Saturday, September 24, 2016

Society Saturday - Heritage Weekend

The Illinois Heritage Alliance held their Fourth Annual Heritage Weekend last week.  This year, there were 18 societies represented, inlcuding a few new societies - new to the state or just new to the weekend.

Members gathered Friday evening for a meet and greet.  This is always a good opportunity to meet new people and reacquaint with old friends.

Saturday morning started with a color guard supplied by the local Sons of the American Revolution chapter.  We had a color guard from a local Naval Sea Cadet unit on Sunday morning.

Each Society held their meeting in an open format so that others (especially prospective members) could attend.  They gave basic information about their society, such as dates and locations of meetings, and membership requirements, in addition to conducting their own business.

Everyone joined together for lunch and dinner on Saturday.  Our luncheon speaker was Betsy Jones, the Governor General of the National Society Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims.  She attended Heritage Weekend as part of her official visit to the Illinois Branch.  She gave an entertaining talk on the "Colorful Ladies of Tombstone".  It was an entertaining look at some of the early residents of that famous old western town.

Our speaker that evening was Kathryn Harris.  She gave us a first person interpretation of Elizabeth Keckley, who was the dressmaker for Mary Todd Lincoln.  We learned another aspect of that first lady.

On Sunday morning, there were 6 more meetings.  Everyone went home with a sense of satisfaction after that weekend.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Society Saturday - Children of the American Colonists meet in Lexington

The 76th Annual General Assembly of the Children of the American Colonists was held in Lexington, KY.

These were cupcakes!

Our "Fun Day" began with a trip to the Kentucky Horse Park.  There, the members (and adults) learned about horse racing, and the history of domesticated horses.  Some went for horseback rides.

The afternoon was spent at Spindletop estate.  This is the private club for Alumni of UK.  We enjoyed a picnic buffet, swimming, and touring the house.

In the evening, members enjoyed pizza and swimming, then had fun in the hospitality room.  As usual, all participated in making a Christmas gift to be delivered to our veterans in December.

On Saturday, we conducted the business meeting.  National President Reagan Zolman did an excellent job of presiding.

The meeting ended with a memorial service for one Honorary President General and several Life Promoters who died this past year.  Anthony P. played taps.

In the afternoon, we traveled to the Jack Jouett House.  Jack Jouett was known as the "Paul Revere of the South".  He traveled 40 miles to warn the Virginia legislature that British Dragoons were on the way.  After the Revolutionary War, he retired to Versailles, Kentucky.  Our CAC National Project this year was to place a marker and flags at his house.  We dedicated the marker and flags on a beautiful sunny (and warm!) afternoon.  After the dedication, we enjoyed refreshments provided by the Kentucky Daughters of the American Colonists.

In the evening, we held our Candlelight Banquet.  Awards were given out, we were entertained by the singing of member Molly M., and new officers were installed.

Reagan is now a Kentucky Colonel.
New Life Promoters

The evening ended with fellowship and plans to attend next year's General Assembly in Missouri.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Workday Wednesday - Thirty Years at the County

I am reposting this from my work blog so  that my descendants will have an idea of what I did for most of my life ----

Thirty years ago, I was a wide-eyed naive intern starting my rotation on Ward 60A - General Surgery - at Cook County Hospital.  I had chosen this residency because of the world famous trauma unit at the hospital.

After 6 years of residency (including a year of research), I decided to stay on as the Clinical Trauma Fellow.  Upon finishing the fellowship, there was an opening on the attending staff which I accepted.
Long story short, I never left.  I had never intended to stay at the County or in Chicago as long as I did.  I looked elsewhere for fellowships and jobs, but nothing could compare to the World Famous Trauma Unit at Cook County Hospital.

I have worked in 3 Trauma Units in 2 hospitals - the original unit on the third floor of the old hospital followed by the "new" unit on the first floor of the old hospital - and, for the past 14 years, in the unit at the new hospital.

I have worked under three Trauma Directors, with several Trauma Attendings and Fellows, and innumerable nurses, clerks, pharmacists, therapists, etc.

I have helped train nearly 2500 residents and a similar number of medical students.  I have watched some of those residents pursue their own careers in trauma and become leaders in the field.

I have treated thousands of patients over the years.  In addition to resuscitating and admitting my share of the now over 6000 trauma activations per year, I have helped to care for many more while they were in the Trauma ICU and wards.

Now, after 30 years, it is time to move on.  I have been reflecting on the past 30 years - more than half my life - spent at one of the country's busiest Trauma Units.  There are many things I will not miss, but several that I will:

I will not miss:
  • Hospital food - while the cafeteria in the new hospital is much better than the old "Cafe' Cloaca", it is still just hospital food.
  • Fighting with a combative patient at 2 am who needs care because of an injury they sustained  while drunk or high.
  • Notifying families that their loved one is dead as a result of senseless violence, or drunk driving.
  • Trying to sleep in the call room, knowing that I may be called to save a life at any minute.
  • Not having the appropriate suture, dressing, or medication because a) the hospital is on credit hold with that company, b) someone forgot to reorder or restock that item, or c) nobody on night shift can access it.
  • The morning drive to work.  I live 20 miles away by mostly expressway.  My morning commute has lengthened from 30 minutes to 90 minutes and it doesn't matter how early I leave.
I will miss:
  • All of the staff I have worked with.  Although we came from many walks of life, I believe that we all had the welfare of our patients in mind.
  • Spending time with the residents on call - we bonded over shared experiences and take-out dinners.
  • Seeing a patient who was once near the brink of death leave the hospital for rehab.  Or even, better, seeing that patient come back weeks  later to say "Thank you".
  • Impromptu teaching during morning report, on call, and in the OR.  While  enjoyed giving lectures, my favorite type of educating was discussing the injury pattern, work-up and management of whatever patient happened to come in at the time.
Goodbye, Cook County Trauma Unit - you will always hold a special place in my heart. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Society Saturday - Southern Dames in Alabama

The Annual Assembly of the National Society Southern Dames of America was held in Birmingham, Alabama.

The meeting started with a "Fun Day" on Thursday.  Over 50 ladies drove to the Arlington House for lunch and a tour.  Our luncheon speaker was "Lou Wooster", a famous madam from Birmingham.  She told us how she moved from Montgomery to the brand new town of Birmingham in 1871 to establish a business.  She was very successful until a cholera epidemic impacted her business.  She and her "girls" volunteered to help nurse (and sometimes bury) the cholera victims.  This earned her a congressional commendation for her service.

We then toured Arlington House - the only antebellum home still standing in Birmingham.  It was built in the 1840's.  Union General Wilson took over the first floor of the home near the end of the Civil War.  The house was later used as a boarding house.  It has been restored as a museum since the 1950's.

The next day, we learned a history of Civilization as told by dolls.  This was an interesting program given by Annette Smith, an avid doll collector. She brought representative antique dolls from her collection and told how the type of doll reflected the industrial and political happenings of the time.  

Then there was a memorial service and a board meeting, with the business session the next day.

On Saturday, we had the Eye Program luncheon.  One of the main purposes of this organization is support of eye research and eye assistance programs.  The speaker at this luncheon was Dr. Dawn DeCarlo, an optometrist who specializes in rehabilitation for patients with low vision.  She told of some of the things that can be done by adding magnification and manipulating contrast to help people see.  Her research focuses on children who are visually impaired.  

That evening we had a formal banquet followed by Awards.  We were entertained by some of the ladies from North Carolina who gave a program about "One Eyed Jacks and Jills" - they told of several famous people who had only one eye - from Sandy Duncan to Sammy Davis Jr to Teddy Roosevelt.  Awards ranged from membership to outstanding programs to Creative Arts. 

The other main purpose of this organization is support of the Creative Arts.  During the weekend, there were several items on display that had been made by the members.  Awards were given for the best in each category.

The evening concluded with installation of new officers for the 2016-2018 term.  All in all, it was an enjoyable weekend and I look forward to returning next year.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Society Saturday - Fashions of the Pilgrims

At our recent meeting of the Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims, we learned about the various fashions that our ancestors might have worn.  A common belief is that the Pilgrims and Puritans wore black or gray without any adornments.  Speaker B.A. Church explained that this wasn't necessarily the case.

She gave us the historical background of the clothing worn during the early 1600's.  Prior to 1649, Charles I was on the throne.  His followers were known as Cavaliers or Royalists.  Men wore collars made of handmade lace and doublets (jackets) with slashes on the sleeves to show off the undersleeves.  There was a lot of embroidery on their clothing, often with silk or silver-gilt thread.  They would wear the long curled wigs and a big hat with ostrich feathers.

Women would wear poofy sleeves and real pearl necklaces.  Their dress bodices were long-waisted to enhance their tiny waists (often 15" due to corsets).  They wore a farthingale of wicker or whalebone to widen their skirts.

Puritan dress vs Royalist dress
After Oliver Cromwell overthrew the throne, he promoted a much more sedate version of dress.  This is closer to what we think of the Puritans wearing.  They discouraged Frippery on the clothing.  There was no embroidery or other embelishment, collars were made of plain linen.  It was decreed that colors should be subdued.  There was no jewelry, or buckles.  In fact, one could be fined for wearing ribbon or lace, or even dressing above one's station in life.

In 1660, Charles II regained the throne and fancier fashion returned to England.  Clothing in the colonies remained more subdued, however, because fancier cloths had to be imported, and people were occupied with making a life in the harsh colonies leaving little time for embellishing clothing.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Society Saturday - Southern Dames of Illinois

There is a brand new lineage society in Illinois - the Illinois State Society of Southern Dames of America.  They held their inaugural meeting on May 5, 2016.

The Southern Dames of America is a lineage organization that celebrates southern heritage and raises money for services for people with blindness and other eyesight disabilities.  Illinois is now their newest state society.

In the five months since invitations were sent to join, the Illinois Society has grown to include 51 charter members.  Thirty ladies met in Bloomington to learn about the society and the eye program.

New members were welcomed, given a gift along with their certificates, and signed the charter form.

Officers were installed, and everyone looks forward to a long association with this new (to us) Society. 

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Society Saturday- The Witch of Pungo

The annual meeting of the National Society Sons and Daughters of Antebellum Plants was held jointly with the Sons and Daughters of Colonial and Antebellum Bench and Bar.  

Our Speaker this year was Hon. Richard Bender Abell, former Assistant Attorney General.  He spoke about the trial of Grace Sherwood, also known as the Witch of Pungo.  During his talk, he compared the attitudes of the Virginia colonists with thos of the Massachusetts colonists.  For example, there were 20 executions during the Salem witch panic of 1692 compared with a total of 20 accusations in Virginia between 1607-1730.  The harshest punishment meted out in Virginia was a lashing.  Part of this was because in Virginia, the accuser bore the burden of proof.  If the accused witch was convicted, they could then sue their accuser of slander (this also happened in Massachusetts, but much less frequently).

Grace White Sherwood was known as a midwife and herbalist.  In fact, she was known as the person who introduced the herb rosemary to the colony of Virginia.   
Her travails first began in 1697, when she was accused of casting spells on a neighbor's bull.  She brought a defamation suit and won.
The following year,  another neighbor accused her of enchanting his hogs.  She lost the defamation suit against him.
She continued to function as a member of the community until 1706 when her neighbors the Hills accused her of witchcraft through causing a miscarriage of Elizabeth Hill.  This accusation was taken more seriously and a trial ensued.  First, she was examined for "witch's marks" which were apparently found.  Next, she underwent a trial by ducking.  The magistrate and sheriff we easy to pull her back up by a rope but she popped up anyway.  Despite the outcome of these two tests which "proved" she was a witch, no further punishment ensued.  She remained on her farm in Virginia until her death in 1740.
She was pardoned by the Virginia legislature on July 10, 2006, exactly 300 years after her trial by ducking.