You would think the pace would be slowing down since Thanksgiving and Black Friday are over, but now (Thursday) it is just 20 days before Christmas and we are being bombarded with all kinds of advertising from merchants who must make it or break it during this time.
Most of us love to see lively interest by merchants as it proves they are willing to offer us bargains to attract us to their stores. And let’s face it — we all love bargains and to see many interesting items laid out for us in picture advertisements to help us make choices for Christmas presents.
I hope y’all had a happy and plentiful Thanksgiving like I did. First, there was the bountiful meal in Wise, NC along with 13 others prepared by Libby Green Paynter and her husband, Jack; Janice and Butch Meek, parents of my daughter-in-law Ginger, who also helped. It was truly a meal to remember and the tables were set to perfection.
Secondly, Mavis and I enjoyed a wonderful meal at her son Joe Newsome and wife Rebecca’s Raleigh home Saturday evening, along with 10 others. Wow! She’s a great cook, but some of that is deserving to Joe, who cooked the delicious turkey on his grill.
Reenactment group interesting, noisy
Several Eastern North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans reenactment groups entertained a host of visitors in Rocky Mount, Nov. 16 showing off their weekend tent sleeping quarters, campfires, exact dress for that period and best of all, the firing of the three well-preserved cannons by experienced artillery men.
Four of us guys, along with their significant others who are in a Red Hat group, attended on the suggestion from Jim Mills of Youngsville, who is a member of a group.
I was concerned about getting a picture of the firing at just the right split second and one of the reenactment men said for me to watch when artillery men cover up their ears.
I saw the men getting ready for a firing and I stood about 40 feet away to one side until a man about another 20 feet back of me, said I had better move away some more. I backed away anther 20 feet and waited for the signal by one of the artillery men holding his hand over his ears.
It seemed like a long time watching them load the explosive with long poles down the barrel, but the cannon finally fired and I mashed my camera shutter.
Wow! The noise was louder than anything I had ever heard – even the firing of an Honest John rocket by Youngsville National Guardsmen at Fort Bragg several years ago when I visited as Colonel Leonard Kilian’s guest.
My ears started ringing and never stopped, as I even went back farther to lessen the noise and get a better perspective, as more shots were fired.
After each camera firing, I checked my camera’s monitor screen image while hoping I had a good capture.
The first shot was filled with smoke and I didn’t like it. Apparently I was too slow in tripping my shutter from being shocked, but I was determined to do a better job on the next firing of the other three cannons. After each of the other cannons went through their firings, I was ready for “my” cannon to fire again
And I got it better, capturing a trail of smoke as it came out the barrel. I doubt if I could have done better if my camera had been set on continuous shutter mode.
I enjoyed “shooting” a closeup of a marvelous Creston Simmons who captured my immediate attention for a close up image with his long gray beard, large gray brimmed hat with yellow and black insignia and braid realistic of the Civil War era.
Another long white-bearded man with a black dishpan-like brimmed felt hat with red braid and a checked red shirt wearing suspenders, was another fetching character to photograph.
A beautiful little girl arrived with her father. She was all decked out in a long dress and bonnet, and she agreed to let me make a few photos of her.
If there’s one thing I learned about “shooting” cannons — always put on sound-quieting ear muffs like I wear when grass mowing. The ringing lasted for several days and in fact when I attended church services Sunday of last week, my hearing was still not right and even the trained, beautiful voices of our six-women choral group sounded raspy to me at times on certain notes.
So, please don’t be surprised if you see me wearing ear muffs.