Art For Arts Sake: Merediths Story

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We bought mousetraps and cheese It worked! Traps empty. One of our neighbors suggested peanut butter in the traps. And we actually caught one! Grotesque, yes, but uniquely satisfying. We encouraged each other - our trials would soon be over. We were going country. Days went by. The peanut butter required constant refreshing, and no more takers. After a month of this, it occurred to us the mouse we caught might have been the village idiot. We finally tried poison. Next we gave those new-fangled sticky triangle tents a try.

Only one of their little brown legion was dumb enough to walk into it, and he knocked off half the cans in the pantry in his successful bid to free his snoot from the goo. Of course he made it out alive. He was probably a teenager whose buddies dared him to run through it, and we all know teenagers never suffer the proper consequences for their actions. In fact, I would go as far as to say he became a member of the family.

I know that in the city, felines are often de-clawed for the sake of precious furniture, but country-folk prefer, "Our home is mouse-less" to "Our home was recently featured in Architectural Digest. We also changed from linear-thinking yuppies to open-minded pragmatists. See how easy that was? And, in closing, for the record we really were sorry about the mouse that somehow got himself into the laundry basket between the wet and dry loads and tumbled, as it were, to his death amongst our son's wearables.

But we learned something from that experience as well. Mouse blood will wash right out in the very next load. Maxine Lucy Hay The year was For Maxine and Jean, college loomed just a few months away, and they counted themselves lucky to grab jobs as mail girls in a new Civil Service office in downtown St.

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Louis, Missouri Tom and Lee, two young lawyers sent out from Washington, noted the mailmen had suddenly gotten better looking and promptly struck up a flirtation. In the weeks that followed, Tom developed an eye for the short, blue-eyed blonde, Jean, while Lee? Well, Lee also developed an eye for the short, blue-eyed blonde. But one month into his work at the Ice House, he awoke with pain in his legs.

When the pain became excruciating, he was rushed to the hospital. Lee had contracted polio. He went through three months of wanting to die, followed by two years of painful, day in and day out physical rehabilitation. His mother came in every day to exercise his limbs to see if the muscles would come back.

Eventually Lee regained the use of his arms - but never his legs. Metal braces were required to keep his legs straight, and Lee learned to walk with crutches. But it was not the slow walk of the injured. Somewhere during those long two years, Lee made a decision about life, and he walked like a young man who had somewhere to go. He took himself back to Hampden Sydney College. Then, after law school, he took a job with the government… and found himself in St. Louis, Missouri. Which is where he began to fall in love with the tall brunette.

Maxine, for her part, liked Lee from the start. Whenever she came through the offices, he put aside his paperwork to chat. She loved his laugh, his smile, his good looks, and the way he rolled up his shirt sleeves.

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By the time he stood up and she saw he was on crutches, it was too late to matter. Throwing your life away on a Eventually she demanded Maxine quit seeing him. Maxine obeyed, and the months that followed were the most miserable of her young life.

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The only thing Maxine looked forward to was the marriage of her best friend, Jean, to Tom. Forever in my heart my favorite Valentines. First, get yourself a mountain. His parents, Margaret Anderson and George Bean 1 , had settled there in the town of Fabius, and David was the first of nine children to actually make it to adulthood. Just in time to try and get himself killed in America's Civil War.

And whether they owned slaves is still unknown, but is, unfortunately highly likely 2 , Regardless it's certain the family didn't take to President Lincoln and the Union.

Meredith Marsone

McNeill's Rangers, like Col. John Singleton Mosby's Rangers, were formed to conduct raids on Union supply trains and outposts. David's obituary tells us, "He was with the famous McNeill Rangers, whose swift dashes created terror along the Mason and Dixon line" 3. Hanse formed McNeill's Rangers in , and the troop eventually numbered around In , David's father moved the rest of the family into a ca. The house of Flemish Bond brick was modest but the rooms commodious, and there was a large clapboard addition that held a kitchen with a wide stone fireplace.

Stand in that backyard, and you can see five counties and every mountain for miles around. David visited the "new" place whenever he had the chance. And that high hill, once used to watch for approaching Indians, became an excellent place to watch for approaching Union troops. But then we come to David's most famous wartime adventure, taken from the Hardy County Family History. David was a man of small stature, "an advantage many times in making his numerous escapes.

They surrounded the house on the sly, trapping year old David inside. As they came in the house, David kept his cool. He "sat down in front of the fireplace, pulled an old cap down over his head, [and] picked up a little [india] rubber ball. And that's how David remained free to fight another day. In the spring of , an argument had erupted in Richmond over whether to allow these ranger troops, "Partisan Soldiers," to continue.

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A number of questionable acts had been committed think Jesse James , and the Confederacy wanted to clean things up. But even legitimate raiders did unpleasant things to try to win an un-winnable war. David's son, L.

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Could be he was speaking of his father, as Confederates were known to steal horses see Richmond argument. John Singleton Mosby accepted the name, but blithely added, "all the horses I had stolen had riders, and the riders had sabers, carbines and pistols. On the other hand, it might be David just wanted to be with family: there were thirteen Beans in the 18th Virginia, and only one other Bean in McNeill's Rangers.

In any case, he made the switch but by September 30, , he's listed as absent. Of course in April , the war finally ended, and David went back to his father's farm to work.. He was still there in , when the census listed George, 64, as "farmer," his wife, Margaret, 46, as "Keep house," 27 year-old David as "Farm Labor" along with younger brother, Malon, Also at home on the mountain were Emily 16, Ann 15, and Simon 11 talk about your mountain man: after Simon grew up and took over the George Bean property, that mountain came to be named after him.

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Now, in the same area there lived an year old named Jemima Susan Heltzel who came from an interesting family. John Charles also "forged" a nice little family of 12 - five girls and seven boys, one of which was John C. Heltzel, Jr.

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Little John, Jr. Jemima was 3 years old and David 19 when the Civil War began 8. Quite a stretch for a couple, until you note how many May-December marriages are listed in the census back then. David's own parents had a 15 or year age difference. The Heltzels were Lutheran, and David Ferguson Bean had "united with the Lutheran faith in early manhood" 9 , so the families probably attended the same services.

By , David and Jemima had a daughter, Cora Dell.