On 29 Oct 2015, the Montclair Community Library in Prince William County held a ribbon cutting ceremony. The community has waited for this library to be completed since the early 1990s! Following is a picture of the new library.
Montclair Public Library Ribbon Cutting Ceremony – 29 Oct 2015
There is a story that goes along with this recipe. When my husband was a child at Grandma Flagella’s house, she would make NICKs. It was only years later we learned the ordinary name, Pizzelle. Grandpa’s brother Nick made two Pizzelle irons, one for his wife and one for our Grandma which had the name NICK built into the iron. The iron was black and heavy with two long arms, you made one NICK at a time, putting the iron on an open gas burner on the stove, then flipping it over to cook the other side. Grandma would do a few then order her grandchildren into a line, and we would take turns like at a playground slide doing one or two cookies then running to the back of the line. No one could eat a NICK until a large bowl was full, and Grandma bought the bowl to my Grandpa bowing down as she offered the cookies to him. He always refused with a loud “NO!” turning his torso away with his arms folded. Grandma flashed a mischievous smile, then we could dive in. I asked my mother the story about grandma’s grin. But that’s enough for now. Eat your NICKs!
As you know, I live near Washington D.C. which is full of history! I recently discovered a historic site in my local area that I think is worth a post, the Contrabands and Freedman Cemetery Memorial in Alexandria, VA.
During the Civil War, there were many slaves that fled to Alexandria for freedom and a better way of life. There were so many freedmen (called contrabands) moving to this area because of the Union occupation, that it created a refugee crisis. Many arrived destitute, in ill-health, and hungry. Initially, the government placed the contraband in barracks, but disease ran rampant and many died.
In 1864, after hundreds had perished, the Superintendent of Contrabands ordered that a property on the southern edge of town, across from the Catholic cemetery, be confiscated for use as a cemetery.
In the first year, burials included those of black soldiers, but African-American troops recuperating in Alexandria’s hospitals demanded that blacks be given the honor of burial in the Soldiers’ Cemetery, now Alexandria National Cemetery. The soldiers’ graves were disinterred and moved to the military cemetery in January 1865. The last burial in Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery took place in January 1869. (Source: Contrabands and Freedmen Memorial)
When my mother Alice was growing up, wakes were actually held in the homes. When a family member died, the funeral home prepared the body, placed it in the casket, and delivered it to the home. During the wake, friends and family would come to pay their respects. The wake was a celebration of life with food and drink.
My mother remembers her great-grandmother (Laura Washington) and grandfather (Joseph Brown) having a wake held in their home. Based on the time of the funeral, the body would be delivered to the home the day before, and be available until an hour or two prior to the funeral which was held in the church.