Purple Haze

Double click for a larger version of the image
Double click for a larger version of the image

The last post I made was about a large, colored glass ball that was sitting outside of a store in a small Vermont town. Today’s photo is of one of the purple balls that sat beside the one in the photo on Tuesday.

I love purple. Isn’t it interesting how people have different favorite colors? Why do you suppose that is? I wonder if any studies have ever been done to see if there is any correlation between personality traits and a person’s favorite color?

Jimi Hendrix sang of a Purple Haze that was in his mind. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and is included on lists of the greatest guitar songs, including at number two byRolling Stone and number one by Q magazine. Whether or not Hendrix liked purple, I have no clue, but “Purple haze all around, don’t know if I’m coming up or down; Am I happy or in misery, whatever it is that girl put a spell on me” helped propel the song to greatness. Somehow, I suspect many of us guys feel that way about the girls that stole our hearts!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1864, Confederate spy Rose O’Neal Greenhow drowned off the North Carolina coast when a Yankee craft runs her ship aground. She was returning from a trip to England.

At the beginning of the war, Maryland native Rose O’Neal Greenhow lived in Washington, D.C., with her four children. Her deceased husband was wealthy and well connected in the capital, and Greenhow used her influence to aid the Southern cause. Working with Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Jordan, she established an elaborate spy network in Washington. The effectiveness of the operation was soon demonstrated when Greenhow received information concerning the movements of General Irvin McDowell’s army shortly before the First Battle of Bull Run in July 1861. A female courier carried messages from Greenhow to Confederate General Pierre G.T. Beauregard at his Fairfax, Virginia, headquarters. Beauregard later testified that because of the gained intelligence, he requested extra troops from General Joseph Johnston’s nearby command, helping the Confederates score a dramatic victory against the Yankees in the first major battle of the war. Confederate President Jefferson Davis sent Greenhow a letter of appreciation the day after the battle.

Federal authorities soon learned of the security leaks, and the trail led to Greenhow’s residence. She was placed under house arrest, and other suspected female spies were soon arrested and joined her there. The house, nicknamed “Fort Greenhow,” still managed to produce information for the Rebels. When her good friend, Massachusetts Senator Henry Wilson, visited Greenhow, he carelessly provided important intelligence that Greenhow slipped to her operatives. After five months, she and her youngest daughter, “Little Rose,” were transferred to the Old Capitol Prison in Washington. She was incarcerated until June 1862, when she went into exile in the South.

Greenhow and Little Rose spent the next two years in England. Greenhow penned a memoir titled My Imprisonment and traveled to England and France, drumming up support for the Southern cause. She then decided to return to the Confederacy to contribute more directly to the war effort. Greenhow and her daughter were on board the British blockade-runner Condor when it was intercepted by the U.S.S. Niphon off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The Yankee ship ran Condor aground near Forth Fischer. Greenhow was carrying Confederate dispatches and $2,000 in gold. Insisting that she be taken ashore, she boarded a small lifeboat that overturned in the rough surf. The weight of the gold pulled her under, and her body washed ashore the next morning. Greenhow was given a hero’s funeral and buried in Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington, North Carolina, her body wrapped in the Confederate flag.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: In 600 B.C., the Greek Aesop told a fable about a bat that borrowed money to start a business. The business failed and the bat had to hide during the day to avoid the people it owed money to. According to Aesop, that is why bats come out just at night.

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