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Showing posts with label history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label history. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Fort Baker 2016

We are back at home following two weeks of travel. The main reason for our trip was a visit with our son Jeremy and his family in Reno, NV. But we began and ended this trip with travel to and from the San Francisco, CA area, driving to Reno and back. This gave us non-stop air travel, but also a chance to do something Joe has wanted to do for some time:  revisit Fort Baker, beneath the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito,  the Army base where he was stationed in 1960 through 1962. 

 Originally inhabited by the coastal Miwok tribes, Horseshoe Cove became home to Fort Baker long before there was a Golden Gate Bridge. In 1866, the U.S. Army acquired the site for a military base to fortify the north side of the Golden Gate. The 24 buildings around the 10-acre parade ground at Fort Baker took shape between 1901 and 1915. The Army post remained active through World War II.

 In 1973 Fort Baker was listed as a Historic District in the National Register of Historic Places. When the Golden Gate National Parks were established in 1972, Fort Baker was designated for transfer to the National Park Service when no longer needed by the military. In 2002 Fort Baker transferred officially from post to park, when the base was closed to military use except for a small Coast Guard presence. In July 2008, this significant historic area opened as a unique resort, named Cavallo Point Lodge. 
Cavallo Point is the first bay area national park lodge.There are over 20 renovated army buildings nestled around a large grass parade ground. None of the restored buildings give any indication they are now part of an extraordinary ecologically sensitive enclave that includes remarkable lodging, a Michelin-star restaurant, and a cooking school.
The ‘post-to-park’ transformation displays adaptive, creative reuse of this 40-acre National Landmark District and has a state-of-the-art conference center.  The project also included restoration of endangered habitat and the regeneration of 27 acres of public open space

 Linked pathways, dining terraces, fire pits and moveable chairs create spaces for both gathering and quiet times.The removal of invasive trees has opened views to the Bridge and Bay which have not been available for 100 years.  A tennis court was re-purposed as event space; a rectangular lawn panel framed by a broad, gravel ‘fault’ zone reveals its former use.  The most dramatic transformation was the restoration of the coastal scrub habitat with genetic natives—58,000 plants propagated from seed harvested on the Cavallo Point site.  Guest quarters are now comfortable as well as educational set in a rich tapestry of landscape.

Since our daughter in law and granddaughters joined us there for our one night stay, Joe had the blessing of telling them stories about Fort Baker, Cronkhite beach, and other places that were so familiar to him, along with history.  That is the best way to learn!

When Joe stayed in the barracks as an enlisted man at Fort Baker, he did not dream that one day he would bring family back there and stay in the historic quarters which were once officers' housing!  The old houses were wonderful, our rooms lovely, and Cavallo Point celebrated his earlier time there as well as his 79th birthday.  I am grateful for him and for our experiences at this place.

                                Golden Gate Bridge with its typical shroud of fog.  July 20, 2016
Goodbye, Fort Baker!  

Friday, December 21, 2012

Carol of the Birds

I am strangely attracted to a Christmas carol rarely sung -
 treasure of music, words with sweet mystery,
 quiet, wondering melody
Questioning feathered twitters.

“Whence comes this rush of wings afar,
Following straight the Noel star?
Birds from the woods in wondrous flight,
Bethlehem seek this Holy Night.
Tell us, ye birds, why come ye here,
Into this stable, poor and drear?
Hastening we seek the newborn King
And all our sweetest music bring.”

Stirring some ancient warmth within me
I play the notes and sing each verse,
 decorate a small Christmas tree
with vines, berries, woodland birds.

Greenfinch, Philomel sing
Re, mi, fa, sol in accents sweet
from woodland edges, farmland hedges
Noel, Christ on earth with man to dwell

Someone singing this tune for 400 years,
before that, once an older one now lost?
Could it be I am pulled by what I cannot remember?
Song and my great grandmother both born in southern France

She died when I was a baby.
Did she sing it, rocking me
in the old wooden rocker in which I rock my own grandchild?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gratitude for Hand Me Downs

        Thanksgiving memories: Quilt from Mary Clyde Curley Terrell and Opal Terrell Teal

I grew up in the 40's and 50's in a small town in East Texas. I remember ration stamps during the war, “butter” that we made out of white stuff that we mixed with coloring to make it yellow, tea towels made from flour sacks, and patchwork quilts made from the scraps of fabric leftover from clothes sewed by my grandmother and mother. “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” was really practiced. Men's shirt collars were turned when they became worn, and socks were darned. Mending was an important word in our vocabulary.

I learned to do handwork like embroidery and crochet from Mother and Grandma, but I took a sewing course from the local Singer Sewing machine store when Mother got a new electric sewing machine to replace her treadle Singer. The course came free with the purchase and she already knew how to sew, so I took the lessons, made a dress and jacket, and modeled them in a fashion show for the last lesson. I remember working over the scalloped neckline and sleeves of a teal blue outfit and wearing it proudly. I was 8 years old. After that, Mother and I worked together on making my clothes. I learned from her to shop for fabric bargains, the reason I still have yards of fabric stored for the time when the right need appears. We always planned something pretty for the first day of school. When I was in high school, I would sketch a design for a prom or banquet gown and was never disappointed at the results. My outfits were always one of a kind!

Even so, I did a happy dance when the occasional box of hand me downs arrived in the mail from my cousin in South Texas. Marcia Lee was 6 years older than me, and all her clothes were store bought! She had a younger brother and no one to pass down to, so I was the glad recipient. I never grumbled about wearing second hand. I was aware, however, that not everyone felt special wearing not-new things. My younger sister had a lot of hand-me-downs!

Today, there is a revival of appreciation for used clothing and other worn items. We call it repurposing or recycling. I am reminded of the wisdom of my parents and grandparents. The root of the concept of passing something on is the word “give.” Making something we no longer can use or need available to someone else is a gift, both to ourselves and that one who receives it. As we donate, pass down, relinquish, and turn over things, or receive those which have been made available to us, we are acting out a physical image of a much larger passing down, the transmitting and endowment of a priceless legacy. 

My cousin passed down clothes.  Mother and Grandma handed me down so much more.  The quilt in the photo is a passed down treasure with its patches from dresses worn 70 years ago by all three of us.  Every patch and stitch reminds me of the gifts of themselves handed on to me that live beyond me in the lives of my sons and granddaughters. 

"And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously,handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see - or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read."  ~ Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mothers' Garden
"My work in the world is to catch fire, to bloom, and to unleash my own secret words."  ~ Christine Valters Paintner

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Richmond, Texas

For the first twenty-eight years of my marriage, we moved alot.  Twenty one times, in fact.  There were assorted apartments, duplexes, old houses, new houses, even a 3 month sojourn in a hotel in Indonesia.  Every time we moved, we said our goodbyes to one place and our hellos to another with the glad anticipation that in yet another place, we would make a home.  And we did.  But when we returned to the United States after living in Jakarta for nearly five years, we settled in a place that has been home for twenty years now. We have lived in two different houses, but within the same neighborhood.  We have a Sugar Land, Texas postal address, but live just beyond the edge of the Richmond, Texas city limits.  Although our work and shopping may take us frequently into Sugar Land and beyond into Houston, our feeling of community is in our neighborhood and in the small town of  Richmond.  There is our church, and a sense of returning to the kind of small town which nurtured me in my growing up years.

Freeways and cell phones and internet connections may link our lives in ways I could never have imagined as a young girl but I am rooted in this place and with these people.  Appreciation of history is strong here, as evidenced in a recent anniversary celebration for the town.  I love to be at home here.