This past weekend, we (Joe and I) were lucky enough to drive to Connecticut and work with the Stafford Mill Town Quilters in Stafford, CT. This rather small guild of 38 were in charge of hosting the Greater Hartford Quilt Guild’s Annual Gathering. They brought in two teachers, myself and Marilyn Doheny. Marilyn and I were each asked to present a lecture to the group on Saturday and then we each did a workshop on Sunday. I was truly impressed with how organized this group was and how efficient they were. It made my job very easy. Here are some of the ladies from the group waiting for me to start my lecture.
When Joe asked one of the ladies in the group what we should see in the area she said that we really should go see the Frog Bridge. I thought, what on earth is a “Frog Bridge”. Joe and I were both intrigued and on Saturday afternoon after my lecture we drove to the bridge in Willmantic.
And yes, there are frogs on all four corners of the bridge. Each frog sits on a spool of thread. Interesting. By 1828 there were six cotton thread factories in town and it became known as “Thread City”. From the end of the Civil War to the outbreak of World War II, Willimantic was a center for the production of silk and cotton thread. Therefore, the spools.
But, why the frogs? Willimantic is also known as being home of the infamous “Battle of the Frogs” in 1754. To paraphrase the legend: One hot summer night, the good people of Windham (which Willimantic is now part of) were roused from their sleep by “a shrieking, clattering thunderous roar” unlike anything they had ever heard before. Fearing that it was either an Indian attack or Judgement Day, the townsfolk freaked out and began to panic — some ran through the streets brandishing muskets and firing in the direction of the noise, others fell to their knees in frantic prayer. Some cooler heads finally prevailed and went in search of the ungodly noises, but to no avail. Only the next morning when the sun came up, did they find the source of the horrendous cacophony — a nearby pond, down to no more than a puddle thanks to the dry summer, was ringed with scores of dead bullfrogs. Apparently, some sort of frog turf war had broken out and the carnage was excessive . . . but not as excessive as the embarrassment the citizens of Windham were to endure over the next few decades. (This exert was taken from the Damned Connecticut paper article written by Ray Bendici.)
As we were driving between Stafford and our hotel in Enfield, we could not help but stop and take a photograph of this business advertisement.
How cute is that? If I lived there I would take my dogs for their baths.
We were lucky that during our trip to Connecticut the leaves were changing colors. It was not yet peak but close. Here are some views as we drove around the area.
If you read my blog you know how much I love the character, Jack Reacher, in Lee Child’s books. I love him. I think this is the 18th book with this character. Jack is a retired Army MP. He does not own a home nor does he have a residence. He simply hitch hikes around the United States and seems to find lots of people who need his help. In this book, Never Go Back, Jack makes his way from South Dakota to Virgina. In the previous book Jack spoke with Major Susan Turner on the phone and liked her voice and decided he would try to find her. She now holds Reacher’s previous job, commanding officer of the Washington D.C. Military Police Brigade. When he arrives in Virginia he finds that Turner has been fired, is under arrest and that he is in big trouble, accused of a 16 year old homicide. Never a dull moment when Reacher is involved.
I was invited to be part of the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. You can find out more at http://www.alzquilts.org/ciqa.html
Fifteen quilters were invited to make pieces that will be auctioned in November. I believe the auction will be between November 1 through November 10th. But, you’ll want to double check me on the dates. Ami Simms has been on a mission for I’d say about the last ten years raising funds for Alzheimer’s research. She will have raised over 1 million dollars for research by the end of the year…that is with your help. Check out the link below for more information on the great little quilt Renae Haddadin and I made together. And as my friend Barb says…..”Charge!”.
This week my journeys will take me to Alpena, Michigan. I am anxious for another adventure.