth and lightly pat the affected areas.  Works great however the smell will usually chase away your friends.

Bee/Ant Stings:  My grandmother would always apply moistened snuff  (from her mouth) on her finger directly to the sting.  Note:  My grandmother’s favorite snuff was Strawberry.

Chicken Pox Cure:  I will always remember when I had chicken pox in my early childhood.  My grandmother wrapped me in a blanket, called a friend and they drove me down to Mrs. Shepphard’s  farmhouse.  I was taken out to the back yard and placed in the chicken coop.  The chickens then started to fly over me for about 15 minutes.  I was then taken back home and the next day my chicken Pox was cured.

im-001-ss-09-sdenni_lgSCAD Sidewalk Arts Festival, 2009
Savannah, Georgia (Photo: Susan Dennis)

GI Bill Brings Crush of Vets to Schools

October 03, 2009

The Virginian-Pilot

<!– Uncomment this when the Jive comments functionality is available –>

Kelvin Boone is going back to school at 40, thanks to Uncle Sam’s generosity.

The Chesapeake resident retired in 2007 after 20 years in the Navy and started a commercial landscaping and janitorial business. Now he wants to expand, so he enrolled this fall in a business administration and marketing program at Tidewater Community College’s Portsmouth campus.

Next summer he plans to take horticulture classes at TCC. Ultimately, he hopes to transfer to Old Dominion University and earn a degree in business management. And he’s doing it all on the taxpayers’ dime.

Boone is among hundreds of thousands of military veterans who are flocking to campuses in Hampton Roads and across the nation thanks to the new Post-9/11 GI Bill, which provides a full government-funded ride to a college degree.

A signature legislative initiative of freshman U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., it’s the most generous taxpayer-funded program of higher-education benefits for veterans since the famed World War II-era GI Bill, which sent nearly 8 million vets to college.

Some college benefits were already available to modern-day veterans, but the new program expands them. It covers tuition and fees up to the maximum charged by the most expensive public college in the state, plus a monthly housing stipend and $1,000 a year for books and supplies.

“It’s so much better than the old one,” Boone said. “You can’t beat it.”

A full ride is even possible at most private schools. Private institutions can opt into the program by offering a discount off their normal tuition, which the government matches.

The maximum benefit — eight semesters of aid — is payable to veterans who served 36 months or more after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. A vet serving as little as 90 days after 9/11 qualifies for 40 percent of the maximum benefit.

Administrators at local colleges say they’ve been inundated by vets inquiring about and applying for the new program, which began Aug. 1. The military population at campuses in South Hampton Roads this fall is upwards of 7,500, and roughly 1,000 are using the new GI Bill. At some schools, military enrollment is up by one-third or more over last year.

The program is so popular that the Department of Veterans Affairs, which administers it, has been hard-pressed to keep up with demand. Despite the hiring of 750 new claims processors, the average wait for benefits is six to eight weeks.

But administrators at local schools say they’re coping with the delays. Tuition payments are sent straight to the schools, and all local colleges are deferring their normal payment deadlines so students won’t be penalized. The housing and books stipends are sent to students. Friday, the VA began dispensing on-the-spot emergency advances of up to $3,000 to veterans for whom the delay is a hardship.

The advance payments can be claimed in person at regional VA offices. The closest ones to Hampton Roads are in Roanoke and Winston-Salem, N.C.

Marcus Powell, a retired Marine attending Bryant and Stratton College in Virginia Beach, made the drive to Winston-Salem on Friday. He said he had a one-hour wait for his advance. “They wrote me a check right on the spot,” he said. “It was real simple.”

Veterans can also apply for an advance online. The VA says checks will be mailed within three business days.

Local college administrators say the delays are understandable.

“It’s a new program, and we expected that,” said Cynthia Lewis, director of veterans affairs at Norfolk State University.

David Boisselle, director of military affairs at Regent University, said the VA deserves credit for accommodating students who are finding themselves in a bind.

“I counsel them: ‘Just be patient. The money will come in,’ ” Boisselle said. “This is an awesome opportunity. “

It appears that the earlier a student applied, the shorter the wait for benefits. “I was proactive,” said Yasmine Rose, an Army veteran and a senior social-work major at NSU. “I applied in May and got an approval letter from the VA in June. The people who waited until July or August had to wait longer.”

Derek Spencer, a Navy retiree, decided to delay enrolling at ODU until next semester, anticipating that there would be glitches as the program got up and running. But he was pleasantly surprised at how easily the process went. “I applied for the benefits back in April and got approved in three weeks,” he said. “I was shocked.”

There are big differences between GI Bill programs, find out which program best fits your situation with Military.com’s GI Bill Calculator.

im-001-ss-09-kmedle_smCharleston Tea Plantation Tour – Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina 2009 (Kate Medley)

Sanford leaves constituents cold


Gov. Mark Sanford said he was a broken man after admitting an extramarital affair in June, a revelation that required him to pick up the pieces of his administration and fend off efforts to remove him from office.

In the 100 days since he returned from his secret trip to Argentina to acknowledge his affair, Sanford’s schedule shows – and observers agree – the Republican governor has turned his focus to the state’s moribund economy.

But that new focus came only after weeks of vacations and apologies and a campaign to defend Sanford from questions about his use of state planes.

Bottom line?

Sanford’s response to the affair and investigations has done irreparable damage to his relationship with the public, communications and public relations experts say.

Sanford’s relationship with the state’s political class already was shattered after 6 1/2 years of conflict with the GOP-controlled General Assembly. Legislators view the two-term, lame-duck governor as irrelevant. Most want him to quit.

Even less hostile members of the public who have heard Sanford on his apology tour wonder if he has learned any lessons.

“He says it’s all about the people of the state, and the tone comes across as it’s all about Mark Sanford,” Hartsville resident Bobby McGee said.

“He thinks it’s a friendly venue. It’s a lot easier than working, talking to these folks. I just don’t think he’s planted enough seeds and cultivated them.”

Sanford declined an interview request for this story. But his office says the governor is looking to the future.

“The governor has been and continues to be dedicated to moving our state forward, and our efforts on this front over the past months have met with real success,” spokesman Ben Fox said in a written statement.


What has Sanford done over the last 100 days?

– He has been on out-of-state trips or vacations a fifth of the time.

– He has spent another 16 days traveling the state to speak to civic and community groups, generally opening his speeches with an apology.

– He has toured a handful of state manufacturing plants and small businesses and also visited with job-creation and technical school programs.

– He moved, by an executive order, a program for developmentally challenged infants and toddlers to First Steps, an early education program created by his Democratic predecessor.

Sanford’s official schedule typically contains no more than three or four items a week.

But Fox said Sanford has met with high-level business executives and small business owners, higher education leaders, his cabinet, students and community groups about the state’s economy, which has been hemorrhaging jobs.

More than 20,000 fewer South Carolinians were employed in August than in June, according to state data. During the same period, new or expanding businesses have said they plan to create only a little more than 900 jobs in the state, according to the S.C. Department of Commerce.

But Sanford could win a major success if Boeing chooses South Carolina over Washington state as the site of its second plant to build its new 787 airliner. That plant could bring an unknown – but significant – number of jobs to South Carolina, which has the nation’s sixth-highest unemployment rate.

“We are not doing it with press releases and publicity because I don’t think that’s the best interest of the negotiation process” with Boeing, Sanford told a Charleston television station Tuesday after a Walterboro civic club appearance.

Business leaders say they have noticed Sanford is more involved in economic development, particularly with Boeing.

“If he gets a major economic development coup that brings in more jobs, that will certainly help him demonstrate that he is not stuck in the ditch,”…]

im-002-ss-08-eabbot_smThe Last Edition – Oxford, Mississippi, 2007 (Erin Abbott)

Southern Avenger – The Sanity of Secession

im-001-ss-08-sdarwe_smRemnants of a House by the Tracks – North Toe River Penland, North Carolina 2007 (Shane Darwent)

The Story of the Hope Diamond

hopeWEIGHT: 45.52 carats
CLARITY: VS1. Whitish graining is present.
COLOR: Natural fancy deep grayish-blue
CUT: Cushion antique brilliant with a faceted girdle and extra facets on the pavilion.
Length: 25.60 mm
Width: 21.78 mm
Depth: 12.00 mm

GIA grading report

The history of the stone that was eventually named the Hope diamond began when the French merchant traveller, Jean Baptiste Tavernier, purchased a 112 3/16-carat diamond. This diamond, which was most likely from the Kollur mine in Golconda, India, was somewhat triangular in shape and crudely cut. Its color was described by Tavernier as a “beautiful violet.”

Tavernier sold the diamond to King Louis XIV of France in 1668 with 14 other large diamonds and several smaller ones. In 1673 the stone was recut by Sieur Pitau, the court jeweler, resulting in a 67 1/8-carat stone. In the royal inventories, its color was described as an intense steely-blue and the stone became known as the “Blue Diamond of the Crown,” or the “French Blue.” It was set in gold and suspended on a neck ribbon that the king wore on ceremonial occasions.


King Louis XV, in 1749, had the stone reset by court jeweler Andre Jacquemin, in a piece of ceremonial jewelry for the Order of the Golden Fleece (Toison D’Or). In 1791, after an attempt by Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette to flee France, the jewels of the French Royal Treasury were turned over to the government. During a week-long looting of the crown jewels in September of 1792, the French Blue diamond was stolen.


In 1812 a deep blue diamond described by John Francillion as weighing 177 grains (4 grains = 1 carat) was documented as being in the possession of London diamond merchant, Daniel Eliason. Strong evidence indicates that the stone was acquired by King George IV of England. At his death, in 1830, the king’s debts were so enormous that the blue diamond was likely sold through private channels.

The first reference to the diamond’s next owner is found in the 1839 entry of the gem collection catalog of the well-known Henry Philip Hope, the man from whom the diamond takes its name. Unfortunately, the catalog does not reveal where or from whom Hope acquired the diamond or how much he paid for it.


Following the death of Henry Philip Hope in 1839, and after much litigation, the diamond passed to his nephew Henry Thomas Hope and ultimately to the nephew’s grandson Lord Francis Hope. In 1902 Lord Francis Hope obtained permission from the Court of Chancery and his sisters to sell the stone to help pay off his debts. It was sold to a London dealer who quickly sold it to Joseph Frankels and Sons of New York City, who retained the stone in New York until they, in turn, needed cash. The diamond was next sold to Selim Habib who put it up for auction in Paris in 1909. It did not sell at the auction but was sold soon after to C.H. Rosenau and then resold to Pierre Cartier that same year.

In 1910 the Hope diamond was shown to Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean, of Washington D.C., at Cartier’s while on her honeymoon in Paris, but she did not like the setting. Cartier had the diamond reset and took it to the U.S. where he left it with Mrs. McLean for a weekend. This strategy was successful. The sale was made in 1912 with the diamond mounted as a headpiece on a three-tiered circlet of large white diamonds. Sometime later it became the pendant on a diamond necklace as we know it today. Mrs. McLean’s flamboyant ownership of the stone lasted until her death in 1947.


Harry Winston Inc. of New York City purchased Mrs. McLean’s entire jewelry collection, including the Hope diamond, from her estate in 1949. This collection also included the 94.8-carat Star of the East diamond, the 15-carat Star of the South diamond, a 9-carat green diamond, and a 31-carat diamond that is now called the McLean diamond.

For the next 10 years the Hope diamond was shown at many exhibits and charitable events world wide by Harry Winston Inc., including as the central attraction of their Court of Jewels exhibition. On November 10, 1958, they donated the Hope diamond to the Smithsonian Institution, and almost immediately the great blue stone became its premier attraction.


The Hope diamond has left the Smithsonian only four times since it was donated. In 1962 it was exhibited for a month at the Louvre in Paris, France, as part of an exhibit entitled Ten Centuries of French Jewelry. In 1965 the Hope diamond traveled to South Africa where it was exhibited at the Rand Easter Show in Johannesburg. In 1984 the diamond was lent to Harry Winston Inc., in New York, as part of the firm’s 50th anniversary celebration. In 1996 the Hope diamond was again sent to Harry Winston Inc., in New York, this time for cleaning and some minor restoration work.

The weight of the Hope diamond for many years was reported to be 44.5 carats. In 1974 it was removed from its setting and found actually to weigh 45.52 carats. It is classified as a type IIb diamond, which are semiconductive and usually phosphoresce. The Hope diamond phosphoresces a strong red color, which will last for several seconds after exposure to short wave ultra-violet light. The diamond’s blue coloration is attributed to trace amounts of boron in the stone.

In the pendant surrounding the Hope diamond are 16 white diamonds, both pear-shapes and cushion cuts. A bail is soldered to the pendant where Mrs. McLean would often attach other diamonds including the McLean diamond and the Star of the East. The necklace chain contains 45 white diamonds.

In December of 1988, a team from the Gemological Institute of America visited the Smithsonian to grade the great blue stone according to present day techniques. They observed that the gem shows evidence of wear, has a remarkably strong phosphorescence, and that its clarity is slightly affected by a whitish graining that is common to blue diamonds. They described the color as fancy dark grayish-blue. In 1996, after another examination they described the color as fancy deep grayish-blue. An examination on the same day in 1988 by another gemologist using a very sensitive colorimeter revealed that there is a very slight violet component to the deep blue color which is imperceptible to the naked eye. Still, one can only wonder that the original 112 3/16-carat stone bought by Tavernier was described as “un beau violet” (a beautiful violet).

im-001-ss-06-tranki_mdClinton Library Interior – Little Rock, Arkansas, 2006 (Tom Rankin)

Related Links:

Guardian (UK): The Hope Diamond revealed (Video)

Smithsonian:  A New Chapter in the Hope Diamond’s History (Photos)

Military:  Flag Burner Pilloried by Veterans

Southern Spaces

Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation

The State: Experts on how Sanford has handled things