My Visit to a Country Store

It was a thursday morning and I had alot to do. The dishwasher was broke and the water heater was broke. The weeds were growing and the floors needed mopping. Even though Kaos was happening I lay awake thinking I need an adventure. Usually when I need an adventure but have limeted time and gas money I have to have a close adventure. I decided to take a drive, of course camera in tow looking for something fun! Well as I drove thru the country side through the rolling hills of Pa, through farm land and small country towns I was amazed at the beauty of it all. I found incredible views and horses grazing and incredible houses and structures but I kept driving. I was in a town called East Berlin and I saw a really cool country cafe which I made a mental note I need to return. The town of East Berlin was Named after Berlin Germany. Then I saw a sign for Biglerville, Pennsylvania. That was the town I wanted because I read there was a country store there that was 100 years old and Dwight D. Eisenhower had visited there!.

Biglerville is a borough in Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 1,200 at the 2010 census. The National Apple Museum is located on West Hanover St. in Biglerville.[1] The borough is served by the Upper Adams School District and is home to Biglerville High School.

As I entered Biglerville I started to get excited to find this famous Country Store. Ok so there it was; I had arrived. Surrounded by small town store fronts this business surely stood out. Right out front was a sign stating that this was the famous country store you had read about in all the newspapers and magazines across the country!! 100 YEARS OF FUN! The Thomas Brothers Store!

Thomas Brothers Store, also known as Biglerville Country Store, is a historic general store and residential building located at Biglerville in Adams County, Pennsylvania. The store was built in 1912, and is a three-story, rectangular brick building with a shed roof. It sits on a stone foundation, has a three bay front elevation with a prominent cornice, and has Classical Revival style influences. It measures 40 feet wide by 100 feet deep. Located on the third floor is a large meeting room known as Thomas Hall. Attached to the store building is a three-story, two bay house also built in 1912

Check out the sign!

As I entered the store there was a little old lady sitting on some boxes opening some new merchandise for the store. Her name was Marion, my middle name! She had on bright gold specialty shoes, a bright salmon colored shirt with a big pink hairbow in her hair. Right away she informed me that she spray painted her shoes herself. She welcomed me to the store but she was on the phone talking to a vendor or customer or publisher. She is having a book published about her and her business. I didnt find out why but the store is run by her and her sister Jean but yet it is called the Thomas Brothers Store. I thought that was a coincidence since my name is Jeanne Marion. Anyway, she welcomed me as she finished her phone call. I started to walk around trying to wrap my eyes around all the differnent nooks and cranny’s of this very old and disorganized country store and Museum. Marion inforrmed me later that she went to NYU to study fashion so the store is part fashion show, part vintage and general goods and part museum peppered with photos of history of the store and nearby Gettysburg and presidents etc. You can tell Marion’s Love of Fashion in her front window.

Here is Marion’s love of Fashion!

I forgot to mention the wonderful music playing from the 30’s and 40’s that you hear as soon as you walk in. Pop Standards were playing which in this day and age would be thought of as Jazz standards. It immediately got me in the mood for a vintage treasure hunt. She got off the phone and I asked her if I could take some pictures and she said as long as they were good. Ha! Marion has a sense of humor but I  guess I already knew that when I saw her spraypainted blinged out specialty shoes. I decided to ask her if I could take a picuture of her. She said yes but as I started to focus she said I have a better place you can take my picture so help me up! I said Ok are you sure it’s not too much trouble and she said no. So I helped her up and we shuffeled over to her counter. She said this way I can get a picture of her and the pictures in the background of her Daddy with the President when he visited the store back in 1960. There was also a picture of President Lincoln and her one and only husband.  Marion told me that the president really loved country stores and he liked thier store so much that he gave her father and her a very expensive gift which is located in the nearby Library that Marion owns in Biglerville.

Here is Marion, in the background you can see her father and Dwight Eisnehower who visited there in 1960.

She told me that she went to NYU for Fashion and she met he husband ; her love there. They were married and he died very young at 22. I asked her if she ever married again and she said no. I said why, your so pretty and she said they all wanted to boss me. The didnt think I knew anything. I said who they and she said all the men. She said she never met a man she liked; loved as much as her first husband. You can see a picture of him in this photo, the handsome fellow with the pipe.

I walked around one more time and came across some more pictures in the Museum part of the store. I definatley want to go back at Christmas time. She then showed me the merchandise she was opening and I fell in Love with it. I just found the perfect present for my mother for Christmas!! I can’t share that picture until after Christmas!

President Dwight Eisenhower
Some vintage fabric

After I was done looking I told her I would come back another time. She wanted to know what I did and where I was from. She asked what I did for work and she asked me to sign her visitors book. She said she met so many people that she couldnt keep track and I should write details of myslef under my name. We talked about her book coming out and she told me she wished she could buy regular shoes but she had problem feet and she only has that one pair of shoes. Ok, by now I realized it was getting quite late so I paid her “CASH ONLY” No credit cards taken for the perfect Christmas gift for my mom. I told her I had to get back home to make dinner. She handed me a flyer about the store and she then instruced me where to get myself a bag behind the counter. I told he I would come back and she grabbed my hand to hold it and said please dont forget to come back. I said Of course I won’t forget , how could I forget. I said you will see us around Christmas Time and she said ok as long as you promise. What a sweetie. I had a great time but now I had to get back quick; time was tic tocking away! This was just what I needed to refresh my creative juices and get my Retro Fix. So if your ever in Biglerville; five miles from Historic Gettsburg take some time to smell the roses and meet Marion in a 100 year old Country Store. Maybe you will find the perfect gift too!

Love and Happiness, Jloz

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Early Morning Cry

Today was like an early morning cry kind of day. Like when you wake up and the first thing you do is cry. That used to be a routine for me. A habit almost. Realizing another day is to take place and the overwhelming and all encompassing strength it will take to get out of bed and get thru it all. So first a cry. I don’t do that much anymore.

pic credit: JLozier

It was like that today. It was a grey and gloomy day. It rained all day. I drove in that rain all day and listened to Billie Holiday . It was the right music to go with the mood. It almost made it like a soundtrack to a sad and dreary movie drama. I felt like I was in my own movie. A little bit of out of body experience today. I had to take some pictures as I drove.

I can’t help but get emotional when Billie sings. She embodied Heartbreak, every pore on her body oozed with heartbreak. She shared it with us in small doses of three, four and five minute songs. Just enough to always leave us wanting more.

Pic credit by google.

Here’s some of the songs that shattered me today.

“If the Moon turned green”

https://youtu.be/qqMMSY-VbXM

“You Better Go Now” was always one of my favorites.

https://r.be/wpB9nwhpv

“You’ve Changed”:

https://youtu.be/ir2eBab1KDE

Yeah it was a Billie Day. Gloomy Thursday. Everything I saw looked gloomy and with the back drop of Lady Day Singing everything was that much deeper.

Here is a picture of a Alter I took today in Paterson NJ. I call it ” Paterson Life” for obvious reasons. I was making up stories all day about this alter trying to fill in the blanks about why it was there and what young soul it was for. Very Sad 😢

pic credit : JLozier

Here is a picture I took today of a Red House with a graveyard peeping out the back. I wonder who lives there? Newark NJ

pic credit : JLozier

Here is a picture of a pair of birds on the waters edge, are they mates? I think so. Then a single black bird in flight while all his friends sit perched in the nearby tree filling in the bare branches. These two pictures were from Haverstraw, New York.

pic credit : JLozier

I’m not sure what the forecast calls for tomorrow but maybe the sun will be shining. One can hope but beauty and joy can be found in the gloomy days as well. There is beauty in the tears and heartbreak, in the solitude of lost souls that are no longer on this earth. In the naked cold wet earth and bare lines of nature before spring blooms. The beauty Is always all around us.

Love and Happiness

Jloz

The Blues

“Blues had the pulse beat of the people who keep on going.” By Langston Hughes

Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.- Charlie “Bird” ParkerI’m a bluesman moving through a blues-soaked America, a blues-soaked world, a planet where catastrophe and celebration- joy and pain sit side by side. The blues started off in some field, some plantation, in some mind, in some imagination, in some heart. The blues blew over to the next plantation, and then the next state. The blues went south to north, got electrified and even sanctified. The blues got mixed up with jazz and gospel and rock and roll. – Cornel West.

The blues are the roots and the other musics are the fruits. It’s better keeping the roots alive, because it means better fruits from now on. The blues are the roots of all American music. As long as American music survives, so will the blues.

Willie Dixon

Everything comes out in blues music: joy , pain , struggle . Blues is affirmation with absolute elegance.

Wynton Marsalis

My mother always told me, even if a song has been done a thousand times, you can still bring something of your own to it. I’d like to think I did that.

Etta James

Once you discover that you can, then you must. And it’s not easy. You have to take direct steps. You really have to count your blessings and you have to make a decided effort to not get seduced by the blues.

Al Jarreau

Walkers with the Dawn ..

There are many reasons I love Langston Hughes. Many of the same reasons we all love Helen Keller. I learned about Helen Keller in highschool, I didn’t learn about Langston Hughes until I found him on my own. Both are heroes to this world. They both offered such beautiful insight on how they see the world, both courageous , both beautiful, both inspiring. Both could be from a place of Extreme darkness or enlightened walkers of the sun and morning. These two poems were on my mind today. I pray for all the children that are crying and suffering. I pray for them and their parents. Sometimes I feel like I don’t even believe in god anymore but I pray anyway. I am a spiritual Christian and sometimes my faith is tested when I see such atrocities and how the world is going. Sometimes I feel that the churches have been so passive in action when our brothers and sisters needed action. Even During the Civil Rights movement , why didn’t more white churches help? These were and still now our brothers and sisters. They are not illegal aliens. They are US. I hope their darkness ends but I know too well how unjust this world can be but I will pray just the same to any god that will listen for their safety and to stop the cries and suffering as soon as possible. I pray that they have strength to continue the journey wherever it may lead. My eyes are red because children are crying for their mommy and daddy and it is one of the most horrific things to listen too and our world is getting smaller and the news is getting harsher. How can we repeat history? Horrible atrocities should never be repeated. I pray they get to see the light again. I pray for the babies to once again be in the arms of their parents. I pray they find a way to survive together. I pray they have strength to survive. I pray they are walkers with the sun and the morning.

Walkers with the Dawn

Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
Walkers with the sun and morning,
We are not afraid of night,
Nor days of gloom,
Nor darkness–
Being walkers with the sun and morning.

by Langston Hughes

Helen Keller

She,
In the dark,
Found light
Brighter than many ever see.

She,
Within herself,
Found loveliness,
Through the soul’s own mastery.

And now the world receives
From her dower:
The message of the strength
Of inner power.

Langston Hughes

New Hope

So I took a impromptu day trip to New Hope today with a friend and that town is so beautiful, especially at night. I met some really great shop owners and people and had a great time. The Tye Dye store had this cool couple and two dogs. The woman owner is a Melissa McCarthy clone. Everything she said was funny. I loved her and  their dogs. They are expanding  and opening a second store in Asbury Park. They do all their Tye Dye product in house. I wish them the best of luck..  These dogs were tired from a hard days wotk. I took a few pictures  while I was walking around there and a few on my on my way there as well so I will share them with you here  There is something about that town that comes alive when dusk falls.        EE274845-6435-4397-A9E6-CF05A48E9498 This picture of the shop of India really spoke to me so I took a picture. I don’t know why things speak to me but when they do it’s very clear. I walked into the sweetest bookstore and I meant to take a picture of that too but I didn’t. I got distracted by this adorable card of Billie Holiday and it comes with cute stickers as well. So cute. I got one for a friend.

Zora Neale Hurston was there too.

New Hope It is a town for lovers.  Friends too but when your there you can’t help but long to be with the one you love, especially when the Sun starts to melt. Once I stayed there years ago and I stayed in a little inn called the Logan Inn. The cool thing about the Logan Inn is it is haunted. Ghosts! Yes. Very cool.  I stayed in a room that was haunted and a ghost lived there. I never did see her. Her name is Emily, room 6. Doesn’t mean she wasn’t there. I would stay there again. Maybe I’ll get lucky next time.

On the way there I saw this adorable Hot Dog Stand, Johnny’s. It was so 1950’s and it was next to a babbling brook. Really sweet. I had to stop and take a few shots. Sometimes you drive into a spot or a place and it takes you back in time. It can be anything like a shady bend with a wooden billboard or a little motel with a shady maple and vintage Sign saying the same. When that happens it’s the closest thing to time travel I know. I told my friend I had to stop and take a few pictures. I’m used to getting the eye roll or why? but I don’t care lol.

This friend was cool though. She didn’t mind, I saw a bunch of Barns with horses and could have stopped all day but we had to get to our destination. It’s hard for me to see horses and not stop. They are so beautiful. I am still waiting to see my wild mustangs. Wild Mustangs, we will ride them some day. As we were walking around I spotted my girl. I always have to take a picture of her when I see her cause she also speaks to me. Always has. Hey Girl! I Love Marilyn. 💋. I put her in my super star tragic hero category. People like her, Prince, Michael Jackson, James Dean, Elvis, the super stars. They die young. It’s too much for their hearts and minds, the burden of such extreme fame. And in the end it leaves us with the sorrowful residue of their greatness.

Time to sign off. There will be a New Hope 2 blog coming soon. Until then.

Love and Happiness,

Jeanne

A Night at Legends- Chicago Bound

So on my way driving to Minneapolis I stopped off in Chicago. It has been about 25 Years since I’ve been back. I was going to go the same place I went last time I was in Chicago. I was headed over to Buddy Guy’S Legends. One of the best blues bars in the world owned by Chicago’s very own Legend, Buddy Guy. He has always been a blues hero for me. I was hoping he would be there, it was ten days before Christmas so he could very well be there. Good news he was! The last time I went to Legends 25 years ago he was there as well. Just standing against the wall. I didn’t even notice him until he smiled and then I saw his gold BG ring and I realized who he was. There was a private CD release party going on and I kind of crashed it.

Any Way the first time I went I had no camera but I stayed at this Russian owned hotel called the spa motel. Very cheap, very clean. I got to Legends, different location but Buddy’s Bar and I got to Chicago B.L.U.E.S and saw Son seals. I went to Kingston Mines and saw Magic Slim and the teardrops. I also went over to the historic Maxwell Street to soak in some Blues history. Here’s some vintage pictures of Maxwell Street. When I was on Maxwell Street is was like a glorified swap meet and I it was very cold so there were a lot of garbage cans fires burning strong. 

img_5635img_5634.jpgimg_5623-1img_5624

This time I didn’t have a lot of time but I made sure to spend a night at Legends. The staff was amazing, the wings were so good and the Buddy Guy Beer hit the spot after driving 500 miles. I saw three acts and then Buddy graced the stage with the Lindsey Alexander Band. It was super lucky to have met Buddy Guy and take this picture. I cannot express how much Joy I got from his music and performances.

http://www.buddyguy.com

The line up was:

LINSEY ALEXANDER w/ Dave Weld

Acoustic Set by Fruteland Jackson. I loved him. 

All the shows were so great. I wish I had got more pictures of the second act. I must have been talking. Met some great folks there that night. 

Here are some pictures of the night.

Damn Right I got the Blues!

 

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For those that don’t have Java I posted the pictures in two different ways.

“They say the blues is sad, but when B.B. sings ‘I got a sweet little angel, I love the way she spreads her wings,’ that don’t sound too sad to me!”

— Buddy Guy

“I’ve never missed a gig yet. Music makes people happy, and that’s why I go on doing it – I like to see everybody smile.”

— Buddy Guy

“Listen to the lyrics – we’re singing about everyday life: rich people trying to keep money, poor people tying to get it, and everyone having trouble with their husband or wife!”

— Buddy Guy

Thanks for giving us the Blues Buddy and making us SMILE. We Love you!

Love and Happiness

Jloz