Carolina History Project
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2011 at Carolina History

Dirk Allman here again.  As the year 2011 progresses, I will be archiving on this page, some of my historical and holiday announcements that I normally keep on my homepage.  I just don't want to delete them when, as time goes by, this will become sort of like a digital scrapbook of this particular year.  There's a lot of interesting stuff on here...and you, dear reader, might enjoy wondering through it.

Happy New Year Number!

Dirk Allman, via a cameraphone shot, from a very nice patron who was dining at Skyland Family Restaurant, New Year's Eve, Charlotte, North Carolina, where the photo was taken.  The diner just had to get a shot of my wild tie!  My late father, a World War II veteran who served with the Army Air Corps, 5th Airforce, (1945-1946), got the tie back during the Jimmy Carter Administration (during the spangled-sparkle disco era!)  He was an accountant and used to wear it at office Christmas parties and late December family reunions.  And yep, it's a 1970's-era tie.  (How can you not tell?  It gets there before I do!)  Wearing this gaudy old tie, during the Christmas Season, is a nice way to remember my father.  It's kind of like a family heirloom now.  I'm sure some of my readers have similiar things that they like to dig out when "the roll of the year" comes around.  That said, 
Carolina History Project welcomes the New Year 2011!  May it be pleasant and prosperous.  And your web host here, Dirk Allman, will try his best to continue to upload more historical and nostalgic items, along with vintage ephemera, that he has been collecting for nearly three decades, to the world wide web...most of the items having been found in good ol' North Carolina.  (Or the "Old North State" as it's sometimes called.  Mostly, it's referred to as "the Tarheel State," as that we were once well known for providing pine tar for naval stores...back in the sailing ship days.)  Yes, this labor of love continues.  So, for the sake of Old Lang Syne....welcome MMXI (2011)!  Happy New Year to all of my readers around the world...and in the good ol' USA!  I thank you.

From a Victorian Stereoview, circa 1898-1900, or thereabouts--"A Vision of the Future."  Could such things, as is depicted in this photo, be in store for YOUR future?  Most likely, for many people around the is. 

And yes, for this coming year, in our country, many of our soldiers are stationed around the world.  This Victorian stereoview from circa 1898, the Spanish-American War era, shows a scene that is still played out today.  "The Soldier's Farewell."

Happy Valentine's Day Number!

This is an old Valentine I found at the local Metrolina Expo Fleamarket, nearly 30 years ago, during my highschool days, back when I first started collecting all of this stuff.  The Valentine is surly over a hundred years old.  And the handwriting on the something I've quoted to many people who found it quite wise.  It was obviously written by an older a younger couple in love.  Here is what this anonymous philospher said:

You have sweet dreams with your youth's first bashful love, but as you grow older, you learn you must work for everything you get...even to keep the love that you have won.

I guess there is something to be said for that sage advice.  One older man told me that he wanted me to write it down for him, so that he could have it cross-stitched, and hung on a wall...for a future bride.  Maybe you would like to do that for yourself.  Well, there is the quote above...for the taking.  And if you want to read about some Valentines that came from a teacher's estate in Blackstock, South Carolina, simply click on the two Valentines below...and it will take you there!  Happy Valentine's Day!

appy St. Patrick's Day Number!

Here are some tiny parade spectator cameraphone shots of, yours truly, in his World War I, "Fighting Irish 69th," uniform. 

Here I am, Dirk Allman, coming around the bend, on Tryon Street, turning to 3rd Street, near the parade's end.  I've got my 48-star flag fluttering high!

Here also marching, are some men of our local fire department, flanked by a Knights of Columbus in full dress.  (I think he was helping direct the parade traffic.)

Oh boy, I'm wowing the ladies here with my impromptu toy saxophone number!  (It 's a toy from the 1950's...and only has four notes on it.  All I can play on it are "Revelry" and "Taps!")

Ah!  A close up of the sax player!  (Somehow, one doesn't associate St. Patrick's Day with saxophones!  But the Irish never seem to mind!)

These are the wonderful lasses who took some of these photos of me after the parade!  I believe they were from either Maryland, or Baltimore, or thereabouts.  As you can see, folks have FUN at the Charlotte, St. Pat's parade in good old North Carolina! This year's parade will be on Saturday, March 19th, 2011, starting at 11:00am.  You can read more about it at  BE THERE!  (And see your webmaster there, too!)  IRELAND FOREVER!  Read more about my local World War I research and my involement in Charlotte's Veteran's Day parade at this highlighted link.

Happy Easter Number!

Here is an Easter Greeting card from the late Victorian era.  It was found by your webmaster at the local Metrolina Expo Flea market around 30 years ago.  Back then, I found it while snapping up old Victorian advertising cards.  That's back when they could be had for around fifty cents a piece.  (Them were the days!)  It's a nice example of fussy, yet elegant, Victorian-style art and lithography from the Gilded Age.  The pastoral setting found within the Cross of Christ, shows the Victorian longing for the more natural rural nature, while having to live in an increasingly Industrial Age.


I found this photo at the local Sleepy Poets Antique Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina, in late 2010.  I have no idea where the photo was taken.  And it probably wasn't in the South.  Still, it's a nice Easter snapshot photo from the year 1956, showing children in their "Sunday best."  ( the South, children can still be found dressing up for Easter.)  The names of the children, found on the back of the photo, are "Roger Snyder, Tommy Amy and Jeannette Amy."  I wonder what ever became of them?  Anyway, hope all of my readers have a good Eastertide as that holy time of reflection and intropsection comes upon us.  I thank you.

Happy Mother's Day Number!

Don't forget your mother on Mother's Day this Sunday, May 8th, 2011!  Above is an old tattered sepia-toned photo, from possibly the 1930's or 1940's, of an elderly African-American mother, covered up with probably a wool blanket, enjoying the sun, relaxing in her old rocking chair.  Another flea market find (where else?).  I have no idea where the photo was made.  No doubt she's an angel in God's Heavenly Choir now.  Enjoy your mother while you've got her.  (Ladies wear a red rose if Mama is alive.  If she has passed on, ladies wear a white rose.)  And if Mama's gone...pause and think about all of the wonderful things she did for you when she was in this world.  Amen.  

Remember Memorial Day

After the American Civil War (1861-1865) it was known as Decoration Day, a time in May in which to lay flowers and wreaths among America's War Dead.  Now it is known as Memorial Day, which this year is on Monday, May 30th, 2011.  Granted some will be on vacation or having outdoor cookouts, but others will be laying a small flag at a lonely cemetery somewhere.  The above photo, an AZO postcard, still in its original metal case from World War I, shows a rather hopeful looking doughboy, wearing his campaign hat rather jauntily.  It was probably made at a training camp as a souviner to send to the loved ones back home.  The red star on the frame, (what's left of the red paint) is representative of a service star showing that this young fellow was serving in the ranks...and still alive.  But when I found this item for about three dollars at a local flea market about thirty years ago, there was some masking tape on the bottom part of the glass cover (where the smear is) that had written on it the soldier's name...and that he had been killed in World War I.  (His star has long since turned gold.)  But unfortunately, I lost that piece of masking tape years ago.  So, I no longer have the soldier's name.  (And no writing was found on the back of this "real photo" post card.)  Which is unfortunate.  As that this war started and ended nearly a century ago, everyone who once knew this lad...are most likely all long gone now.  This picture, this frame, is probably all that is left showing that he had ever lived.....Remember Memorial Day.
Happy Father's Day Number!

Here is an old penny postcard from 1908, printed one year before the very first official observance of Father's Day, titled, "To My Dear Father."  It was postmarked from Dunkirk, New York, and is in the overall style of art nouveau, an esthetic that was so very popular at the turn of the 20th Century.  "Father" sometimes doesn't get all the accolades that "Mother" does.  (To be sure, there are more "Mother" songs than "Father" songs.)  However, for myself, it was my late father, a World War II veteran, who taught me how to do, among other things, such things as:  chop wood, change a tire..and appreciate history.  Without his help so many years ago...this website would have never been possible.  And...if you are a man who never had children, never've probably been a "father" to somebody... somewhere.  Well, here's to fathers of all kinds....Happy Father's Day!  Have a good one! 

Fourth of July Number!

This photo was taken last year on July 4th, 2010 at the Charlotte Museum of History's open house. Yep, that's yours truly, your webmaster, Dirk Allman, doing one of my traveling history exhibits.  The theme here was mostly a tribute to the post-World War II era of the United States (1950's-1970's).  (But my display had items from other eras as well.)  In this photo, I'm holding in my hand a 1950's 78rpm gospel record on the Specialty label.  Behind me is a somewhat banged up and rusted Grapette Soda Pop roadside sign.  (Grapette once did have a bottling facility in Asheville, North Carolina.)  To the left of me is an old 1970's (yep, the '70's are getting old) BSR three-speed stereo turntable...with 8-track tape player...that still works!  (Note a small stack of three 8-track tapes in front of the stereo.  In fact, one time I used to record blank 8-track tapes on my old BSR turntable.)  Yes, gosh, don't you baby boomers remember having one of these stereos in your bedroom!  Hanging in front of the stereo, is a World War I-era felt 48-star flag.  On top of the stereo speaker, is an early 1950's "telephone pole poster" for Cecil Campbell and his Tennessee Ramblers.  This western swing group was then regionally popular in piedmont Carolina. The poster states that they can be heard on WBTV-Channel 3...and that they were going to be performing at Mooresville High School...sponsored by Berea Baptist Church's Sunday School Class!  Up on the wall behind me is a map of the world circa 1930...showing Herbert Hoover as the US president!  To the right, on the table, is a framed World War II-era 1942 Life magazine, showing also a fluttering 48-star flag on its cover.  Well, if you have kept up with this website anytime at all know I love history...and that I love to present it in a fun and entertaining way.  And this July 4th, 2011, I'll again be doing just that at Peak Resources nursing home/rehab center in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Wherever you go or whatever you will be doing this Independence Day, do be safe...and have a good one.  It's not everyday that you see a nation turn 235 years old.  Happy Birthday USA!  




It's hard to believe it's been ten years since 9/11 happened.  Like so many who were in disbelief at it all, I dug out my World War I 42nd Rainbow Division tunic and et. al. as seen above...and tried to rally folks.  The above photo was taken of yours truly on Sunday, September 16th, 2001 (five days after the September 11th disaster in New York City, Washington D. C. and Pennsylvania) at the Charlotte Merchandise Mart, Charlotte, North Carolina, Red Cross Booth at the Futurama Show.  (At the time, people wondered if there was even going to be a future!)  Alas, I do not know the names of the Red Cross volunteers pictured.  On another note....

                    DIRK GOT EARTHQUAKED!

I felt the earthquake that hit the Eastern Seaboard of the United States on Teusday, August 23rd, 2011.  I was taking an afternoon nap at the time.  Suddenly I was awakened on account of the fact that my electric fan kept lightly bouncing against the wall...and wouldn't stop!  I kept wondering what was wrong with it.  My brother's cat was asleep in the living room and suddenly awoke and wanted out.  It was a few hours later that I learned on the television news...that a 5.8 quake (or 5.9 as some reports had it) had indeed rocked my part of the world.  Most people in this area really didn't feel it.  So, by taking a nap, I felt more of the quake...than the folks who were out and about.  I am happy to say that my cavernous collection of old flotsam is none the worse for the wear.  But had the quake here been more like the epicenter in Virginia...a whole lot of old junk could have fallen down on me!  Things like stacks of old 78rpm records, ancient books...and even newspapers going back more than 150 years.  I would have been buried in history.  Thankfully, quakes in this area are rare.

Which brings me to a story told by now 82-year-old mother.  It was about an earthquake she experienced as a teenager in Augusta, Georgia back in the year, I have since learned, was in 1944.  She was visiting with a relative who had a three-story house not far from Fort Gordon.  Her relative rented many rooms within the house to the soldier's wives, whose husbands were training at the fort nearby.  (You will recall that our country was mobilized for World War II at the time.)  One day, suddenly that whole house shook.  My then teenage mother was on an upper a room filled with heavy wooden Victorian furniture.  Suddenly an old wardrobe started sliding back and forth across the floor.  All of the soldier's wives started making a quick beeline down the stairs to the safety of the yard.  And then it ended.  Therefore, in her lifetime, my mother has now been through two east coast earthquakes.  The citizens of California can only laugh at us.  Hope everybody had a good Labor Day!

Civil War Sesquintennial

2011 is the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the US Civil War (1861-1865)  Above is an about actual size pamplet from most likely the late 19th century, with short stories (or anecdotes) from the Civil War.  Click on the following link, and it will take you to the page where I scanned each page...and transcribed the whole pamplet!

Civil War Anecdotes

Pull up a cup of coffee and enjoy!

                                   Happy early fall y'all!

Ah, those Indain Summer days!  A time of autumn mildness after the first cold snap.  Here's a loving Afircan-American couple from back in the 1920's (maybe ealry 1930's) having a hug in front of bridge somewhere near Marion, North Carolina.  On this site, I have a webpage devoted to these  sepia-toned Marion photographs, that were found in a box at a local flea market nearly twenty years ago.  I've been remiss in trying get more of them scanned and uploaded to this site, but here is a new scan nonetheless.  The photos were processed at Acorn Studios in Marion, North Carolina so many years ago.  Wonder where this bridge was?  Is it still there?  Or has a more modern bridge taken it's place?  Maybe some dear reader out there will have the answer.  You can see more of these photos by clickling on this link here.  

Marion, North Carolina Photos Black History

 Read About Halloween Recordings from the past!
(Nothing to do with Carolina History...just a small passion of mine that I thought others might enjoy.)


Do click on the photo above of a mid-1950's, Decca 45rpm recording, of Louis Armstrong's Halloween offering of "Spooks!" and read my webpage about vintage Halloween ads and recordings from 1904 to 1952!  It's a fun read when autumn comes around! 


Friday, November 11th, will be the 93rd anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I.  This year, 2011, saw the passing of the last known US World War I veteran, Frank Buckles.  In the photo above, you see your webmaster, Dirk Allman, in his World War I doughboy outfit, surrounded by some of our local Boy Scouts.  (After the parade, one of the boy scouts and his grandfather gave me a lift back to the marshalling area, for which I was very grateful.  It's ten blocks to walk back there!)  This wonderful photo was taken by a Charlotte Observer photographer at the end of last year's Charlotte's Veteran's Day parade, 2010.  (I ordered two copies from the newspaper.) 

This year's Veterans parade was held this past Saturday on November 5th.  It was my 18th Veterans Day parade since 1993.  (I never knew I would do it this long!)  But when you've been Charlotte's practically one and only doughboy for all of this time, folks kind of get to know me for it.  So, I was honored this last spring, to be asked to appear in a local Charlotte film documentary, produced by Charlotte film maker, Jack Dillard, titled City Of Canvas.  It's a documentary about Charlotte's very own Camp Greene, which existed in this town from 1917 until 1919.  When our country was fighting with Germany, it was this city's major contribution to the war effort.  The US Fourth Infantry Division was born at this camp, and is still an active fighting force to this present day.  (I bet many Charlotteans didn't know that!)  As can be seen on the invitation I received in the mail, City of Canvas will premier at the the local Mint Museum of Art, Wednesday, November 9th.  This program will first be broadcast on Friday, November 11th, at 9:00pm, via local educational television station WTVI (channel 42, cable 5) appropriately....on Veteran's Day.  Alas, I found out that none of my footage made it to the film...but that's the breaks.  There was only just so much that could be put into the documentary...and keep it to a half hour broadcasting time.  (At some point, I hope to dig up some old footage, of the World War I display, that I did at the Dowd House Camp Greene headquarters...way back in 2002.  It's quite a hoot if I can find it!)

However City of Canvas is quite well done.  It's probably one of the few documentaries in existence, that delves into the history of one World War I-era U.S. Army training camp, which at the time were quite numerous throughout the country.  So many of them, like Camp Greene, were dismantled and disappeared almost immediately with the war's end...and today...their history almost lost.  Jack Dillard spent three decades bringing the history of Camp Greene to light.  This film is the capstone of his life-long effort.  Anyway, do remember our veterans this week.  And thank them as often as you can for all of the work and sacrifice they have done in the past...and in the present conflict.  Happy Veteran's Day!   

Happy Thanksgiving Number!

These are some recent ebay Thanksgiving postcard finds that are quite a joy to behold.  The above shows a penny postcard, circa 1910, of a plumped out male turkey, surrounded by fruit, with a U. S. flag shield by it's side, roses above it's head...and rolling hills of autumn hay stacks in the distance.

Here's another circa 1910 postcard showing a bit of surrealism here:  a male turkey riding a bicyle...while hauling a young lady in what appears to be a rickshaw...and she is giving the poor bird the whip!

This one says "Thanksgiving Cheer."  Well...maybe not for the six turkeys marching single file into the kitchen!  On the table to the far left, there appears to be a plate filled with a ball of cranberry dressing, a quite elongated pumpkin pie in the middle, and a basket of apples, with perhaps some celery stalks bundled in with them, to the far right.  Potted begonias are seen on the window seal, windows open to what appears to be snow on the ground...and a setting sun.  It was postmarked Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1:30pm, November 22nd, 1909.

Here is a barbershop quartet of some rather grateful turkeys...who got spared the Thanksgiving feast!  They sing a song that states:  "Thanks to him who spared our living...We're here, we're here till next Thanksgiving."  It was postmarked Summerville, Pennsylvania, 7am, November 25, 1908.  It was mailed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

----Bulletin!  Free Thanksgiving Dinner at Skyland Family Restaurant, Thanksgiving Day!  And your webmaster, Dirk Allman, will be there displaying my vintage Thanksgiving memorabilia...and playing, (of course) my old Americana records for the crowds to enjoy.

CHARITY:  THERE'S NO NEED TO GO HUNGRY ON THANKSGIVING (The Charlotte Observer, Local Section, page 2B, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011)

Here are two more opportunities for Charlotte-area residents who need a Thanksgiving meal.  For the fifth straight year, the Skyland Family Restaurant, 4544 South Blvd., will offer holiday food to the public on Thanksgiving Day.  Boxes with turkey, dressing, two vegetables and tea (sweet and iced) will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  For more info, call Skyland owner Jim (Jimmy) Kakavitsas at 704-488-3871. 

     Freedom Ministries of Jesus Christ International, 2230 West Sugar Creek Road, will host a Thanksgiving service and meal at 6 p.m. Wednesday.  To reserves seats, call 704-962-8446--Michael Gordon

Here is a Thanksgiving penny postcard from perhaps the late 1920's or possibly the early 1930's, depicting a Pilgrim woman preparing a stew, in quite a large black cauldron.  There's a pumpkin at the base of the cauldron.  And it looks like she might be about to drop an apple into the soup as well.  The card states:

My Thanksgiving Wish: 

May you lack
nothing for
happiness at Thanksgiving.

Hope your Thanksgiving is a pleasant one!

And now if we can have a time for a pause.......

The Christmas Season is upon us.  Many do get stressed out about it.  Our country is on hard times...And people do worry about their lives.  That's why I put up this old postcard, which was postmarked in 1911, showing perhaps an understanding husband, comforting a pensive wife in a an Edwardian setting, stating:  "Do you know that not one thing you have worried about has been helped by it?"  "Take no thought for tomorrow, for tomorrow will take thought for itself" were the words of Jesus, whose birth Christendom celebrates this time of year.  So...take a deep breath, slow down, you don't have to buy anything if you don't want to...and have a heartfelt Christmas Season.  Stay tuned for some more thoughts as this advent continues.  The sender, in West Saginaw, Michigan, wrote on the back of this postcard, to a Goldie M. Williams in Winnipeg, Manitoba, one hundred years ago:  "Hain't this right?  I found it so.  And so will you.--L. J. E."
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