www.thegrove-jefferson.com                                January 2013                                 ISSN 1558-3252

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"There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see." – Leonardo Da Vinci

Greetings from The Grove for 2013 - ah, a new year is here! We welcomed in the new year in Natchez, Mississippi with some friends, and after getting home to Jefferson, things are finally getting back to normal. Most noticeably, at least to me, is with the snacks in the kitchen. You see, starting two months ago at Thanksgiving, rolling through a number of holiday get-togethers and culinary gifts from friends, and ending up with the New Year parties and such, there has been an abundance of snack food in the 'fridge... leftover turkey, honey-baked ham, barbecue, cookies, candy, cake, chips & dips, you just name it and at one point or another we had it in a plastic tub in the refrigerator. All that is finally gone, though, and you know what? I miss it! I guess that I'm back to eating healthy snacks... not as exciting or satisfying, but definitely more in line with my New Year's resolutions.

While we were in Natchez for New Year's Eve, we stayed at the historic Natchez Eola Hotel downtown - one of our favorite destinations. We had a great room with a view of the river, but on the first night we had a problem with our heater. Instead of keeping us in the room and trying to fix the problem, the night manager immediately moved us to a room that we later found out was the best suite in the hotel. As the bellman was helping us move our things over, he told me that it was the room where Jerry Lee Lewis stayed whenever he visited Natchez. That blew me away - we'd be sleeping in the very bed where the "Killer" slept! I tweeted out to my Twitter followers that "I'm sleeping where the Killer slept!" - of course, I realized that only a small number of people would remember who the "Killer" is. Still, it was a great room, and we loved the Jerry Lee Lewis legacy there. Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire!

Okay, are you ready for this? A decade ago you survived Y2K... a month ago, you survived the Mayan end-of-the-world... but... are you ready for pi-1-5??? As you may recall from high school math, the number pi is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, and is approximately equal to 3.141592653. Pi is an irrational number, which means that it cannot be expressed exactly as a ratio of two integers (such as 22/7 or other fractions that are commonly used to approximate pi); consequently, its decimal representation never ends and never settles into a permanent repeating pattern; the digits appear to be statistically random. Pi is also a transcendental number – a number that is not the root of any nonzero polynomial having rational coefficients. For thousands of years, mathematicians have attempted to extend their understanding of pi, sometimes by computing its value to a high degree of accuracy. Before the 15th century, mathematicians such as Archimedes and Liu Hui used geometrical techniques, based on polygons, to estimate the value of pi. Starting around the 15th century, new algorithms based on infinite series revolutionized the computation of pi, and were used by mathematicians including Madhava of Sangamagrama, Isaac Newton, Leonhard Euler, Carl Friedrich Gauss, and Srinivasa Ramanujan. In the 20th century, mathematicians and computer scientists discovered new approaches that – when combined with increasing computational power – extended the decimal representation of pi to, as of late 2011, over 10 trillion digits. Scientific applications generally require no more than 40 digits of p, so the primary motivation for these computations is the human desire to break records, but the extensive calculations involved have been used to test supercomputers and high-precision multiplication algorithms.

For all you students of numerology, if you take the numerical representations of the Hebrew letters for the opening of the Bible, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," then apply them to the formula "(number of letters x the product of the letters) / (The number of words x the product of the words)" you get 3.1416, or the value of pi to four decimal places! Hmmmm... Also, though, for ages mathematicians and Bible scholars have argued about the value of pi being (or not being) represented in the Hebrew text of 1st Kings 7:23. And speaking of 7:23, the numbers 7-2-3 are the 1631st, 1632nd, and 1633rd numbers in the pi sequence, for whatever that may mean. Yes, pi is not only a scientific number, but seems to have almost mystical properties as well. Google pi online for even more information about this wonderful little number.

So what is all this about? Well, if you take pi to nine decimal places, you get 3.141592653. A very special time will occur in the year 2015, just two short years from now, when the exact time (using the numbers I just mentioned) of 3/14/15 9:26:53 occurs. What will happen at that time? Well, it will probably be about as exciting as one minute after Y2K or the Mayan end-date of 12/21/12... but at least it gives us something fun to talk about for the next two years - I'm already calling it "pi-1-5" (pronounced pi-one-five... pi-2015 just doesn't sound as cool). Okay, I'm setting you loose on the world with this information - go ahead and spread the fun, or start inciting the panic, whichever your heart desires!

You know, speaking of doomsday scenarios, all this does remind me of the Y2K hoopla, and I couldn't resist digging back into the past and mentioning the absolute best book review that I ever received in my writing career. Over twenty years ago, my first book that came out was titled: Y2K: Debunking the Terrors and Tales. I was working in the computer industry at the time, and after several years of research I was convinced that nothing was going to happen when the calendar moved from 1999 to 2000. Believe it or not, I was the only author who was saying that everything would be fine, and that you didn't have to stock up on supplies. It was unfortunate for me on one hand, since everyone who was writing that the world was ending made a fortune off their books, and very few people purchased mine (turns out that it's much more fun to think about catastrophe than normalcy). On the other hand, I ended up on national radio programs defending my book, trying to assure folks that the world would be just fine after the calendar turned over. In the course of things, one reviewer on Amazon gave me a review that I still cherish to this day: he said something like, "taking the advice in this book will get you and your family killed!" I thought that was great, especially since in the end everything turned out okay just like I'd said. But I still love that review!!!

Moving on to a more celebratory topic - it's Mardi Gras time! The festival comes early this year, and in fact is only a week or so away. It's quite a party... in fact, the peaceful little city of Jefferson swells with over 15,000 visitors! One thing about Mardi Gras here, however, is that it has always been a safe and family-friendly environment. The theme for this year's Grand Parade is "Superheroes," and as a comic book fan from way back, I'm looking forward to seeing all the floats. There are three parades over the course of the weekend, and the music is going to be incredible: Vince Vance & the Valiants, Billy Jo Shaver, and on Saturday evening, Kraig Parker, who is billed as the world's greatest Elvis Tribute Showcase. Of course, every year I go out in search of the many different kinds of festival food that vendors have, so watch for my full report next month... or even better, make the drive to Jefferson and experience Mardi Gras Upriver for yourself!

Attention Paranormal Enthusiasts:

Spring is just around the corner, which means that it's time for the Jefferson "History, Haunts & Legends" Spring Conference. If you've never been, it's a full, info-packed Saturday. April 6th will be filled with expert speakers talking about all things supernatural. There are vendor tables to browse, and the lunch provided is always delicious. In the evening, attendees get to participate in actual paranormal investigations, led by some of the leading teams in the region. Watch the Historic Jefferson Ghost Walk website as things develop: www.jeffersonghostwalk.com.

On April 20th, I'm heading over to Tyler, Texas - the "Rose Capital of the World" - for the Tyler Paranormal Conference. It has a great lineup of speakers, and topics for the day include: "Life After Death," "Ghost Hunting 101," "Texas UFO Sightings," "Speaking with the Dead," "Paranormal Investigating from a Police Forensics Perspective," "Living in a Haunted House," "Journey Guidance - A Spiritual Perspective on This and Past Lives," and "Bigfoot Sightings in Texas." As you can see, it's going to be a very interesting day! You can check out their website at www.toursoftyler.com/. There are hotel discounts on the webpage, the conference agenda, and all the information that you need. See you there!

And now for my favorite part of The GroveZine - a few ghost stories...

Back in the November GroveZine, I reported that TripAdvisor had named the city of Jefferson as one of America's top ten creepiest destinations. I thought that was a little strange, because the casual visitor town will find a ghost walk, The Grove tour, and a few haunted hotels & B&Bs where you can stay, but the general theme of the town isn't the supernatural. I was thinking about that and contrasting it to somewhere like, oh, Gettysburg, where there is no less than a dozen different ghost walks and such - you'll see advertising about the paranormal all over town, which is something that you won't find in Jefferson. As a resident, though, I see much more of it that most people. I've mentioned before that there are very few businesses downtown where the proprietor hasn't seen me out and about and pulled me aside to say, "I wouldn't usually tell anyone this, but the strangest thing happened at the shop yesterday..." After that, I hear some of the most interesting ghost stories you can imagine. Most places don't like to talk about their supernatural activity on record, on the outside chance that it would freak out their customers, but they feel free to tell me about them - they know that I won't think that they're crazy, or betray their trust. For example, without giving any specific info, there's one shop downtown that has motion-activated cameras for overnight security. The cameras are calibrated so that they won't come on for an insect or a mouse; it takes a person. Every morning the staff finds that they came on during the night to record some presence there... but there is never anything visible on the recording. They've tweaked the cameras and adjusted the ranges to the point where they know that something is definitely setting them off at night - just nothing mortal. With each of these stories that I hear, I understand more and more why TripAdvisor gave Jefferson the "top ten" haunted distinction - I just wonder how they knew!

If you've taken the tour of The Grove, or have been reading the GroveZine for a while, you're probably aware of my interest in the spirit in the corner of the formal parlor. Even though it's not a dramatic event - unlike the Lady in White who walks through our house, or the Garden Guy that we see walking among the day lillies. Still, this lady fascinates me; I'd love to know more about her, and I hope that after years of interacting with her, I eventually will. Some of the experiences actually come from the tours and our visitors to The Grove - you may recall them from the last GroveZine or so. On a tour this month, we came in the front door and walked into the front parlor. One lady went directly to the corner in question; she spent time there, took a number of photos, all before I'd ever mentioned the activity there. I ran into her downtown the morning after the tour, and she told me that she'd felt somehow drawn to the corner when she first came in. She went there immediately, took the pictures I mentioned, and then there was suddenly a pain in her shoulder. She wondered if she was having a heart attack or some other medical problem, but she walked across the parlor and sat down, and the uncomfortable feeling started to abate. Looking back at it, she was convinced that whatever the presence was in the corner didn't want her there, and was prompting her to move. It seems that every month something unique happens associated with that corner, which only piques my interest in it more!

And now for a great EVP captured in front of The Grove on the Historic Jefferson Ghost Walk...

The Paranormal Junkies came back to visit The Grove, taking the tour again one Saturday this month. They've logged a number of investigation hours around Jefferson, and have posted a number of interesting things on YouTube. They were kind enough to allow me to post a link to one of their EVPs that they got in front of The Grove one evening, which I find to be completely fascinating. They were on the ghost walk, and after hearing some of Jodi's stories about the house, one of the ladies said, "It's beautiful." In this recording, you can hear a child's voice reply, "Thankssss..." You can visit their website, and find more of their links at paranormal-junkies.com.

(in case you can't see the embedded clip, the link can be accessed here.

And with all that said, it's time to wrap up the January GroveZine... and here we are, launching into another new year. While I can't predict the future, I am sure that we have an interesting road ahead, with many ghost stories to tell and haunted places to visit. We're going to have a lot of fun together this year, and you have no idea how much I appreciate you coming along on the journey - it wouldn't exist without you. Let's dive right into it, and don't forget... (wink wink) pi-1-5 is on it's way!!!

Before I forget...
The Grove says "Thanks!"

I'd really like to say thank you so very, very much to everyone who's taken the tour of The Grove, and posted their review on Tripadvisor.com. We so appreciate the four-star reviews, but we absolutely LOVE the five-star reviews! So if you've taken The Grove tour, and you have a few spare moments, we'd really, really (did I say really?) appreciate you visiting TripAdvisor.com's site for The Grove, and leaving a review of your experience.
You can go to TripAdvisor.com and search for "The Grove Jefferson TX," or go to The Grove's website www.thegrove-jefferson.com and scroll down to find the Trip Advisor logo-link, or simply click on the TripAdvisor logo right here in the GroveZine to take you to the page. I know that it takes a couple of minutes to do this (although not many more), but we'd really, really appreciate it. Thanks, folks... you're so very wonderful to us, and to The Grove.

If you missed any issues of the GroveZine, or if you'd like to find out what's been going on for the last several years here at The Grove, you can find past issues at the GroveZine Archives.

In the mean time, here's what's coming up around town...

02/08-10/2013 - Mardi Gras Upriver
03/16/2013 - Jefferson Carnegie Library St. Patrick's Day Dance
03/22-24/2013 - 2nd Annual Route 49 Motorcycle Rally
04/06/2013 - Jefferson History, Haunts & Legends Paranormal Conference
04/19-21/2013 - Outlaw Nationals Classic & Antique Car Show
04/19-21/2013 - Diamond Don's 11th Annual Vintage Motorcross
05/03-05/2013 - Battle of Port Jefferson Civil War Re-enactment
05/03-05/2013 - 66th Annual Pilgrimage Historic Home Tour
05/25/2013 - Cypress River Airport Fly-In
05/31/2013 - 3rd Annual Big Cypress Corvette Classic
07/04/2013 - "Jefferson Salutes America" 4th of July Celebration
10/11-13/2013 - 16th Annual Boo Run Benefit
10/20/2013 - A Taste of Jefferson
11/29/2013 - Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony @ Lion’s Park

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