May 29, 2009

Going. . . Going. . . Gone!

Going. . .

Going. . .


Photos by Dan Hardison
Sliding Rock
Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina

May 16, 2009

Postcard from the Past: A Message from School

The front of the postcard is a picture of an ivy-covered school. The school is the Columbia Female Institute, an Episcopal school for girls established in Columbia, Tennessee in 1835. It was well known for its high standard of education and served girls from across the country.

A school catalog described it as "a school offering the advantages of a well-balanced curriculum and the environment of a Christian home; a school where the best formative influences prevail and where the tone is distinctively and dominantly moral and spiritual."

On the back of the postcard is an address for Knoxville, Tennessee with a postmark of September 22, 1913. The message is from a young girl living away from home and attending school there. How different things must have been for this girl so young, so long ago. The message reads:

I got your letter this morning and sure did enjoy it. Will answer it real soon. Please be good and next Wednesday send me a package of chocolate cakes. If you send it then, I will get them by Friday. Am very happy up here.
Love to all from the "noise of the family"

Then again, maybe there are some things that never change.

— Dan Hardison

Image: Postcard of the Columbia Female Institute, Columbia, Tennessee, postmarked 1913.

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May 8, 2009

Then and Now

When years have rolled o’er thee
And summers are fled
And this comes before thee
Like one from the dead –
When these scenes and these days
Shall be past and afar
Let them live in the blaze
Of bright memories star!

Let fate do her worst these are moments of joy,
Bright dreams of the past which she cannot destroy!

— Naomi Hayes

Far from home,
separated from family,
a young girl
is away at school.

In a journal are written
words and thoughts
by schoolmates and friends –
the year 1855.

Words of love and friendship,
of misdeeds and accomplishments,
of hopes and dreams,
of everyday life so dear.

As I read the words
written by those
so long ago,
I wonder . . .

Perhaps the hopes and dreams
are not so different
for a young girl
of then and now.

— Dan Hardison

Image: The poem by 17-year-old Naomi Hayes was written in a school journal kept by Rebecca Pettit in 1854/55 when they were students at the Columbia Female Institute – an Episcopal finishing school for girls that was located in Columbia, Tennessee.

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May 1, 2009

Rain Music

On the dusty earth-drum
Beats the falling rain;
Now a whispered murmur,
Now a louder strain.
Slender, silvery drumsticks,
On an ancient drum,
Beat the mellow music
Bidding life to come.
Chords of earth awakened,
Notes of greening spring,
Rise and fall triumphant
Over every thing.
Slender, silvery drumsticks
Beat the long tattoo –
God, the Great Musician,
Calling life anew.

Joseph S. Cotter, Jr.

Photo by Dan Hardison
Red Clay State Park, East Tennessee

Also available:
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