Saturday, November 26, 2005

Pitchers o' stuff 

Gigglechick ("the perfect combination of estrogen and humor"), who is the hostess with the mostess for this week's Carnival of the New Jersey Bloggers (of which I am an occasional contributor), put the word on the street. She's looking for non-political blog posts. Never one to decline a woman who pleads, I promised an all-fluff, no content post. So, with that in mind, I present herewith photographs of things that struck me as interesting, beautiful or fun in the month or so just past (run your cursor over them for the captions). And, yes, that is a slice of brain to the right. Actual. Human. Brain.

It is no secret to regular readers that the TigerHawk household is not spic n' span. What with children, dogs, domesticated rodentia, and many better things to do, we don't keep a very neat house. Still, we were at least a little disturbed to find this old Chesterfield Cigarettes package on the floor of our basement. Since it contains no Surgeon General's warning, it must be at least 40 years old, which is a long time even by the standards of our household. So it's a mystery.

For years, Princeton's cheerleaders have been progressively more attractive. I have no idea whether this is because Ivy League cheerleading was at something of a nadir twenty-five years ago, or if it is just that I think college girls look better every year (which is a pathetic but nonetheless widespread affliction of middle aged men). This year, though, Princeton's cheerleaders are looking a bit burly...

They would, however, make a great kickline for the Triangle Club show.

So there we were, visiting the TigerHawk Mom and Stepfather in the suburbs of Palmyra, Virginia. Inside their front door there is an umbrella rack with all sorts of random things sticking out, including the haft of this sword (hefted in the picture at left by the TigerHawk Son). It is all rusty and trashed, but if you carefully study the base of the blade you can see there engraved "U.S. J.H. 1862" (see below for the details). Anybody care to find out how many Union officers, serving in 1862, had the initials "J.H."?

And, since my stepfather, who practices law in a two-lawyer town, seems to have received it "in kind" from a local, one is forced to wonder whether "J.H." did not meet some ugly fate at the hands of a soldier of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Regular readers also know that I collect coins. I both buy them and hunt through my change for them. It is rare to find something of numismatic interest in one's pocket change, but an experienced collector can tell by the color or feel of a coin whether it is different enough to warrant further inspection. On occasion, I have been tempted to reach into a tip jar to take an interesting coin "in change," but the fear of getting caught in a "Costanza-like" tip-jar move was sufficient deterrence. Until last week. I spotted a silver "war nickel" in the tip jar in the Princeton Starbucks. I brazenly offered the woman behind the counter a dollar for it, and when she said yes I plucked it out of the tip jar. Right in front of the flower and chivalry of Princeton. From the looks on their faces, I have to be at least a little concerned that I'll never eat lunch in this town again.

Here's the booty:

So what's the deal with a "silver" nickel. Wickipedia:
From mid 1942 to 1945, so-called "Wartime" composition nickels were created. These coins are 56% copper, 35% silver and 9% manganese. The only other U.S. coin to use manganese is the Sacagawea dollar. These coins are usually a bit darker than regular nickels, due to their manganese content (as was true of many British coins minted from 1920 through 1947), and feature the largest mint mark ever to grace a United States coin, located above Monticello's dome on the reverse. Nickels of this series minted in Philadelphia have the unique distinction of being the only US coins minted prior to 1979 to bear a "P" mint mark.

And, last but not least, a tombstone from the TigerHawk family cemetary in Buckingham County, Virginia:

If you draw all the hideous obvious conclusions, you're probably right.

So, Gigglechick, did I fill the bill?


By Blogger gigglechick, at Sat Nov 26, 07:45:00 PM:

big ol' non-political hug to you!!!  

By Blogger ScurvyOaks, at Tue Nov 29, 03:33:00 PM:


I'm confident that I'm not telling you anything you don't already know (since you obviously know a great deal about your family history), but I believe there were Bollings who went to the College of New Jersey at various points in the 1820-1861 range (who were from Petersburg, if my hazy recollection serves). Were those Bollings part of your crowd?  

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