Land of Mint Juleps and Iced Tea on the Veranda?

_MG_8581Ah, the south! The land of cotton, beaches, gators, swamps, mosquitoes and “snow-birds” from the northern part of the country. Why do the “snow-birds” come south for the summer? Is it because they have some Canadian goose DNA mixed in with their genetic make-up? Nah, I don’t think so. They come south for the warmth and southern cookin’ and hospitality!

When you think of the south, you may think of plantations and movies like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil where the heat is sweltering and the accents are thick.  You picture folks in white suits and flower-print dresses sitting on the veranda sipping a mint julep or iced tea, right?

Yeah, sure.  I used to think that, too. Today’s photo, taking just Wednesday, is of one of the two small man-made lakes just down the hill from where our RV is parked. It shows that there probably was no one sitting on the veranda anywhere in Georgia this week!

Thank goodness, the cold has gone!  Now, we’re headed for rain. I can handle that. I even enjoy sleeping at night when the rain is beating a tattoo on the roof. If you’re still in the grips of the cold and winter storms, my heart goes out to you. Hang in there! Spring will come to Narnia!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: on this day in 1965 (can we possibly be that old!?), the James Bond movie “Goldfinger,” which featured the suave British super-spy driving an Aston Martin Silver Birch DB5 sports car, opened in theaters across the U.S. Aston Martins would go on to appear in a number of other Bond films.

Aston Martin’s roots date back to 1913, when Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin formed a company in London to sell Singer cars. The following year, the men changed the name of their business to Aston Martin (in honor of Lionel Martin’s successful performances at hill climb races at Aston Clinton in Buckinghamshire, England) and eventually began producing their own high-quality sports cars. By the 1920s, Aston Martin cars were racing in international competitions, including the French Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 1947, British industrialist David Brown bought Aston Martin and the next year launched the DB1 (the name comes from his initials). In 1959, an Aston Martin DBR1 took first place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans; the company also won the World Sports Car Championship that year.

In 1987, Ford took a 75 percent stake in Aston Martin, which by then had gone through several owners; Ford assumed full ownership in 1994. In 2007, Ford sold Aston Martin to a group of investors for a reported $925 million. At the time, Aston Martin made around 5,000 cars per year, each carrying a price tag of more than $100,000.

The DB5 went into production in 1963 and the elegant coupe was featured in “Goldfinger,” which debuted in Great Britain in 1964. The DB5 also appeared in such movies as “Thunderball” and “GoldenEye.” “Die Another Day,” which premiered in 2002 and starred Pierce Brosnan, featured an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish. In 2006, “Casino Royale,” starring Daniel Craig, featured an Aston Martin DBS. The car appeared again in “Skyfall”…but was destroyed.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  The names of the horses ridden at the Battle of Waterloo by Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington were Marengo (a white stallion), and a chestnut, Copenhagen. Both men named their mounts after famous battle sites where they had been victorious.

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