Wayzata, Minnesota

Friday, February 28, 2014

Sepia Saturday 1 March 2014

The mysterious life of Carson, continues.

Unknown location, taken from Carson's page, "Speaking of Restored Scenes"

Venturing into the unknown, always leads to worthy adventures.  I've yet to meet a gross encounter.

Alan's theme photo this week involves, "Three men hiking up a mountain with a big telescope, one of them being a famous composer. "

With that focus, there are a number of ways one could begin.  I will flip through Carson's journal and see if any detours get in the way.

From Carson's Journal.

A brief glimpse into Carson's journal suggests that he's a journalist and I naturally assumed he was of the male gender.  However, after various leads I'm questioning that notion.  What if, he wasn't? 

Was Carson a known American writer of novels, short stories, plays, essays or even poetry? Such a writer would be capable of exploring the spiritual process and possible isolation of misfits or outcasts from small towns located deep in the United States South, and sounds perfectly fitting.

The cover to Carson's Album.

Let the theme unravel.

Going back to Natchez seems like a good place to begin.  It appears Carson spent a great deal of time in Mississippi and Georgia, besides going abroad.

An interesting scribbled note mentions Longwood, Nutt's Folly and Windy Hill Manor, with Natchez circled in red.  

Will any of it, lead to any famous composer as our theme photo offers this week?

Well yes, speaking of composers from Mississippi, there's, Gerald Wilson, born in Shelby, Mississippi he wrote arraignments for Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday just to name a few.  The Gerald Wilson Orchestra, "Lyons' Roar" listen here.

Or, possibly William Grant Still, born in Woodville, Mississippi.  A lovely Symphony No. 1 here for William Grant Still listen here.

While composers and their magical tunes are stimulating, I found the reference to Nutt's Folly, along with any encounter of an old manor, very intriguing. 

Researching Longwood, alternate title, Nutt's Folly, it was built by Dr. Haller Nutt and is described as being a moorish castle of 32 rooms, although unfinished in areas.

As well as this photo below.

Longwood, Adams County, Mississippi sometime in 1938.  Apparently, the construction of this 32 room castle ended when workmen left for war, leaving their tools and paint buckets behind, never to be touched again.  They still remain there today.  The unfinished state illustrates the impact of the Civil War.  The building structure dates back to 1860.

Natchez Pilgrimage Tours, seen here.  I like to think Carson took part in this tour as well.

The Library of Congress in Washington describes this photo as
"Quiet scene at Longwood, called the "Unfinished Symphony" of American restoration, Natchez, Mississippi.
Photo taken sometime after 1980.

Carson's album shows his strong liking to cities, and especially their streets.

From the streets of Natchez, Mississippi

Alan mentioned hiking up a mountain, so how about the Natchez Bluffs for hiking?

Silver Street, Natchez Bluffs and Under-the-Hill Historic District
sometime in 1972.

This photo was taken in August of 1940.

Surprisingly enough, you can't trust the modes of transportation to date a photo.  
Apparently, Natchez, as well as other areas in Mississippi one can travel in various styles.

Lastly, Alan mentioned big telescopes.  Carson's closest connections to "big telescope" that I see, would be Carson's scope into people, and the places and  situations that surrounded them.  A wide scope into the lives of unknown people actually.

Carson had several pages about Pithiviers.
A bit of a stretch?  Not so much.  Oddly enough, on the top of one of the pages reads, the name Nancy.  Perhaps a lost lover, or dear friend?

And this photo of Pithiviers (Loiret) - Hopital (Hospital)

Photo listed as Pithiviers (Loiret) La Place du Martroi

Pithiviers, more recently.

An interesting afternoon of singing and drinking (possibly a tad too much) in the shade of a beautiful, hot sunny day in Pithiviers, France seen here, "Chant sur la base d'une Maisona Pithiviers, heard here.

Carson had to have been an interesting character.  The following is posted at the beginning of his journal.

"Alle Rechte vom Verleger vorbehalten." 
Translates to "All rights reserved by the publisher."

Just another little quirky trait.

Special Note-
       For those folks curious about references for Carson, I only have an album with brief messages jotted across the pages and a few postcards and other miscellaneous notes stuffed inside as well.   I purchased it a few years ago,  and I've used a few photos in my first year posting with Sepia Saturday.  


Kristin said...

Quite a cover on Carson's album.

Wendy said...

Those cars of the '70s certainly took up a lot of space, didn't they!

Love your caution against using transportation to date photos. Having a car next to a wagon helps though. But had the photo been of only the wagon, we might have been fooled.

Karen S. said...

Kristin, it sure is. I'm not sure if it's from overseas or if it was originally purchased in America?

La Nightingail said...

Too bad Nutt's Folly was never quite finished. It looks rather elegant. But I really enjoyed listening to Gerald Wilson's "Lyons Roar" & also his "Yna Yna". Wonderful jazz! And William Grant Still's "Afro-American Symphony - 1", as well. This one sounds a little bit like Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue". Thanks for sharing!

Joy said...

A pirate on the front of a Photo Album is unusual but you have certainly found some treasure inside.

Rosie said...

Wow! What massive buildings. Just musing what it would cost to heat such places here in New Brunswick, Canada where my little two story duplex costs me at least $325.00 a month for hydro/heat for the winter months!!!!

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

What a beautiful photo album! There is a town called Nancy in France - could it be that?

Postcardy said...

I was thinking Nancy, France too.

Patrica Ball Morrison said...

Our next trip south if we have time I'll snoop more around Natchex which is becoming a popular retirement haven. BTW today near here as well as places in IN and OH one can pass an Amish buggy on the road and if a photo could be taken, well horse drawn near the new motor car. There are many such places as Nutts Folly through the south

Jackie van Bergen said...

Nutt's Folly - a real grand design!
I agree, Nancy could well be the one in France.

Brett Payne said...

I think I rather like Carson - an eclectic mix of places that he visited, but the photos show a fine touch.

Mike Brubaker said...

An interesting treasure to combine such different places as Mississippi and France. Carson seems to be quite the traveler. A soldier maybe?

Bob Scotney said...

I would rather have liked to meet Carson (him or herself) I just wonder how long it took him to visit all these places.

Little Nell said...

That album looks interesting; I’d love to run my fingers over that embossed design. Those first two pictures of Nutts Folly and Longwood are fascinating too. Longwood must have been a bit like the Marie Celeste - except that we know why they all left in this case. A bit ghostly, I should think.

Anonymous said...

You have put a lot of work into this post but it was all very interesting.

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

So much diverse, there and even There! Do you have any events mentioned in Carson's journal? Oh, you probably would have mentioned them already. In Natchez, when the Union army was trying to take it from the Confederates, many people lived in caves in the bluffs below the town, where it was cooler and perhaps less in the line of fire.

Alex Daw said...

I have a memory of my father making a dessert called Pithiviers which was quite delicious.

Rob From Amersfoort said...

I'm glad Nutt's Folly is still standing. And here is the same place in Pithiviers at present:
(not much has changed).