Sam Burnham, Curator
Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer every year. While we should remember those who made this weekend possible with their sacrifice, we should also remember what the sacrifice was for. When those men and women laid down their lives, they were doing so in the defense of the American way of life. They did so in the attempt to thwart threats to our way of life before they could reach our shores.
We often speak of the liberty, the freedom, the independence that is afforded by their sacrifice. But those are abstract and we often don't go into the details. What I'd like to point out is that they made an American summer possible. We are safe and free to drink beer and cook out poolside. We are safe and free to go water skiing, fishing, hiking, or to the race. The freedom of movement allows us to go on vacations or weekend getaways. All the indulgences we allow ourselves - many we take for granted in our society - were purchased with the blood and lives of American service members. Why do we do the things we do as Americans? Because we can.
So in keeping a heart filled with gratitude for the sacrifice that made it all possible, we head into a new summer. We will celebrate. We will enjoy the life and freedoms provided to us. We will toast those who died, we'll pray for their families, and we'll do the things we can. Our way of life will continue. That is a duty that we owe to them, the heroes. How ungrateful we would be to not take advantage of such a precious and expensive gift.
So as the summer begins, live free because they died. That is what they would want us to do.
Sam Burnham, Curator
We've gotten word from our friend at Vanishing South Georgia that the Irwinville Hotel in Irwin County has been demolished to make way for a new Dollar General store. The wood framed structure was constructed in the mid-1880's and is another in a series of losses in the small South Georgia town. The building had reportedly been used for many years as a residential rental property and had seen numerous interior renovations and changes. In a small town with few historic structures remaining, any such loss is a big one.
Brian at VSG and I agree that saving these historic structures is not the job of the government with regulation or actions that supersede the rights of property owners. The former owner of this structure has the legal and moral right to sell the property to anyone he chooses. In turn, the new owner has the same right to demolish the structure and replace it with something of their choosing. including a chain discount store with a saturated market.
The job of saving our history is ours. It's our job to explain why these places matter. It's our job to offer new and helpful methods for property owners to maintain such structures. It's our job to foster a society that loves and appreciates the past and wants to preserve it. We need to form a culture that cherishes these treasures. We should save our past because it is important to us - more important to us than profit. We have to love our places and encourage others to do so as well.
This one is gone. It's lost forever. But there are still more that are in danger but can be saved and are worth saving. They may be in your town. They may be in earshot of your voice. How you speak or act in their favor could make a difference in their survival, Let's foster a love of our past and try to save the next one.
By Leigha Burnham, Managing Editor
I shared earlier this month one of my favorite things for Christmas, Hubbard's Mulled Cider. As the holiday draws closer (less than 10 days to go), things can get a little harried and hurried. You should certainly take a moment to yourself and enjoy the season....and there is no better way to slow down than to sip a cup of this delicious holiday drink!
I first had this cider at a faculty Christmas party and it was prepared by our agricultural science teacher, Melissa Hubbard of Gordon County, Georgia. She willingly gave me the recipe and shared how it had been passed down in her family for years. The fact that the recipe has a strong history makes it even better. So, here is the recipe and preparation techniques for the drink...and you could always add a splash of something to warm your insides even more, if desired.
Hubbard's Mulled Cider
2 gallon pot
1 small simmer pot
4 tea bags
4-5 cinnamon sticks (NOT powdered cinnamon)
1 container of pineapple juice, 2 quart
1 large frozen orange juice concentrate
1 regular frozen lemonade concentrate
Whole orange, to slice
Fill the small simmer pot with water and bring to a boil. Lower the temperature, add the cinnamon sticks and tea bags, and steep them until you have a nice tea brew. Set aside.
In the large pot, add pineapple juice, orange juice concentrate, and the lemon juice concentrate and dissolve the concentrates over a low-medium temperature, stirring consistently. Once concentrates are nicely dissolved, add the "cinnamon tea" that you steeped earlier. You can leave the sticks in the pot for a bit, but certainly you need to remove the tea bags at this point.
Add water until the pot is full and simmer about 30-45 minutes. I do suggest removing the cinnamon sticks...if you leave them in the mixture for too long, they will give off too much of a "wood" taste and this will ruin your cider. Add some sliced orange for garnish. Serve immediately. You can freeze any leftovers to thaw and warm for another chilly day!
One of my favorite ways to serve this cider is in my prettiest tea cups or Christmas china. Serving in a beautiful mug or cup will only add to the experience. Merry Christmas!
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire