Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It was Septemeber 13, 1944 on the USS Warrington

Last Wednesday when we went to New York to see my daughter perform at Carnegie Hall....we also had somewhere else to visit that was long over do.
We took my mom to Battery Park to see the memorial for the soilders that drowned and who were never recovered in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean during WWII.

Two days out of Norfolk, along the Florida coast, a navy destroyer named the USS Warrington  received word that she was steaming directly into a hurricane. Later that evening, the storm forced the destroyer to heave. Keeping wind and sea on her port bow, Warrington rode relatively well through most of the night. Wind and seas, however, continued to build during the early morning hours of September 13th 1944. Warrington began to lose headway and, as a result, started to ship water through the vents to her engineering spaces.

The water rushing into her vents caused a loss of electrical power which set off a chain reaction. Her main engines lost power, and her steering engine and mechanism went out. She wallowed there in the trough of the swells, continuing to ship water. She regained headway briefly and turned upwind, while her radiomen desperately, but fruitlessly, tried to contact another nearby vessel. Finally, she resorted to a plain-language distress call to any ship or shore station. By noon on the 13th, it was apparent that Warrington's crewmen could not win the struggle to save their ship, and the order went out to prepare to abandon ship. By 12:50, her crew had left Warrington; and she went down almost immediately. A prolonged search by 10 other vessels rescued only five officers and 68 men of the destroyer's 20 officers and 301 men.

My mother's brother...Chief Storekeeper USNR Edward John Labuda was one of the men lost at sea.  He had just been home on leave prior to returning to duty.

The memorial says....

My mother looking at her brother's name engraved in stone for the first time.

La Buda Edward J.

His name on the wall faces the Statue of Liberty and

.....Ellis Island.  The same port where his father entered the United States as an immigrant years before.

I'll be linking to A Southern Daydreamer hosted by Susan.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Interested to know what we've been up to?

We traveled to New York on Wednesday for a very special event.

My daughter is in Penn State's Philharmonic.

Here she is excited as can be!

She played her violin in the President's Concert....

at Carnegie Hall!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Going Back

In my early twenties...I left home for the first time to live on my own.  I had just graduated from college and I had gotten a job as a flight attendant for a new start up airline called 'Best Airlines'.  'Best Airlines' had a total of two planes.  One plane flew trips around the Northeast and the other plane flew trips in the Southeast.  I headed down to beautiful Roanoke, VA to fly the plane that flew the Southeast route.  Now...for most young people moving to a quaint little southern town right out of college probably wouldn't be their first choice.  I couldn't have been more tickled to move there.  I grew up in Niagara Falls, NY and moving to where the temperatures were much milder seemed like a welcoming change.  In Niagara Falls we had our share of BIG lake effect snow.  Virginia seemed a world away from it all and I would be living down south where people had that southern drawl and things were slower.  It was very exciting to me.  Unfortunately...my stay there was cut short because 'Best Airline' decided to cease their southern route and fly both of their planes up in the Northeast.  So off I moved to Hartford, CT but that's another story. 
  27 years later last week...my husband and I stopped in Roanoke, VA unexpectedly on our way back home from Charlotte, NC.  It truly was coming full circle for me.

Entering the city....the star was still perched up in the mountains.  Roanoke is nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.  I was glad to see the star still there.  Seeing that landmark then and now was heartwarming. 

As a young woman living in Roanoke...I searched for a Catholic church to visit.  If I'm not mistaken there was only one Catholic church in the city back then?  At the time...I found that so strange because growing up in Niagara Falls... it seemed like we had a Catholic church on every other street corner.  I thought it was a beautiful church back then and I still do.  It was nice seeing it again.

We found this beauty of a hotel and decided to stay at it.  Welcome to Hotel Roanoke!

From the lobby looking out the weather couldn't have been more lovely this time of year and for us northerners it was delightful.

The hotel was built in 1882 closed in 1989 and reopened in 1995.   It originally had 34 rooms and now has 384 rooms.  It was bought by Hilton and is now a Double Tree property.  It is still referred to as the Hotel Roanoke.  They've newly renovated it and kept its original beloved character.  It is registered as a historical landmark but does not feel tired in the least.

It's all in the detail.

The red coats and blue coats.  History is being told here.

I enjoyed looking at the different light fixtures and here are a few I found at Hotel Roanoke. 
This light fixture was above our bathroom sink in our hotel room.

This rustic fixture we found in the 'Pine Room' in the hotel pub.

Here is one of the hallway light fixtures.

In the lobby the painting of the sky on the ceiling was lovely.

 This light fixture hangs near the reception desk.  It's there to welcome guests from around the world.

A short walk from the hotel was a wonderful farmers market.

Some of the historic architecture that is abundant downtown.

I didn't find out what this was a sculpture of but it was quite special.  It's made out of a  glass mosaic and it was a sight to see when the sun glistened on it.

Well that was a little blast from my past and I hope you enjoyed your visit to Roanoke, VA.  It was heartwarming for me to go back and I know when we pass through again in the future...we'll make it a point to stay at Hotel Roanoke.

I'll be linking to A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday and to Vintage Thingy Thursday hosted by Suzanne at Colorado Lady.      

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pink Sidewalks

After the brutal winter we've been experiencing this year...I'm anticipating that the cold, grey and fierce wind gusts will give way to sunshine, warmth and an abundant of colors.
  This is one of my favorite images.  It speaks to me on so many different levels.  When I look at this picture...I feel a sense of serenity, new beginings and hope.  I imagine that this is what the sidewalks of heaven look like.