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Hi all - so, here's the first issue of a simple little ezine
that we've put together to answer a lot of the questions that
we get by email. The most common is, "What's been happening
at The Grove?" We'll tackle that one shortly.
Meanwhile, out in the garden the Tiger Lilies are getting ready
to bloom in another week or so, and for some reason the Day
Lilies are coming up a bit late, so we're expecting the garden
to look like an explosion of orange in the very near future.
We have several news items to share, including a ghost story
or two, so let's get started with this first issue of the
We're in mourning for Matt's, a popular Tex-Mex restaurant here
in town. Not that there isn't a wealth of other wonderful
places to eat - Italian, Mexican, Gourmet Burgers and more -
but Matt's was a nice addition to the Jefferson restaurant
family. Many of you probably ate there during one of your
visits. One favorite was the "Cowboy Chicken Fried Steak",
which was a normal CFS topped with chili, then served with rice
and beans. And who could forget their "Bowl of Bob"? It was
a delicious concoction of meat, cheese, guac, beans, sour cream
and who knows what else. Yep, we're going to miss Matt's a lot.
If you're a golf fanatic, then the annual Jefferson Lions Club
Golf Tournament may be just the thing to entice you to our
gentle little city. You can find out all of the details on
their website (just click on the golf link):
As July 4th approaches, you may want to consider coming to
Jefferson for the holiday. A band plays patriotic music in
Otstott Park's gazebo, there are day-long festivities, and
you'll never forget the home-town American feel of the holiday.
Everything is capped off by a fireworks display that will
literally take your breath away. Contact the Chamber of
Commerce at www.jefferson-texas.com for details.
The Grove Tour
Other big news around the place: we've opened The Grove up as a
Jefferson Tour Home. It's been a long time coming, but so
many people have strolled by wanting to tour the house, that
after it was on Pilgrimage we thought that the time was right.
There are two tours: 3PM on Saturday, and 11AM on Sunday - but
there is much more info on the website:
The tour takes visitors to the garden for a story or two, and
then all through the house. You'll hear the history of The
Grove, its classic ghost stories, and the tales of what's been
going on lately. We're working hard to make it an interesting
attraction for the visitors to the city of Jefferson, and we
greatly appreciate the support that everyone's shown.
What's That Plant?
If you've been on the tour lately, you may have been invited to
take home a piece of The Grove's garden - we try to have
plant cuttings rooted in small cups for your convenience. If
you want to know more about the plant that we've been giving
away lately, it's called "Tradescantia Zebrina", or more
commonly, "Zebrina Wandering Jew". It will grow as a ground
cover, but we use it in hanging baskets - its little purple
flowers are very nice. You can place your plant in bright
indirect or filtered sunlight. If your "Zebrina Wandering Jew"
looses some of its color and starts to appear droopy, then it's
time to water. To make a hanging basket, take cuttings and
root them in the pot - the cuttings are very east to root.
What's a tale of The Grove without a ghost story or two? Well,
since something seems to be happening all of the time it's hard
to record it... which is another reason for this ezine. It's
one way to keep a record of things. Here's just a few stories
about what's been happening lately:
Last week I was doing a book signing over at the train station,
and had a chance to visit with one of the employees there. For
years he's lived in the house diagonal from The Grove across
the street. One of the things that he said to me was, "Man, I
don't know how you manage to sleep in that house!" I told him
that we sleep rather soundly, with an occasional surprise or
two from the house. He went on to say that over the course of
the years he's seen some very strange things happen at The
Grove. The thing that surprised him the most occurred when he
was sitting outside as the sun was going down one evening.
Some movement over at the house caught his eye, and he saw
that not only was the light on in the front parlor, but it was
swinging back and forth. One of the unusual things about this
was that the house was empty - no one was living there. He
told me that the next day as he was walking by, he stopped to
examine the place to see if someone had moved in, but to his
surprise there wasn't even an electric meter mounted in the
box. An interesting tale, to be sure. While we've definitely
had lights turn on and off for no apparent reason, we've never
experienced the swinging light phenomenon that so many people
have reported. Maybe someday.
One of my favorite things that's happened lately involves
Charlie Young, who bought The Grove in 1885 and lived here
until his death in the 1930's. Earlier this year, a friend
of ours from Dallas had come over for the weekend to help us
get the house ready for Jefferson's Pilgrimage. She was
sleeping on a couch in the "new room" (the room off the kitchen
that was added in 1870), and her 12 year old daughter was
sleeping on a couch in the blue room (the room between the new
room and the East Parlor). The next morning I asked her
daughter how she slept, and she said, "Fine, except for that
man walking around." Now, I was the only male in the house, so
I was very interested in what she'd seen. She said that he was
kind of a short man, with dark skin and a big mustache. Her
mother had come into the room along with my wife, and listened
as the girl described the man in detail. My wife slipped out
of the room and dug out a photo of Mr. Charlie that we had in a
drawer, and gave it to the girls mother. She was amazed that
her daughter was describing the man exactly, when there was no
was no way that the girl had ever seen the photo - or have
known anything about Mr. Charlie, for that matter. She said
that he'd just walked around the room looking around, and
passed through a few times. She said that she wasn't
frightened of him, which didn't surprise me; people always ask
how we can live here, but the things that happen really aren't
scary when they occur.
I don't want to ramble on too much, but there is one more
story that I have to tell. I was working on this month's ezine
on Monday June 7th, at about 5 PM, when I happened to glance
over into the Blue Room. I saw a dark figure walk across and
duck into the center stairwell, and was sitting there wondering
what it was when Tami said, "Did you see that? Two people in
black just walked through the Blue Room!" We'd both seen it
happen right there in the light of day - and apparently Tami
had been watching longer than I, since she'd seen a couple
walking past. It seems like there's always something happening
at The Grove.
Well, by next month I'm sure that there will be more stories to
share. Thank you so very much for spending a little time with
us, and we hope that you enjoyed it!
To repeat our words from the beginning, this is a free
subscription ezine for friends of The Grove - in other words,
we NEVER arbitrarily add email addresses. We also NEVER sell
or share email addresses with anyone else.
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