www.thegrove-jefferson.com July 2007 ISSN 1558-3252
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Welcome to a new look to the GroveZine! I've wanted to switch to a graphics-based version for some time now, and here it is. This will be a great experiment, so we'll see how it goes. This way I can post photos, links, etc to share with you. I hope that you enjoy it. Please forgive me, though, if there are any formatting problems on your email program. If so, please let me know what they are. All that said, let's dive right in.
Well, even though the sky threatened rain all day, we had a very enjoyable July 4th in Jefferson. The weather abated for several hours, allowing the children's parade, the Sweet Adolines barbershop-harmony choir, and the Shreveport Municipal Concert Band concert. Tami baked a wonderful German Chocolate Cake for the charity cake auction, and I decided that I was going to bid on it. Since it was one of the first going on the auction block, I figured that it wouldn't cost that much, and besides, the money would be going to a good cause (buying children's books for the library). Well, I started bidding on it, when I noticed that someone on the other side of the crowd was bidding against me. The price was getting higher and higher, and then a third person joined in. I did finally win, but by that time the price was up to $100.00! Now for the kicker - when Tami was baking it, the cake was going to be three layers tall. The top and final layer split when she was taking it out of the pan, so she wasn't able to use it. It was SO tempting that we went ahead and iced it, and then ate a couple of generous helpings with a cold glass of milk. We had more on the morning of the 4th, so by the time that we actually got the cake home, we'd already had our fill! We gave it away, hoping that they enjoyed it as much as we did, and we were still happy to make a donation to the library.
I'm not sure whether everyone's getting tired of my McDonalds updates, but it looks like I'm only a few weeks away from my Bacon-Egg-Cheese Biscuit here in Jefferson. Not to take anything away from my favorite "Pancake Sandwich" over at the Bakery, or the delicious B&B breakfasts that we have around town, but on the run there's nothing better than Mickey Dee's. Of course, a few days ago they did break another water main, and cut out water to half of Jefferson again, but we'll forgive them for that - we can always cut new neighbors a little bit of slack.
Oh, there's something else that I wanted to mention. If you live in or near the following Texas cities (and have a digital camera), I could use a hand with a project that I'm working on - basically I need a photo snapped. The cities are: El Paso, Nacogdoches, Fredericksburg, Austin, Gonzales, Laredo, Rio Grande City, and Galveston. I appreciate your help - email me with the city where you live, and I'll give you the particulars.
Since we're talking about ghosts in this section, the Houston Chronicle wrote a great article about Jefferson, calling it "The State's Most Haunted Town". It's worth a read - just click here to take a look.
Oh, and something very cool happened this month - I was quite honored to be included in a survey of some of America's authorities on the paranormal (how they lumped me in with such a prestigious crowd, I'll never know). Each were asked 20 questions, and you can see everyone's answers here (and click on the individual photos). Or, to go see my answers directly, just click here.
Now, this next item isn't a Grove ghost story, or even a ghost story at all, but it is something factual that is outside of our normal, real-world parameters: a cat who can predict when someone's going to die. Some folks believe that animals have a sixth-sense about many things, and in fact, you may remember the story from last month's ezine about my friend's dog who seemed to know that a train was going to de-rail here in town before it actually happened. In the case of Oscar the cat, he's so accurate that he's even been written up in the New England Journal of Medicine. Is he using some extrasensory perception to determine who is going to pass on, or is there some physical symptom that is imperceptible to humans that he can pick up on? Or is he starting to see the angels and loved ones who've come to escort their friend over? No one will ever know for sure, but one thing is certain: Oscar's odd talent is factual and indisputable - click here to read Oscar's story.
Power surges happen here at The Grove from time to time, especially in summer when the air conditioner compressor is cycling on and off. I'm careful not to attribute the momentary dimming of a light to the supernatural. On the other hand, we've had lamps turned off right beside us – literally switched off by an unseen hand – and that's hard to dismiss. Apparently the spirits of Lamache's Italian Restaurant here in town like to mess with the lights as well. One of our guests on the tour said that they'd dined at Lamache's the night before, and as they were sitting there, the lights suddenly dimmed. Their waitress walked over and physically turned the lights back up at the switch - this wasn't a power surge. A bit later, the lights came on very bright, and she went back to the switch to adjust them again. This time she said something to the effect of, "They seem to be very active tonight!" We've heard many stories about the things that happen at Lamache's, and since it's our favorite place to eat Italian food in the entire world, we're in there quite often. The next time you're in Jefferson try our favorite entree, "Chicken Diavlo"... and while you're there, keep an eye out for any supernatural activity.
On one of the July weekends, a lady was on the tour and in the den ("the new room", added to the house in 1870) standing in the corner in front of the television cabinet, and she mentioned that she felt something like needles pricking her back. The next day, I received the following email from her that she graciously allowed me to share with you:
"You may recall that I took your tour Saturday. I wanted to let you know that after the tour I had told you that I had felt like something was poking me with a needle in the back when we were in the blue room with the red couch. My back kept stinging for a while. When I got home, I had my Mother-in-law look at my back to see what the deal was. She said there are three little scratches on my back. And she touched every one in the exact location that I felt stinging in your house. The marks are hardly visible today and no longer hurt, but I thought you might like to know. I don't know if it was paranormal but I definitely know it was strange."
If you've been reading the GroveZine for a while, you know that we've had a number of things happen on the tour in the den, and many of them in the corner where the television cabinet is. Moreover, the vast majority of the supernatural happenings have occurred with the women on the tour. Whoever is hanging out in there must have a fondness for the ladies! We keep scolding him and telling him to leave our guests alone, but sometimes he just doesn't mind. I can't tell you how many guys on the tour have said, "That would certainly be me if I came back for an after-death visit!"
Well, that's a wrap to the month of July. It's been a wonderful month with lots of rain, and quite a bit of supernatural activity for us to enjoy. By the way, now that the GroveZine has graphics, we'd love to share your photos. If you've take an interesting picture of The Grove (or around Jefferson) and would like to share it with the GroveZine community, just drop me an email.
If you'd like to check any of my books on ghosts and the supernatural, you can find them at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Amazon.com, or
at The Grove's website if you'd like a signed
copy of anything.
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