Monthly Archives: March 2015

Random Five/Willy Nilly Friday

Another Friday, another dose of randomness.

1.) Can you stand another sunrise photo?  The water was as calm yesterday morning as you ever see it.  Today’s view is much different: rainy and gloomy.

sunrise 3-19-2015 6-58-11 AM

2.) Tomorrow,  a couple of my friends are coming to join me at the Vintage Market on Main Street. The weather forecast is for sunny and temps around 60. Vintage shopping followed by lunch: sounds like a fun day.


3.) When we visited Bacon’s Castle last weekend and walked across the mill stone at the entrance of the house, I mentioned to my friends that I had an old photo of my aunt standing on that stone. Here is Aunt Lucille, my mom’s sister, in 1940. (The front of the house looks nothing like this now; the porch has since been removed, but the stone is still there.)

aunt lucille on mill stone  19403-19-2015 2-05-29 PM 3-19-2015 2-05-29 PM

4.) Silly Sundae.  She had been lying on my stomach under her blanket, then decided to emerge. She definitely has the attitude going…


5.) And speaking of attitude, I’ll get the full benefit of that today, when I take her for her regular check-up.  Your thoughts would be appreciated around 10:45, as I’m attempting to persuade coax coerce drop her unceremoniously (but gently) bottom-first into the carrier.

And what fun randomness is happening in your world today?

Around Roanoke

~These Days Of Mine~

Happy Birthday, Jamestown-Scotland Ferry

2015 seems to be the year for celebrating special dates in the history of our area.

Tuesday, Motor Man and I attended a gathering to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the ferry which crosses the James River, connecting Surry County (my “home” county) and historic Jamestown. “Scotland” refers to Scotland Wharf, the dock on the Surry side of the river.

The ceremony, which began in Jamestown, concluded at the Surry Historical Society. Guests there were treated to a preview of the restored 1925 ferry, the Captain John Smith.  The original ferry:

1925 j smith ferry

rootsweb photo

 It wasn’t until the late 1990’s, when I went to work for a Surry business,  S. Wallace Edwards & Sons, which specializes in country cured hams, that I learned the complete history of this ferry.  Captain Albert Jester had the idea for the ferry in 1923. The boat, the Captain John Smith, was built in Battery Park, Virginia, located about 25 miles from Surry. (Battery Park is a tiny waterfront town, practically in sight of where Motor Man and I now live.)  The ferry, which could accommodate 16 Model A cars at the time, began operation in 1925.  It was the first boat to transport vehicles across the James River.

Captain Jester’s son-in-law, S. Wallace Edwards, Sr. worked alongside him on the ferry.  Since there were no restaurants where motorists could stop for a meal, Mr. Edwards began selling ham sandwiches to folks traveling on the ferry. The ham was cured by his family on their nearby farm.

Demand grew for the ham, and ultimately lead to the creation of Edwards Ham Company. 

One of my jobs at Edwards’ was to give tours of the plant, and the history of how the ham company came to be – because of the ferry – was included in the information shared with our visitors.  Third and fourth generation Edwards family members now operate the company.

This is the restored Captain John Smith, located on the grounds of the Surry Historical Society.

captn john smith restoration 3-17-2015 12-53-11 PM

After it was retired as a ferry, the deckhouse was sold. In the 1940’s, it was given new life as a summer house on pilings in the Elizabeth River, another of our southeast Virginia rivers. This photo was taken in the 1980’s.

ferry as cottage

rootsweb photo

In recent years, the deckhouse was recovered and donated to the Historical Society. Through donations and grants, restoration work began, and is now, nearing completion.

Years ago, the ship’s wheel had been donated to Mariners Museum in Newport News. Upon learning that the Captain John Smith was being restored, the museum gifted the wheel to the Surry Historical Society in 2012.

My friend, Linda, an Edwards employee, whom I first met while working there, accompanied us to the ceremony on Tuesday.

db linda ships wheel 3-17-2015 1-16-25 PM

And took a picture of Motor Man and me. (No captain nor first mate material here, I’m afraid…)

jrdb 3-17-2015 1-17-30 PM

As a Surry County native, ferry traveler and friend (and former employee) of the Edwards family, it’s heartwarming to see the Captain John Smith being restored.

ferry and flag 3-17-2015 12-57-07 PM

I hope she has many visitors at her new location.

~These Days Of Mine~

St. Patty’s Day Treasures On The Beach

Yesterday, we had SPRING: sunshine, temps in the upper 70’s and a delightful breeze.

Bev and I took advantage of the weather and spent a little time beachcombing in the afternoon. I found some green, which I thought was appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day.  The shard on the far left is textured (embossed?) and a gold-green color. It’s the thickness of a potato chip.

green 3-17-2015 7-56-24 PM

But, my treasure for the day was this. A Bayer aspirin bottle, which was full of sand when I found it.

bayer bottle1 3-17-2015 4-29-37 PM

It cleaned up rather nicely.

bayer bottle2 3-17-2015 7-57-21 PM

We haven’t determined an approximate date yet.  Motor Man did a little online research last night, and we think it’s possibly from the 1930’s.

In the meantime, it has a new home on the shelf in our half bath.

shelf1 3-18-2015 7-21-30 AM

~These Days Of Mine~

The Many Faces Of Monday Morn

Or, rather, Monday morn’s sky. This was my first glimpse at 6:53 a.m: red sky at morning.

sunrise1a 3-16-2015 5-53-48 AM

Entirely different, and to my eye, not quite as pretty, at 7:04.

sunrise2 3-16-2015 6-04-35 AM

Still changing, and becoming brighter, at 7:24.

sunrise3 3-16-2015 7-24-11 AM

And a close-up, brighter still, at 7:30.

sunrise last 3-16-2015 7-30-57 AM

Bonus!  Not only did Monday begin with a glorious sky, it ended with one as well.

sunset home 3-16-2015 7-37-13 PM

~These Days Of Mine~

She Doesn’t Look A Day Over 300

Those of you who know me personally, or have been following my blog for awhile, know of my connection to historic Bacon’s Castle in Surry County, Virginia. (If you’re new here, please click on the link under categories to read previous posts.)

This grand old home has been getting quite the recognition recently because she’s celebrating her 350th birthday this year.

Last Sunday, she was featured in the Richmond, Virginia paper, and just yesterday, this was the article in our Daily Press.

db and dp 3-15-2015 6-00-27 PM

Motor Man and I paid her a visit yesterday, along with some dear friends who had never been there. It’s always a treat to tour the house, but especially so with folks who are seeing her in person for the first time.

bc 3-15-2015 1-24-21 PM

All the publicity must be paying off: she was a busy place yesterday.

cars at castle 3-15-2015 1-28-10 PM

Whenever I’m at Bacon’s Castle, I try to imagine the life my mom, her parents and her siblings lived here. I think of them walking in the yard, working the fields, the children playing and climbing the trees…

cedars 3-15-2015 1-48-35 PM

It’s so nice to see the Castle getting all this well-deserved recognition. She’s special, and I hope she  survives to celebrate many more birthdays.

~These Days Of Mine~

Random Five/Willy Nilly Friday

Another Friday: more randomness.

1.) 17 years ago this evening, Motor Man and I had our first “date”.  Yes, I know it’s a bit sappy to celebrate that date every year. But that’s just how we are.  AND, it was on Friday, the 13th.  This picture was taken a few months after that first date.

jrdb kent island 98 3-12-2015 9-06-29 PM

2.) I mentioned to Marshall that I’d recently read that you needn’t understand all the information on a nutritional label; just buy items with the fewest number of ingredients. With raised eyebrows, he suggested that I check the label on a bag of Fritos. Hmm…I’m not sure this means Fritos are healthy.

fritos 3-12-2015 2-26-15 PM

3.) A few months ago, I found this artwork on Pinterest and pinned it. I’ve already begun collecting the rocks and beach glass in hopes of, one day, attempting my own version.

lighthouse and boats-001

4.) Yesterday, this adorable little pot of miniature daffodils caught my eye at the supermarket. I added a bow and a butterfly embellishment: instant birthday gift.

daffies 3-12-2015 2-36-46 PM

5.)  Tomorrow, I’m helping a friend pack for a (short-distance) move. Other friends will be there, we’ll have oldies playing, and I’m thinking it’s going to be a party.

Your randomness…?

Around Roanoke

~These Days Of Mine~

Peanuts On A Bottle?

Tuesday, we had temps in the low 70’s, so Bev and I couldn’t pass up that opportunity to go shelling/beachcombing.


 Bev always seems to find the interesting bottle shards. This was her find this week:

bevs bottle shard 3-8-2015 3-14-48 PM

The peanuts embossed on the glass really had us stumped. Was this a soda bottle? Why would an image of peanuts be on a soda bottle?

Yesterday, one of Motor Man’s former employees, Tom, came by our shop for a visit. He mentioned that one of his hobbies was digging for old bottles. (What are the odds, right?) So I mentioned the peanuts-on-the-bottle shard. And he said: “I have one of those bottles! In fact, I think I have may have two!”.

He said that he would give me one, and he, Motor Man and I decided to meet for dinner last night.

Not only did he give me one….he gave me two! (Turns out, he actually had three.)

2 bottles best 3-11-2015 6-51-35 PM

I realize that it’s impossible to tell from this picture that the clear bottle is the same as the shard Bev found, but it is. Other than the color, the green one is identical.

The reason for the peanuts? The name on the bottles is Sunnybrook Bottling Company, Suffolk, Va., with a patent date of 1929. Suffolk is located about 20 miles from us, and is one of many cities who boast the title of Peanut Capital of the World.  Tom used to live in Suffolk, and actually found these bottles on his property when he lived there years ago.

In a search of E-bay,  I found current auctions for two Sunnybrook bottles like these: one green and one clear. The description states that these were associated with Pepsi-Cola.  The buy-it-now price for the clear bottle is $39.99. And for the green one? $114.67. Believe me, I’ve added the auction for the green one to my watch list.

I wonder if Tom will “repo” mine if the one on E-bay sells for that price?

~These Days Of Mine~