www.thegrove-jefferson.com                                February 2011                                 ISSN 1558-3252

This is a tiny little free subscription ezine for friends of The Grove - it is by request only. In other words, we NEVER arbitrarily add email addresses. We also NEVER sell or share email addresses with anyone else, for any reason at any time. We hate SPAM as much as you do!

Welcome to February's GroveZine! I really appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to read it, and I hope that there are a few ghostly tales that you'll find interesting! Of course, the month was highlighted with St. Valentine's Day. Jefferson becomes a city of romance on Valentine's weekend, with cozy carriage rides around town, delicious dining in our fabulous restaurants, and of course, romantic evenings in our B&Bs or historic hotels. Tami and I went to Lamache's for Valentine's Day - the meal was incredible, and the candlelight ambiance was perfect. Lamache's has many ghost stories to tell, but most of the activity seems to take place after the restaurant is closed - especially in the kitchen, where pots and pans have been heard clanging in the middle of the night. For our dinner that evening, though, everything was very quiet - just like you'd want on Valentine's Day.

What's going on around town? Well, other than it being the season of romance, we've had a little excitement with the Confederate Memorial Statue at the courthouse. If you've read my book Jefferson - The History and Mystery of the City on the Bayou then the conclusion of this story might be familiar, but still, what happened is a little amusing. You see, the statue was originally to be placed in a different part of town, and ended up in the area where Bulldog Pizza is now (great food, by the way, and much more than just pizza). One of our judges later decided that it needed to be at the courthouse, so they moved it to the corner of Polk and Austin streets, facing north toward the "enemy."

Combine that with the fact that on Pilgrimage Weekend - the first weekend in May - there is a Civil War re-enactment of the "battle that never was," the Battle of Port Jefferson. This is the battle that would have taken place if the Union troops hadn't been stopped by Confederate forces in Mansfield, Louisiana. You really should head to Jefferson for that weekend; between the Pilgrimage Tour of Homes, the Civil War Re-enactment and Living History display, and everything else going on, it's a blast. You can even see me portray Sheriff John Vines in the Diamond Bessie Murder Trial play.

Anyway, a few of the re-enactor groups noticed that there was a line chisled out on the base of the statue, and supported by rumors that have existed in town for years, they thought that the line had been removed because it was an anti-North sentimate. Some folks even volunteered to pay to have the line replaced at their own expense, without knowing what it actually said. Turns out, the mystery was solved several years ago by one of our enterprising Garden Club ladies. She took makeup and a brush, and applied it to the missing line. The words that emerged were: "In Oakwood Cemetery." Since the statue had originally been commissioned to stand in Oakwood Cemetery, the inscription reflected that fact. When it was not placed there, someone removed that line, and it's been a mystery ever since. Our Chamber of Commerce is having a sign made to be placed beside the statue that explains it all, and assures people that there is no slight against the northern states intended.

So what is going on with the 2011 Grove Time Capsule? Well, nothing stellar... I've been quietly assembling things to put in before it is sealed. We've been debating when to do that - one possible date is on Halloween afternoon, but someone else suggested that we do it as part of our annual New Years' Eve party, which would give us a full year of collecting stuff to include. We have selected an out-of-the-way corner of the yard to place the capsule, so little by little things are coming together. We're still taking suggestions about things to include, so please keep those emails coming. Also, we GREATLY appreciate the donated items, the latest of which is an IPod!

First of all, I got a wonderful email from a GroveZine reader. Here's the text, exactly as I received it: My name is Billy Fisher, I am VP of Lubbock Ghost Investigation Society. My wife, Anita and another couple from our group have visited The Grove four times in the past few years. I need to tell you a story that happened last week maybe involving something paranormal about The Grove. Kelly & Karen had gotten out of bed Saturday morning and thrown the bedspread back over the pillows leaving a wrinkle or crease where it went over the pillows. Later in the day one of them went back into the bedroom to find standing upright facing outward against the crease a business card from The Grove. Now, it's been at least a year since our last visit to The Grove and they said they got a card from the table inside the front door on our first visit, but none since then. [on the subsequent three visits] They have no idea where this card came from... are you sending out ghostly emissaries now, or is this just unexplained? I thought you would like to here about this one.
Billy, LGIS
Lubbock, (Slaton), Texas

I have to say "thanks" to everyone involved in this email, because I found it to be very interesting. I mean, a Grove business card showing up on a just-made bed, when you haven't picked one up in over a year? Hey, I only WISH that we could do that kind of telekinetic marketing! (by the way, the photo is a re-creation of the event that I did for illustration purposes)

The next ghost story of the month actually doesn't belong to The Grove, but instead to Falling Leaves B&B just a few blocks away. We were sitting out on the front porch of The Grove (a popular past-time for us and our friends) with Mike & Lisa, owners and innkeepers of Falling Leaves, when Lisa told us the following story. A weekend or so ago as their guests assembled for breakfast, a lady staying in the Cypress Room asked about any supernatural activity at the inn. When Lisa asked what would prompt such a question, she said that she awoke in the night to the intense feeling that "someone was there in the room." The guest was very still, but then felt someone sit down on the foot of the bed. She told Lisa, "I hope that you don't mind, but I kicked whoever it was to get them off of my feet." Lisa just laughed - the spirits have been visiting Falling Leaves for some time, and whoever that one was had probably been kicked before!

People are always asking, "What's the most common, supernatural thing that happens at The Grove?" The best answer is, well, it depends! There will be times when the shadow people are VERY active, and others when we're not aware of them at all. The Garden Guy makes his occasional appearance, and we're treated on a few occasions to seeing the Lady in White walking through the house. If I had to make a blanket statement, though, as to what the most common thing was, I'd probably say footsteps. We've literally heard them in the house from when we first purchased it, over nine years ago. Case in point - we'd had a weekend that was so busy it was positively draining, and as we were just relaxing in the den, Tami told me that she was having trouble keeping her eyes open, and was going to bed. Both basset hounds were sound asleep, so I decided to get a little writing done before turning in for the evening. As I sat at the computer, the house was silent. I clicked away at the keyboard, and then heard footsteps in the house. I couldn't tell if they were in the hallway, the bedroom, or the den, but I heard them distinctly. That could only mean one thing: Tami was up. Since she had been so tired from the busy weekend, I hoped that this didn't mean that she was feeling sick. I got up to check on her, and didn't see any lights on. I then found that she was sleeping soundly, and that both dogs were in their beanbags, completely sacked out. So who was walking through the house? I have no idea. I just know that someone was. That said, I went back to my keyboard and wrote a bit more before turning in for the evening - just another active night at The Grove.

The month of February went by quickly, and next month I'll have some details about Mardi Gras, and how we spent St. Paddy's Day, along with more ghost stories from The Grove. Meanwhile, thanks again for reading - we appreciate it so much!

If you'd like to check any of my books, you can find them at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Amazon.com, or at The Grove's website if you'd like to order a signed copy of anything.

If you missed any issues of the GroveZine, you can find them at the GroveZine Archives.

JEFFERSON CALENDAR

04/9/2011 Spring "History, Haunts & Legends" Conference
05/6-7/2011 Battle of Port Jefferson" Civil War Re-enactment
05/6-8/2011 64th Annual Pilgrimage Tour of Homes & Spring Festival
05/5-8/2011 Diamond Bessie Murder Trial Play
05/28/2011 Cypress River Airport Fly-in
07/04/2011 "Jefferson Salutes America" 4th of July Celebration
10/7-9/2011 13th Annual Boo Run Benefit
10/16/2011 Annual Taste of Jefferson
11/25/2011 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Lions Park & Merchant's Open House
12/1-3/2011 29th Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes
12/8-10/2011 29th Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes


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