Saturday, November 20, 2010

" ANGELS ON THE BLUFF " Natchez 2010

Last weekend we went to Natchez to attend the famous Angels on The Bluff program held every November. This was the 11th year and I had tried and failed for 4 years to get tickets. The tickets go on sale August 1st and sell out the first few days. This year, I stuck a post it on the wall and called the first day !!! It is held in the magnificent Natchez City Cemetery. Local amateur actors portray famous people buried there and they were so good I sometimes forgot is was actors not the real person !!!! :)

The cemetery we were told contains 50,000 grave but only 15,000 markers. It had grown from the original 10 acres to well over 100.

I am a member of the Mississippi Southern Belle Bloggers. One of the other members is Christine Wright of Natchez. Christine has the blog Christine's Home and Travel Adventures
That's Christine with her beautiful smile holding her camera. Next to her is her good friend DebJani Som also displaying a beautiful smile. We all met at the visitors center to ride the school bus ( my kids called it the cheese wagon)to the cemetery.

Eric and I were all smiles about reliving our childhood experience! HA! That's Christine's hubby John sitting behind us. His hand that is~~~~~~~

First up was ~~ "The Empty Tomb"-- Alfred Bernard White was a popular baseball player for the Catholic High School in 1923. His untimely and tragic death is told by his father, Clay White, (portrayed by Sam Jones)After attending a game across the river in Ferriday,Louisiana, Bernard fell overboard from the ferry and his body was never found. He was an only child and his parents placed an empty tomb for him in their plot.

Mr. Jones kept us spellbound with his portrayal of a grieving father.

I shot this photo while walking~~~~ could those be spirit orbs all in this picture??

Madame Marguerite Justine Belhomme Marchand Benoist Mezeix " The Milliner of Natchez" You may have already seen her beautiful hats in the Henry Norman photographs but did you know this French lady and her husband were charged with secretly delivering letters to the Confederate authorities during the occupation of Natchez in 1863? She was portrayed by a family descendant. Her photo is at the top!! Sorry I deleted it during editing!

Reverend Ashley Vaughn came to Natchez in 1835 and edited the 1st Baptist newspaper. by 1836 he was the president of the Convention of the Baptist denomination of Mississippi. He went on to pastor the 1st Baptist Church of Natchez. the current pastor, Rev. Doug Broome did a wonderful job of portraying Rev. Vaughn!

After Rev. Broome finished, lights came on behind us and we turned around to see 13 year old Allison Forbes. She was wonderful with her rendition of Amazing Grace!! On a funny note, after the tour , John admitted to us that he had seen her standing in the dark shadows and thought she was a ghost but was not going to admit to seeing her!! :)
Next we have Ralph Jennings doing a dramatic portrayal of Samuel Henry Clay Owen. The prominent African American who was president of Natchez College for many years. The historic institution was supported originally African American Baptists of Mississippi and gained a fine reputation under Professor Owen's direction.

One of the many huge Live Oak trees located in the cemetery~~~~

As we walked along one of the drives we were startled by the presence of these "unknown" soldiers" standing beside the plot of the "unknown soldiers ". Later we were treated to a hearty laugh when DebJani said to Christine; " I thought they were going to speak" and Christine replied back; " they can't, they don't know who they are" !

This was really a chilling site in the dark~~~~~~~~~~~

My favorite~~~~~ ~~~~~ Mr. and Mrs. John Fleming" of The Towers in Natchez.

The Towers antebellum home on the left.

James Wesley Forde and Ginger Hyland, present owners of The Towers did an excellent job of entertaining us with the history of this supposed haunted house and it's original on The Towers

The Towers is now a B&B and is open for tours Jan-Oct...........

Both of them are veteran actors of The Natchez Little Theater~~~~~~~

What a ball we had listening to local Attorney Rusty Jenkins portray his great-great Uncle 1900s Attorney Charles Ferriday Byrnes! He was one of the most colorful characters in Natchez history. He and his wife, Roane Fleming Byrnes(from the Towers family) resided in the beautiful home Ravennaside and lavishly entertained Natchez society. One of the funny stories Rusty told about his uncle~~~~

Mr. Byrnes it seems was a man who LOVED to drink the hard stuff. His wife was often told by other ladies that he had "no manners" One day he was drunk and his wife took all his clothes ( except for his shoes and hat) and locked him in a room to sleep it off. He decided to don his hat and shoes and climb out the window! He walks down the street where he came upon a group of ladies on a front porch. He tipped his hat and said; Ladies ! A lady in the group reported in haste to his wife that he was down the street! The wife says it cannot be him, he has no clothes to which was replied; "I KNOW " ! Oh my gosh says the wife, what did he do? Tipped his hat and said; Ladies, to which the wife replied; and you always say he has No Manners!

The final portrayal was of the famous 1960s Jazz singer Marian Montgomery(1934-2002) born Maud Runnells in Natchez~~~~

We enjoyed some wonderful music as Diana Glaze sang some of Marian's songs and told about her life~~~~

As you can see~~~ we were having a really good time!

I'm not sure the why they had a bonfire at the end but the smoke made for a spooky picture of Eric, me, Christine and John !

After our bus ride back to pick up our cars, we headed down to Natchez Under The Hill on Silver Street on the banks of the Mississippi River. Here you see the Ilse of Capri Casino

Across the street from the casino is a wonderful place to eat~~ Magnolia Grill

The 5 of us enjoyed a fabulous meal before promising to do it again next year! They portray different people each year so can't wait to see who we meet next!!

Thank you all so much for the thoughts and prayers for my family! We hope that my step-mom will get to come home next week!! Have a great rest of the weekend!! XOX

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

" RAIN "

We are finally getting rain !! We have not seen rain in 2 months! Our pond has NEVER been this low!

It has been a very busy time for the last month. I feel overwhelmed at times. My step-mother Jeanette, had a triple heart by-pass 4 weeks ago. She did real good through the surgery but had many complications afterward. She is still not back home and will probably be in rehab for a couple more weeks. My Dad who will be 83 in January, suffers from severe COPD and cannot stay by himself, also spent a week in the hospital. My 2 brothers, sister and I have been sharing his care. My younger brother came down from Arkansas yesterday to stay with him. So I'm heading out in the morning to Townsend to spend a few days in my little mountain get-a-way.
Until things get back to normal around here(if they ever do) I'll be scarce on the web. Please keep my family in your prays ?? XOXO