This is a tiny little free subscription ezine for friends of The
Grove - it is by request only. In other words, we NEVER
arbitrarily add email addresses. We also NEVER sell or share
email addresses with anyone else, for any reason at any time. We hate SPAM as much as you do!
I think that I should have a canned opening to every GroveZine
this year, where I generically say, "Wow, I can't believe how
fast this month passed by!" I say that because it's true - 2007
is travelling at warp speed. It seems that only a few weeks ago
we were taking down Christmas decorations, but now not only is
Tami out of school for the summer, but her vacation is already
one-third over. Wow.
Since it's summer, we've had some friends in town here and
there, but one asked a question the other day that made me stop
and laugh. We were pouring iced tea with dinner, and our friends
asked, "Why do you drink out of Mason jars with handles on them
- is that a Jefferson thing?" Well, as it turns out, it is. The
Blackburn Syrup works is located here in town, and so we get
some of the best-tasting, freshest jellies and syrups that
you'll ever find. In fact, you can buy them at the outlet store
in town. Blackburn's jelly comes in jars with handles on them,
though, and after eating the jelly, people in town have used
them as drinking glasses for years. You'll find a set in the
finest home to the most modest dwelling here in Jefferson. I'd
never really thought about it, but I guess that owning a set is
just a badge of honor for living in Jefferson.
Independence Day is right around the corner, and we're looking
forward to an old-fashioned fourth-of-July celebration at the
park downtown. Tami is baking a cake for the cake auction - the
proceeds go to buying children's books for the local Carnegie
Library. Fireworks and all, it's going to be quite a celebration.
The big news this month has been a train derailment here in
town. Of course, there were no toxic chemicals spilled or
anything, so it has been more of a little inconvenience than
anything else. The reason that I'm even bringing it up at all is
because of a friend of mine who saw it happen... and that's the
story about the derailment that's REALLY interesting. He was out
walking his dog before going to bed, giving the pup one last
chance to go to the bathroom. His house backs up to the railroad
track, so every time a train goes by, he knows it. That
particular night he heard a train coming in the distance, and he
told me that his dog immediately started freaking out. Keep in
mind that his dog is as used to the trains as he is, so this was
highly unusual. The dog continued to go crazy, as if he was
trying to warn my friend that something was wrong. After just a
few minutes, there was a rumbling and the train cars started
derailing right in front of him. My friend called 9-1-1 to
report it, but he still can't explain how his dog seemed to know
that something was going to happen in advance of the accident.
I'm also excited to report that there's a new Cemetery Tour at
our historic Oakwood Cemetery. If you enjoy the ghost walk
(which we do!), then you'll be happy to know that the same
person - Jodi - is doing the daytime cemetery tour. It covers
the history of some of the fascinating people who are buried
there, and is well worth your time while you're in town.
Finally, I've been talking about Jefferson's new McDonalds for
the last few issues, so I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that
it's still underway. The parking lot hasn't been poured, but the
basic building is complete. What other ezine can you read that
tracks the progress of a McDonalds??? Hey, I think that I'm just
looking forward to being able to get a bacon-egg-cheese biscuit
As for this month's ghost stories from The Grove, I have several
things from the tours. Those are my favorite stories, because
not only do they happen to other people, but they are often
observed by several people at once.
The first thing to report concerns a surveyor's marker that was
tied to a tree on the southeast corner of the property. Someone
was buying the house behind us, so a crew was surveying the lot
for the title company and they used The Grove as a guide. In the
course of things, they tied a piece of florescent surveyor's
tape to a tree that was right above the corner stake. A
gentleman that came on the tour told me that he was on the ghost
walk the previous night, and the evening was very still - no
wind movement at all. As they stood in front of The Grove, he
saw the orange fluorescent tape and started watching it move.
The tape started swaying back and fourth, and then moved in a
circle, and then stopped again, all while he and his family
stood there staring at it. He told me that the strangest thing
about it was that there was a wind chime in the garden just a
few feet away, and it wasn't moving a millimeter - the evening
was completely still. I have no idea what all that might have
been about, but the fellow who saw it was completely blown away
- it must have been quite dramatic.
Speaking of dramatic, that describes the next story as well.
This happened in right in front of me and everyone on the tour
one weekend this month. You may have heard me say that if I know
that something is happening during the tour, I usually don't
mention it. I'm terrified that if I do, it will seem like we're
faking or rigging things for the tour - something that we would
never, ever consider doing. The tour group was in the new room
(the den), and we were just starting to move into the kitchen to
finish the tour. If you've seen the house, you know that the
kitchen is done in a 1950's "general store" theme, with all
kinds of objects arranged on top of the cabinets. On top of the
eight-foot-tall cabinet to the left of the door as you walk into
the kitchen are many different things: a few tins, a pair of
skates, and a ceramic stein. As we walked from the new room to
the kitchen, the stein sailed off the top of the cabinet in a
gentle arc, and fell six foot away on the floor to the right.
Everyone ooo'd and ahh'd, and although I just picked up the
stein and downplayed it, I was amazed. First of all, if it had
been jarred off the top of the cabinet, it would have fallen
straight down, not at such a huge arc. Secondly, from that
distance it should have shattered, but it didn't even have a
nick. I have absolutely no explanation for what happened, but
everyone on the tour that day thought that it was incredible.
Finally, we had one couple on the tour a Sunday or so ago, and
while we were in the den - the new room - the lady started
fidgeting and finally asked if she could sit down on the couch.
When I finished talking about the room and we were moving into
the kitchen, she told her husband and I that someone had been
fiddling with her sock, and pulling it down. That happened a few
times, to the point where she wanted to get away from it and get
off her feet. Although I didn't see it, this fits right in with
the fact that the spirit in the den seems to be very fond of the
ladies, and will often flirt with them while they're in the room.
And so go the spirits of The Grove. It's an interesting place to
live, and we really enjoy sharing our stories with all of you!
Everyone have a happy 4th of July, when we celebrate this
wonderful country that we live in. If you get a chance to get
away for a little vacation during the summer, I hope that we see
you here in Jefferson. No matter what, though, I hope that you
have a wonderful, leisurely July - hopefully it won't fly by
like the rest of the year has!
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