Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Visiting the place of my youth.

  We have been off , aloft and away from the Hollow...
I have missed you. I have missed my farm and my critters.
BUT we were busy,
  Viewing Mummies...
 with incredible  hieroglyphic painting and designs adorning the sarcophagus, inside and out.

 Even the cats were mummified and wrapped  in cloth with quilt -like patterns.
Notice how the design on the cloth looks so much like a log cabin quilt block!
Seeing these gave me an urge to hug my pussycats, and reassure them that they would live very long lives and NEVER, EVER become mummies.

We visited Indian Villages of  the past..

  and studied the bizarre artwork on TOTEM POLES.

Being a little creepy, these  really spooked and fascinated me as a child. I gazed up at them in consternation while tightly clutching mothers hand.

Everything was a work of art, no matter how
strange or unusual.
 All through the ages, humans have had a need to create art, on nearly any surface, and for any reason.Think of how much art (in all it's varied forms) has contributed to our understanding of history . Isn't that wonderful??!

  Even  the horses were bedecked in beaded finery,
and simple deer skins were adorned with a woman's artistic touch.
 This is the Museum of Natural History in Denver, Colorado. It really is one of the BEST museums in the country. I spent many 
hours here, transfixed, as a child. We lived only blocks away and the Museum was FREE back in those days.

 Our family took countless pictures standing in front of this bear throughout the years,
but this is the most recent.
James and  I came to this state to visit my mother, who is 86 years old. I had  not visited the state in 15 years. Usually, we send my mom a plane ticket to visit us.
 I was born in upstate New York. My family came from a long line of Yankees dating back over 350 years in New York and Connecticut. Before WWII, my dad joined the Air force and took his training In Colorado Springs. Twelve years after the war, he moved his family"OUT WEST", where we 4 children became little pioneers.
I first saw this rock formation when I was around 6 yrs. old. Rocks don't change much in the course of ones life. This place is just as I remember it.
It is named " The Garden of the Gods"
As a young girl with a vivid imagination, I could "see" the buffalo grazing here, and the Indians padding in soft moccasins over sandstone paths with their  babies trundled upon their backs.
    We visited an old mountain town where gold was discovered in the 1850's, and fortunes came and went, and where,even now, you can almost hear the faint tinkle and splash of the miner with his little tin "plate" of water and sand, patiently or foolishly, panning for HIS fortune.
The name of this town is CENTRAL CITY,
built by GOLD.... and then Silver.
Still as charming a mountain town as you will ever experience.
 with some of the most fabulous stone walls I have ever seen,
(and you KNOW how I feel about stone walls.)
These walls are everywhere, of course, stone is easy to come by in the Rocky Mountains.
The Opera still comes to town several times a year, as it has for over a century.
Look at the gorgeous stairway and balusters surrounding  the Opera House.
 Notice the dead tree trunk being put to use as a planter. Some of you know that I have  the remains of a 200 yr old maple, still lying beside my drive way. You can just guess what that will become next Spring!
 This is a courtyard outside the Opera House. I am enamoured with the stairway and walked all the way to the top with my bad knee.


Here, I found Hardy Geraniums growing with gusto and Russian sage that was full and wide, and I realized why I can't seem to grow them in Tennessee. Apparently, they like the dry climate and high altitude of this PIONEER land.

  This old Hotel has been meticulously restored to it's original beauty and Victorian abundance.
Not exactly my taste in furnishings... I am just a simple gal.
  President Grant slept in this room... and he must have been very short, for the bed certainly was.
 And you can still see the beautiful, mysterious face which was painted on the Bar Room floor.
  Do you see her? Isn't she just lovely?!
 Of course, all gold rush towns had  bawdy houses, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS.
and Central City was no exception.
On the outskirts of town...
 where Aspens quiver and shake...
are scattered, hither and yon, in a rather haphazard manner, countless gravestones.
It is as if the bereaved were looking for just the right spot, under just the right tree or patch of sage,  to rest the young child who's brief life ended  so suddenly.
Or the widow of a Cornish Miner who imagined a bit of England in the rocky mountain earth just beneath a Cedar tree.  (Many of the miners in this cemetery came from Cornwall England after working the Tin mines)
.Whatever the reasons, the graves are dispersed unevenly neath the wide western sky, and have become a part of this towns history....
 along with the abandoned mines.
Sometimes, you experience a place where time seems to have stood still, this is just such a place.
It makes me want to watch "Lonesome Dove" again. 
 I walked  these paths of my childhood with James, my sister and My sweet mother, who was so happy to have us with her for a short time. It is from my mom that I acquired my love of history and antiques. She was the lady who's brakes screeched to a halt at any sign reading "ANTIQUES".
Her house is a treasure trove of books and antiques,
  from years of collecting.
I knew she would insist on sending me home with a part of her vast collection and I was able to fit some small items in the suitcase,
such as this  dolls picnic tea set, sweet!
And this simple doll house. 
 I always loved this cardboard doll house. It isn't terribly old, maybe the 1930's or so. It looks good atop my little green cupboard. 
   She also gave me this collection of Edgar Allen Poe, circa 1903. The books are the size of my hand, and fit neatly in my suitcase. 
 It was so good to see my sister, niece and great nieces...
and my brother, (who is camera shy).

I moved away from Colorado 22 years ago, when I discovered the beauty of East Tennessee. Now, I am not a Yankee, or a Pioneer, I am a Southerner... (although my neighbors STILL call me a Yankee). Actually, I am, simply, an American.
 Every place has it's own unique beauty, and I am glad I grew up amidst the majestic Rockies in a land of wide, blue sky, but now, I love the lush and quiet green of the Tennessee hillsides and Hollows and will never leave my Southern home-sweet-home. That is, unless someone bequeaths to me a castle in Scotland or a thatched cottage in England.
It was nice to revisit my childhood home, but... 
I am glad to be back. 
MY animal friends missed me!
    And they all got animals crackers and pears as soon as we got home!


  1. lovely travel log. my hubby is from CO. and the Denver NHM has been a wonderful place to visit forever. Love CO and also love TN where my Mom was from.
    It's always nice to come home no matter where that is.

  2. What a beautiful and intersting place you lived in. Love the pics of you with James and your family.

    Enjoy being back home. I'm sure your critters were glad to see you.

    Hugs ~ FlowerLady

  3. What a wonderful visit with your family you have been kind enough to share, it looks like you had a grand time !
    We lived in Colorado Springs when my husband was in the army, stationed at Fort Carson, and each weekend we would pack a picnic lunch and spend the days amongst those incredible rocks in Garden of the Gods, such beauty...
    My favorite town was Manitou Springs, a mere few miles up the road. A town filled with artists and craftsmen, antiques and American Indian artifacts, a th mystery and magic.
    You pictures exude the history of the region, all so very wonderful.
    Yes, glad to be home...I always feel the same :)
    Thank you for sharing your trip with us !

  4. Hi Jeri,
    Welcome home! It looks like you had a wonderful visit with your family, especially your mother..
    Thank you for taking me along on your journey home.
    Beautiful photos..
    I am sure the critters have missed you also!

  5. How wonderful to get to view your trip and read about your memories! So many details you shared! I, too, love stone walls. And that hotel! Wow. It is sad to see the markers of children who died young, and the older ones too. Glad you enjoyed your trip. My mom (I told her about your blog, by the way) is always sharing treasures too.


  6. What great pictures and such a wonderful visit.
    I love the west,but enjoy Michigan more.
    When my hubby retired from the Air Force in 84 this is where we stayed.
    No matter where we travel(seldom) anymore,there's no place like home!
    Happy you had a good time.

  7. Thank you Jeri for this travel in your youth city and this visit to your family. Very beautiful place !
    The return toward your wonderful animals is hapiness also.
    Nice sunday !

  8. Jeri, what a great trip that was so full of memories, history and of course fun too!! Your post reminds me of why I love the west and how precious memories are!

    Welcome back!! :-)

  9. What a great time you, hubby, and family must have had!

    I don't think I've ever been to Central Colo. We will have to check it out next time we go.

    I love the treasures you got from your Mother!

  10. Hello dear friend,
    It is just so nice to have you home. Thank you for your visit.. Oh my! I think Dimity would look fabulous in an aviator outfit! I would really love to see this..
    Thanks so much for coming over.
    Bebe and I thank you!

  11. The Garden of the Gods was a favorite on our visit to Colorado a few years back. And the petrified forest nearby was amazing.

    But as nice as it is to visit, coming home to your animals and garden is even better.

    Your mom is lovely BTW--you've got good genes there!

  12. Welcome home. Its nice of you to pay tribute to your heritage and all. Nothing is better than home.
    retirement planner

  13. Jeri dear, I have MISSED YOU SO!!!

    I was thrilled to see you had stopped by yesterday, but was unable to visit until now. I WOULD GIVE ANYTHING to go back to where I grew up. I grew up in Los Angeles, and I have so many fond memories. However, when I take walks here on a sunny day, I am quickly transported to my childhood stomping grounds for L.A. in its early days, was a beautiful city studded with fine homes. Here in Minneapolis, there are so many styles of architecture, but mainly the European tudor and Spanish stucco homes that graced the streets of my neighborhood. It is good to see your beautiful face, your travels, and to see that the critters have welcomed you with open...with open....wings? PAWS? HOOVES???? PEARS AND OTHER GOODIES, OH YUM!!! LOVE TO YOU DEAR ARTIST! And isn't Penny's latest creation just the cutest? Anita

  14. The Museum of History looks like such a great spot to visit. I would love to see it one day. It is always good to go back home and see those spots of our childhood. All those wonderful feelings and memories come flooding in.What a beautiful place to have grown up with all of its beauty and history.

  15. Dear Cousin Jeri,

    How interesting to see the artifacts! We really like the dresses, boots, and baby carrier! How nice it was for you to see your family in the place that you grew up! The stone walls are beautiful! The love of history and old things certainly does run deep in the Starr family! Love your picnic set and cardboard brick house, and your little Poe books!

    We know what you mean about a castle in Scotland or a cottage in England!

    Your cousins,
    Diane and daughter Sarah at the Corgyncombe Courant

  16. What a wonderful trip Jeri. I have been to that museum and loved it. What an incredible beaded indian horse hood. Like you, I am glad to hurry back home to my animals. I can be in Paris or Rome, counting the days in the back of my mind till I am home.

  17. Thanks for sharing! We love to visit the Springs every other year. It's our favorite place to vacation. I love the Smokies also. So glad you got to see your mom. Have a great day! Carol

  18. Dear Jeri,

    What a lot of fun you had! I loved seeing your family in your old stomping grounds (did you ever stomp there?).

    We were just in Colorado in July, and wished we'd had more time to sight-see, but had to drive from Longmont to Kansas City in one day! We did see lots of prairie dogs and burrowing owls along the way, and a coyote, but what you shared looks much more fun. :)

    Your mother is so sweet to share her treasures with you; I'm sure you will treasure them always!



    p.s. There's no place like home!

  19. Hi Jeri ~
    How our lives intertwine...We lived
    in New England, lived in Cherry Hills village outside of Denver and
    now share with you and James the
    fair State of TN..each of us taking her own particular vision of experiences. Thank you for renewing
    my awe of the Garden of the Gods and the fun of Central City. How
    happy you and your Family look...
    good for the soul....and your Mom
    is so lovely. Thank you for sharing this joyous journey...and
    welcome home to the Hollow.

  20. Jeri, I really enjoyed your tour of Colorado. I've only been once--in 1968--and would love to go back, but I can see how you'd love East Tennessee, too. You've made a lovely home there.

  21. ah Garden of the Gods! I was about 8 ( many years ago) when I went on a horseback trail ride through there. It was a memory of my life...what a place!


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