May 6, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Today, my dad sent me a true treasure: a letter that my Aunt Dianne discovered, written by my great great grandfather, James Coil, in April 1865.
I didn’t know James existed. James was a Union soldier in the civil war. He talks of the battle at Richmond, VA, April 1865, when the Union re-took the capital of the Confederacy. Pretty important battle.
Here’s the text of his letter, misspellings and all:
Point of Rocks
April 7, 1865
Dear wife it is with mutch pleasure that i take my pencil in hand to let yo no that i am well at this time and hope that these few lines may find yo in good health i will tell yo that we have had a ruff time this week we have run the Rebbles all out of Ritchmond and it is ours
we took about 30.000 prisiners and old lee is in full retreat i will tell yo how i got along in the fite i wet into it on sunday about nine oclock and came out about ten but i was in it long enough to git a slite wound on the left arm just below the shoulder but it is only a slight flesh wound
i think that i am the luckeyest man out when i look about me and see the rest of the men some have a leg off some have an arm off some wounded one way and some another i just got enough to keep me out of the field until they drive old lee to hell or git him
now i must close i dont want yo to git uneasy about me for. i am all rite so i remain yours truly
James M Coil
to Catherine Coil
And here are the images of the original letter (clicking on it opens a gallery) :
Amazing. I know James Coil’s story – at least a piece of it – thanks to the internet.
But I have so many questions. Where did James and Catherine live? What was Catherine’s maiden name? What was their trade? Education? What were their accents like? He wrote the letter from Point of Rocks – which Wikipedia says was home to exiled Unionists from Loudoun County, VA – was that his home? And, of course, what did James and Catherine look like?
When my dad sent me this letter, it was truly a gift. And so I’m inspired to learn as much as I can about my family, living and dead, to expand on that gift and to someday teach my children about their ancestors.
All the Coils and Bonardis and Thomases and Jensens that came before me might not define who I am – but if their stories hadn’t happened in the exact manner that they did: I might not exist. I want to know those stories.
So I’m adding another point to my 101/1001 list:
29. Document my family history.
Family members, prepare to get yourselves INTERVIEWED.
May 16, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Today, I started actually doing something on my 101/1001 list: train for and run a 5k.
My trusty running shoes: I’ve worn this style since I was 16!
I can run a mile, no problem. I’ve run more than 10 5ks in my life. I could probably (maybe) run one without training. But I’m not sure. I thought I’d train for it just to be sure.
So I found this training schedule. But ugh, the first four weeks sounded wayy too easy. So I skipped to week 5:
I guess I knew that interval training was harder than just running outright. I knew it the way I knew the First Amendment in high school. I could talk about it, but I didn’t feel it in my bones. I now feel it in my bones that interval training is harder.
Y’all, that was the hardest 20-minute workout I’ve had in forever. Like, since my swim-a-mile-per-day era. Of course, I was way more in shape (and younger) back then.
This might be harder than I thought.
May 15, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I’m starting new adventures.
Check out my 101/1001 list. Do you have one? Gimmie the link in the comments. Have ideas for my list? Gimmie those, too.
Me (on the left), being adventurous in 2007. That’s the spirit, self.
May 8, 2012 § 7 Comments
May I direct your attention to the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment?
“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.“
Apparently the people of North Carolina forgot about the United States Constitution when voting on a State Constitutional Amendment.
Enter NC Amendment One.
It states that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.” Not just marriage. ALL legal domestic unions. Because gay marriage was already illegal in NC, so they had to twist the knife. ‘They’ being people I do not want to know.
Amendment One takes away health insurance from kids with unmarried parents. It takes away domestic union benefits. It guts domestic violence protection laws so that they only apply to married people. Not to mention providing a hostile and hateful environment.
In short, it’s awful.
BUT THERE IS STILL HOPE.
Remember Prop 8 in California? Overturned by Federal Judge Walker, who said proponents “failed to build a credible factual record to support their claim that Proposition 8 served a legitimate government interest” (source).
Maybe Amendment One doesn’t get overturned by a federal judge. Maybe it’ll make it to the Supreme Court. That’s cool too – precedents exist.
Loving v. Virginia, 1967
“Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State.” – Chief Justice Earl Warren of the United States Supreme Court, Loving v. Virginia, 1967 (source).
Replace ‘race’ with ‘sex’ – is that a stretch? No. No it’s not.
Obviously, the Loving v. Virginia case declared all state laws banning interracial marriage to be unconstitutional. It was a unanimous decision. North Carolina had one such law, actually, an amendment. Last time NC’s constitution tried to interfere in marriage, it didn’t work out so well.
Palmore v. Sidoti, 1983
This one deals with custody, which is an issue in Amendment One. Protect NC Families explains it better than I can.
Palmote v. Sidoti was a case between two divorced pople: Anthony and Linda Sidoti. Anthony sought custody of their daughter (which was initially awarded to Linda) because Linda moved in with Mr. Palmore, an African American man. Florida courts awarded Anthony custody, arguing that “the child would be more vulnerable to social stigmatization in a racially mixed household” (source). The Supreme Court overturned the decision, again, unanimously.
There are probably more. The point?
THIS IS NOT OVER. The battle is lost, but not the war.
Closing thoughts, courtesy of Thomas Jefferson:
This post is dedicated to Lewie Wells, my wonderful (gay) hairstylist who worked so hard to keep this amendment from passing.
February 8, 2012 § Leave a Comment
If you went to school somewhere other than Tobacco Road – do you have this much love for your alma mater? So much fiery despise for your rival? If not, you’re missing out. This love brings so much joy. This specific kind of hate is the only kind that brings happiness.
Today is the first game that matters in the 2012 basketball season.
Roy’s Boys, I believe in you.
February 2, 2012 § Leave a Comment
January 14, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I was talking to a professor before class the other day, and he found out I’m a Chapel Hill native and was immediately curious. As if UNC weren’t swarming with them. Anyway, the first thing he asked was “what’s your neighborhood?”
It got me thinking, though. Our little town really CAN be split into neighborhoods, and knowing which neighborhood someone is associated with immediately tells you quite a bit about them. My anthropology professor from junior year would call it urban knowledge. For instance:
- MLK (and you don’t call it Airport Rd): You’re most assuredly a student and won’t be here in two years.
- Briarcliff (the neighborhood I grew up in): You’re working class, humble, family-oriented, salt-of-the-earth. You’ve probably lived in the same house for 30 years.
- The Oaks: Daddy’s an executive at a fancy business and Mom’s the perfectly tanned and plucked lady with a 3-carat diamond and a mojito by the pool at the Chapel Hill Country Club. Incidentally, both my absolute favorite people AND my least favorite people growing up were from The Oaks.
- Carrboro (my current hood): You probably have brightly colored walls and a co-op number at Weaver Street. Let’s get a coffee at Open Eye and talk about our iPhones, yoga and dogs.
Y’all, I’ve lived in this little town for 22 years. I’ve lived (or spent significant amounts of time) in every neighborhood in Chapel Hill. It occurs to me that I should probably do a blog post highlighting each one for CH newbies, and I’ll do so later.
That’s the scariest part about moving away. I don’t know the nuances of Raleigh. I don’t know if I’ll love a neighborhood or feel out of place.
But think about it. If you, like me, have lived somewhere for a long period of time, can you identify the characteristics of the people in each area?
January 10, 2012 § 2 Comments
Let’s do some word association.
“Hey, I’m Taylor, and I’m 21.” 21. What do immediately think of? Alcohol. You think of alcohol.
“Hi, I’m Taylor, and I’m 22.” Now you’re thinking, finally! Not another bar-hopping 21-year-old vagrant, but a career-minded, entry level employee with a brand spankin’ new college degree! Join the army of 22-year-olds entering the workforce.
Yeah, 22 feels better than 21.
January 5, 2012 § 2 Comments
I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. I prefer to set monthly goals, which seem more attainable rather than year-long pipe dreams. Sure, some may be the same most months, but hey – one step at a time!
Here’s what I want to accomplish this month:
1. Finish (okay, start) the art project Sarah requested
2. Try at least two recipes out of my new Silver Spoon cookbook
3. Take down that dang Christmas tree
4. Not make a fool out of myself in front of Bek’s grandparents. They’re very traditional Uzbek and I don’t think they’ll be impressed by my American-ness, but I can try.
5. Try a restaurant in Raleigh that I’ve never been to and order something new to me
6. EAT THAI FOOD ohmygosh I have been craving it for months- anyone know of a good place in the area?
7. Do one major(ish) house thing (like fix and paint my nightstands – hey dad, can I borrow your drill?)
8. Lessen internet time (especially in the evenings)
9. Stay on top of client work
10. Do something special for Bek’s birthday (and mine too, dammit)
11. Spend less.
What are your goals this month?
December 9, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Happy almost weekend, everyone. Today I’m taking a final exam and sleeping. What about you?
Here are my crush-worthy finds this week!
Found Object 2010 Syrah, $8 at Trader Joe’s. It’s delicious. Go get it before it’s gone.
This (hilarious) grumpy owl. I imagine this is what Hermes (Percy Weasly’s owl) looks like.
How cute is this? It would be easy to DIY. Could say ‘Thank You’ as well.
My favorite winter candle- it’s making my apartment smell amazing.
Did you find anything crush-worthy this week?