Who Am I ? Why Am I Here?

Who am I? Why am I here?  We have all asked those questions at one time or another.  Whether we’re probing the depth of our individual being or speculating on the purpose of our personal existence we’re performing a simple act of human nature whenever we try to figure out what role our lives  play in the greater scheme of things.

But thats not what I’m writing about here. I’m in a down to earth frame of mind tonight. Its been about five months since I posted on this blog and I want to remind you—my reader—that I am Betsy Thorpe and I am here to tell you stories about the world outside my door.


My Book, “The Day the Whistles Cried” is Finally Published and Printed

I’m back!!! It took longer than I anticipated for me to finish writing my book. I’ve been away from here for quite some time, but now, I’m ready to start blogging again. I’m just waiting for inspiration to strike. I’m just happy to back on the porch.

Members of the United States Colored Troops to be commemorated in dedication ceremony October 19

I’ve said it before and now I’m saying it again. People and events linked to Nashville history can almost always be connected to people and events associated with a set of railroad tracks once known as Dutchman’s Curve. Movements of the 13th US Colored Troops are no exception.
The Thirteenth U.S. Colored Infantry was formed in 1863. Troops from the 13th were stationed along the tracks of Nashville and Northwestern Railroad line to protect the line from raiding confederates. At that time the tracks at Dutchman’s Curve were part of the Nashville and Northwestern line.
Connected! See how that works?
This weekend certain members of the 13th US Colored Troops are getting some well-deserved attention. The African American Heritage Society of Maury County announced that a dedication ceremony to commemorate the placement of the names of 54 members of the United States Colored Troops from Maury County and 4 white Maury Countians who fought and died for the union in the Civil War will be conducted on Oct 19th, 2013 at 10 AM at the Maury County War Memorial Monument located outside the Maury County Court House.
The program includes an honor guard from the black Civil War re-enactors of the 13th U.S.C. T. Regiment who will present and post arms to honor these men, as their names are read into Maury County’s place of history.
The Key Note speakers include, Mr. Patrick McIntyre, Director of the Tennessee Historical commission; Mr. John Seigenthaler, founder of the First Amendment Foundation, and Dr. Bobby Lovett.

For further information on the event: Jo Ann McClellan 931-682-3755 or 931-698-4765

KICKSTARTER REWARD TIER 25.00—Stump the Train Wreck Lady!!

I say that when it comes to Nashville history there is always a Dutchman’s Curve train wreck connection. Challenge me. Choose an event from Nashville’s past–up to 1918 and I will try to connect it to the train wreck. Your challenge and my response will be preserved in a permanent album on the book’s Facebook page. See if you can stump the Train Wreck Lady!

I received my first challenge today—even though my Kickstarter campaign hasn’t officially launched yet.

Is there a connection between Dutchman’s Curve and the Trail of Tears?

The Trail of Tears—the forced exile march of the Cherokee people—from Tennessee to Oklahoma was authorized by President Andrew Jackson.   Davy Crockett opposed the policy.  Both men made visits to the Belle Meade Plantation from Nashville.  Harding Road—the road from Nashville to the plantation—crosses Richland Creek near the place known as Dutchman’s Curve. Traveling that road both Andrew Jackson and Davy Crockett passed by the spot where the train wreck would later occur.

The Trail of tears and Dutchman’s Curve are tied together by the close association Andrew Jackson and Davy Crockett had with policies that lead to the forced removal  of the Cherokee people and  the proximity of their visits to Belle Meade.

It wasn’t an easy question to answer but I connected The Trail of Tears to Dutchman’s Curve.

What is Kickstarter?

There’s just something magical about Kickstarter… You immediately feel like you’re part of a larger club of art-supporting fanatics.”
Amanda Palmer—successful Kickstarter project creator

I’ve been trying to explain what Kickstarter is ever since I told my family and friends that I plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign in September. Although most of them understand that I need to raise money to pay for editing and publishing the book I’m writing, many of them don’t get how an online pledge system like Kickstarter can help me do that.
I’m really not as tech savvy as I pretend to be and I don’t completely understand how the fund-raising site works. To give a clear explanation I’m going to share what the website at Kickstarter.com says about the Kickstarter fund-raising platform.

Kickstarter is new way to fund projects. Its full of projects that are brought to life by supporters. There are thousands of creative projects raising funds on Kickstarter right now.
Together, creators and backers make projects happen.
Project creators set a funding goal. If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing — projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money. To date, since 2009, an impressive 44% of projects have reached their funding goals.
Creators keep complete ownership of their work. Backers are supporting projects to help them come to life, not for profit. Instead, project creators offer rewards to thank backers for their support. Backers of an effort to make a book or film, for example, often get a copy of the finished work. Creative works were funded this way for centuries.Mozart, Beethoven, Whitman, Twain, and other artists funded works in similar ways — not just with help from large patrons, but by soliciting money from smaller patrons. In return for their support, these patrons might have received an early copy or special edition of the work. Kickstarter is an extension of this model, turbocharged by the web. They believe that creative projects make for a better world and that building a community of backers around an idea is an amazing way to make something new.

What’s For Supper?

American Pizza, a favorite childprhood dish.

American Pizza, a favorite childhood dish.

Adriana made a pan of American Pizza for supper tonight. She got the recipe from my mom last week. My mom used to fix American Pizza for my dad, my two brothers and me. It was one of our favorite meals and she served it to us often. She probably found the recipe on the back of a Bisquick box. She was a thrifty homemaker and was always on the lookout for new, yummy and economical, meals to make for us.

American Pizza

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/4 cup minced green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
8 oz tomato sauce
6 oz tomato paste
4 oz can mushrooms
1/2 cup milk
2 cups biscuit mix
1 cup shredded cheese

Cook ground beef and green pepper. Pour off drippings. Add garlic, basil, oregano tomato sauce , tomato paste and mushrooms. Simmer ten minutes.

Add milk to biscuit mix. Stir until dough holds ball. Roll 3/4 of dough on flour pastry cloth. Line ten inch pie plate with dough. Place half of meat mixture on pie plate; top with half cup cheese; repeat.

Cut remaining dough into four wedges. Arrange on top.
Bake at 450 for 15 minutes.