Thursday, November 12, 2020

Fall colors in Centennial Park, Nashville ...and more


Last week-end I drove back from Georgia to Tennessee.  After my two round-trips to Georgia to vote (1000 total miles) I was quite tired, physically and mentally.  Trying to vote was stressful and watching the results even more so.  Last Monday, November 9, 2020, it was sunny and warm in Nashville with a temperature of 83 F (28.3 C.) so I decided to take a walk in the park close to my house instead of unloading the bags I had brought back.  I had visited Centennial Park last spring and wrote about it on my post "Spring 2020...simple pleasures."  Spring photos and vintage postcards were included in that post.

Above is a photo of the Parthenon.  It is located in the center of Nashville Centennial Park and was built in late 19th century for the 1897 Centennial Exposition.  A number of elaborate but temporary structures, including the Parthenon, were built for the enjoyment of the 1.8 million visitors to the Exposition.  Historians preserved the Parthenon because it was the only perfect replica of the original in Greece.  It is not made of marble but of plaster imitating the materials used in Athens.  An 1897 calendar was published showing a different exposition building each month.  (Click on collage to enlarge.)

Lake Watauga fronts the Parthenon.  It was named in honor of the first Tennessee settlers who were known as the Watauga or Cumberland settlers.  At the bottom right of the collage above, the month of August shows a picture of a replica of Venice's Rialto Bridge.  During the celebrations, gondolas were a feature with native gondoliers from Venice, Italy.  Below is an information panel in the park and a postcard circa 1907.

The center calendar page, above, for the month of April, featured the Woman's Building at the exposition.  It was designed by Mrs. Sarah Ward-Conley.  The mission of the building was to promote higher education and to enlarge the sphere of woman's activity and influence.  The interior rooms, decorated by Tennessee women from many parts of the state, showed different time periods.  The rooms were in inviting colors, Tiffany stained glass, mural decorations, elegant furnishing, fresh flowers, silk draperies and a library made of black walnut.  There was a log cabin in the back and a modern kitchen in the front of the building to show the progression of women labor.  Feminist events were scheduled there such as a Business Women's Day, Suffrage Convocation, Women's Press Day and more to show the new roles of women in society.  Below are the Woman's Building, interior rooms and the library (courtesy Tennessee Archives.)

In May of 1914, 1915 and 1916 supporters of women's suffrage paraded from downtown Nashville to Centennial Park on foot, cars, buggies and on horseback.  Speeches were given on the steps of the Parthenon.  Participants were encouraged to wear white cotton garments.  In 1920, Tennessee was the last state of the then 48 states in the union to vote on the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.  There was intense pro- and anti- suffrage activity in Nashville.  On August 18, 1920, there was a showdown in the Tennessee General Assembly and the 19th Amendment was ratified by a single legislator yes vote.  Young legislator Harry T. Burn changed his vote in support of the ratification to break a tie in the TN House of Representatives (he had received a note of encouragement from his mama) - just one vote.  This year, on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the !9th Amendment, on August 18, 2020, the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument was unveiled in its permanent spot next to the Parthenon.  It has been sculpted by renowned Nashville artist Alan LeQuire and it features five women who were actually in Nashville during the ratification effort.  Below are Tennessee suffragettes marching in May 1916, the day of the ratification in Nashville and the new monument in Centennial Park.

As I was walking on the pathways in the park I was thinking about those women walking on those same paths a hundred years ago, anxious to have the right to vote and see changes for the better, maybe.  Now, a hundred years later in 2020 we finally have a female vice president-elect (after 48 male vice presidents...)

Of course President Trump does not want to concede, but he has lost the vote.  His spineless acolytes in his administration and the Senate enable his temper tantrums and his unfounded declaration of voter frauds.  But European leaders, such as France, the UK, Spain, Germany, Ireland, etc. have already sent congratulations to President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

So far in addition to 40 countries in Europe, leaders from 48 countries in Africa, 31 countries in Asia (including Israel) 6 in Central America, 14 countries in North America (including Canada and the Caribbean) 5 in Oceania, 11 in South America have been trying to convey their congratulations to the new incoming administration.

Unfortunately, the current administration has been blocking these good wishes to reach the President-elect.  It is typical of the vindictiveness of the White House and was to be expected.  Mr. Trump needs to accept his loss with grace and dignity.

With many family members and friends in other countries I like to read the foreign press, in English and French.  I find that they are up to date, are not hindered with right-wing and left-wing lobbyists and are usually neutral and accurate with no vested interest.  For example I read in the Indian press that the Dalai Lama wrote to President-elect Joe Biden "I hope you will be able to contribute to shaping a more peaceful world in which people suffering poverty and injustice find relief.  The need to address these issues, as well as climate change, is indeed pressing."

In a Dutch newspaper I saw that Prime Minister Mark Rutte had issued his congratulation on November 7th - "On behalf of the Dutch cabinet I would like to congratulate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris with their election victory after a close race.  I am looking forward to continue the strong bond between our countries, and hope to speak with them about these matters soon."  The Netherlands usually does not make much comment on US politics so I was surprised to read Trade Minister Sigrid Kaag's remarks: "At long last.  Values matter, integrity matters.  Leadership matters.  The country can start its healing process into its future."

Switzerland, another country that usually is neutral and does not comment much on the US, had the Editor of the Neue Zurcher Zeitung saying: "The win shows that the majority of Americans are fed up with the lies and chaos in the White House."  She added that it will take years to clean up the heap of rubble caused by Donald Trump, and address the damage he has done to the reputation of the US with his authoritarianism and demagoguery.  In another Swiss newspaper, Le Temps, Valerie de Graffenried wrote that by seeking to discredit the electoral process, the outgoing president once again demonstrated his contempt for democratic institutions.

The people of the world were reacting as if the US had overthrown a dictator, and that America's reputation had been saved and democracy was back.  Here in the US, large city streets saw people dancing with enthusiasm (photos below courtesy the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)  Donald Trump had insulted allies like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling him "very dishonest," French President Emmanuel Macron as "foolish," saying after a call with then-Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull "it was the worst call by far" and calling Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen "nasty" when she rejected his idea of buying Greenland.  These leaders are not going to forget these affronts soon, I bet and now they can in turn say what they think.

Walking in scenic Centennial Park in autumn over sweet-musky and earthy smelling leaves was soothing after the election results brouhaha.  It was quite warm and some people were on the grass catching the sun.

Turtles were relaxing in the sun, as well.

As I was leaving a small wedding party was coming toward me on the pathway with two little girl attendants behind.

The park was not crowded and I had found empty benches and chairs to rest and even a swing.  When the virus has been contained I'll have to return and visit the interior museum in the Parthenon.  I resumed my stroll toward the car.  I had enjoyed the tranquility and peace in this park oasis.

Giving a last glimpse toward the Parthenon I wished I had been there a hundred years ago, rallying with the suffragettes on it steps and listening to their ardent speeches against misogyny and for justice and equality.  (However, the fight is not over yet - Saudi Arabian women still don't have the right to vote.)  Below, a picture of my grandmother with her suffragette group in Paris, France (she is in the second row, center, with a feather on her hat.)

The Parthenon steps are silent now but here are some of the suffragette's words to enjoy -

"Someone struggled for your right to vote. Use it."    and   "I always distrust people who know so much about what God wants them to do to their fellows."   - Susan B. Anthony, 1820-1906, American activist and pioneer crusader for women's suffrage movement.

"The best protection any woman can have ... courage." - Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1840-1887, American author, lecturer and leader in the woman's right movement.




Elephant's Child said...

Of course you were tired, physically, mentally, emotionally.
I am so glad that you had this beautiful place to provide solace and heartbalm - and very grateful that you shared it with us.
Graciousness seems to be beyond President Trump. I am so very glad that he was voted out, and hope for calm and decency to return.

Cloudia said...

gosh what a comprehensive post!

Christine said...

Beautiful post again, thank you. This autumn is full of memories for me also. I have become a widow and am slowly going through my husband's life..... I only have one house to clear and make my own.
Take care on your travels, stay safe and, please, keep sharing xx

Jeanie said...

The colors here are so beautiful. Healing after all that. How exhausting. I loved the history you shared -- I didn't know much about the exhibition. And as you know, I'm so on the page with you about this transition. It will happen. I don't envy our president-elects situation when he enters office but he will do well, I think. If we let him.

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Vagabonde,
You stay anonymous for a reason... so you can throw with mud as you please. All a bit prematurely as there are no results YET.
Please do brush up your knowledge of history a bit better. Talking about the Women's suffrage, you omit one crucial point.
Aug 18, 2020 On Tuesday, President Donald Trump pardoned the defiant suffragist on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote. Anthony died before the amendment was ... Nearly 150 years ago, Susan B. Anthony was arrested for voting when women weren't allowed to. Today, she'll get a pardon.
THAT was a glorious day for the women's suffrage! FINALLY:
You don't seem to read enough and maybe your language skills are limiting your access to some good journalism. As for me myself, I can follow and educate myself in seven languages; that is often very helpful for getting an unbiased opinion about certain things.
Your photos are great, wonderful historic region.

Thérèse said...

Bon je reviendrai lire tout cela. J'avoue n'avoir regardé que les photos qui remontent le moral car ici nous sommes un peu coincés physiquement ne pouvant circuler que sur un périmètre de 1km. Les Toulousains ne sont pas obéissants et bien sûr le Covid s'étend. Bon ce n'est pas le moment d'être négatif, je suis heureusement positive et trouve toujours quelque chose à faire d'utile. Seuls les contacts autrement que par internet, par courrier et par téléphones sont possibles. Nous sommes chanceux personnellement d'avoir un toit et à manger... Nos enfants me manquent le plus, ils sont tous les trois aux US dans trois états différents, ils ne peuvent même pas se réunir...

DJan said...

What a beautiful and uplifting post you have written, VB. As always, it is well researched and filled with many things to raise the level of discourse in our fractured country. I am sorry that some people seem to think that somehow the results of the election are not crystal clear. I cannot believe how much the current occupant of our presidency has damaged our reputation through the entire world. I pray that Joe Biden will be given the Senate and will begin to heal our country on Day One. Many virtual hugs and gratitude for another healing post. I cried when I read what the Dalai Lama said to Biden.

DUTA said...

Sometimes an imitation(the Parthenon) looks better than the original (the one in Greece).
Kamala Harris' success in the elections bring great pride and hope to women everywhere.
You've done a great job browsing all those foreign newspapers to learn about the reactions in the world to the outcome of the elections in America.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Like all your posts, I loved it. Your photography gave me a peaceful and joyful feeling and your words echoed my own. Last Saturday was a good day for America and a remarkable, history making day for women. We are only inches away from breaking that glass ceiling.

David said...

Hi Vagabonde, Well written post indeed. I didn't know anything about the 1897 Centennial Exposition in Nashville. That many attendees in that era was a major accomplishment. Since Harry T. Burn was from East Tennessee where we live, we are very aware of him and his mama's letter. What a good boy! He was accused of bribery afterwards but managed to be re-elected to the TN House of Representatives. Having relatives in Scotland and having visited Ireland during President Trump's time in office, I can verify that we didn't meet anyone who had positive things to say about him. Of course many Americans don't really care what the rest of the world thinks...and some barely know that other places exist. The President will be gone in January and then we'll see what happens to the many issues confronting the USA and the rest of the world too. Neither political party has addressed the anchor which will drag America down at some point. Stay Safe and Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Ginnie said...

I had no clue there was such a place as Nashville Centennial Park with all those incredible replications, Vagabonde. WOW. What a place to visit! As for everything else elated to our election, 306 says it all (the same number of electoral votes tRump won in 2016, calling them a landslide victory). He will NOT go quietly into the night, of course, because he knows he has much to lose the minute he is no longer President. It can't come soon enough! In the meantime, Biden will continue to rise above the fray, no matter what. It's who he is and we need him now more than ever. THIS was/is his time.

livininlb said...

One brief comment to Mariette - your comment from Nov 13 confuses me. What results are not in yet? For Trump to say there is still a chance that he is actually the one who was elected president for 2021 is preposterous. Every other Republican that had the majority of votes has declared themself the winner without waiting for “certified” results. Just as Trump did in 2016. If there were all of these fake ballots, then how could Republicans be sure of ANY results? Yet, even Ivanka congratulated Alaska recently without “certified” results. Trump showed yesterday that he is playing a farcical game with the public as he caught himself as he started to say “the next administration”. I live and voted in Allegheny County, PA. Our REPUBLICAN legislators ruled that mail-in votes could not be counted until the day after the election. Since many Republicans I know out here actually believe that COVID 19 is a hoax, they voted in person. Most Democrats voted mail-in. So OF COURSE, there were more votes for Trump on Election Day. One could even wonder if this was all set up to be able to question later so that people not from here could believe the conspiracy theory that our election was fraudulent. Trump has told so many, easy-to-verify lies that I can’t understand how so many people (almost half of the US) blindly believes him. He lies about things that one can watch video of him saying!

With all of that being said, of course he has done some good things in his Presidency. But for most of us, although we would agree that he has done some good things, the bad far outweighs the good. And to suggest that Vagabonde doesn’t understand or doesn’t read enough because her language skills are limited is petty and mean. I can tell you that she has much, much better grammar that the majority of the people who live near me.

Yes, Vagabonde did not mention Trump’s posthumous pardon but she also didn’t mention all the crimes that are being looked into that he will be tried for when he no longer has immunity as President. Or the questionable pardons that he has given. Or that he has been inquiring if he can pardon himself and his family, for future crimes as well. So to give her grief for leaving one thing out is again petty. It’s great of you to add it so people are informed but your personal attacks makes you seem quite malicious.

Be better.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

We would all be better served by reading the foreign press and getting a balanced view of the news. So many people, it seems to me are, limited by the fact that they have never travelled the world to see the country from another's perspective and their insularity hems them in. They also form opinions of "the other" without ever having immersed themselves in a culture other than their own. As for those who obtain their news only from Fox News, I despair for them. Thank goodness Trump was defeated - soundly and resolutely defeated. Perhaps some semblance of normalcy can return.

bill burke said...

What a wonderful post, Vagabonde. Beautiful photos and excellent narrative. The world will be a much nicer place with Trump out of the WH. He has no class to concede and be gracious.
Take care, stay safe and have a great day!

Arkansas Patti said...

Your thousand mile trip to vote shows how seriously you take the right that was relentlessly fought for 100 years ago.
Thanks to Georgia and all the rest who put Biden over the top by a good margin, we can all--world wide--breathe easier.
Now if we can just get through these next 2 months and let the repairs begin.

Arti said...

Thanks for doing all the reading of foreign press congratulating the new President elect and the VP. As for me at home, my husband likes to keep updated with news from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China. The world can see, unfortunately, many Americans can't. Same with mask-wearing and fighting Covid. Utterly tragic. Anyway, I'm glad you're enjoying warm weather still. We live in different worlds. We had snow in early October. It's warmer now but still chilly, around 32F. Keep well, VB!

Glenda Beall said...

I echo most of your comments here. Thanks so much for the quotes from foreign media and leaders. I, too, hope that we can change the reputation this man has given to our country.
Love your photographs as usual. You make me want to visit Nashville. Maybe one day.
Please rest and take care of yourself. Several of my friends are failing right now and I worry about them. This year has been so hard on all of us.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

The Dalai Lama said it so well. Wonderful fall colors and beautiful photos!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Thank you for sharing the thoughts from leaders abroad. I feel a sigh of relief. I will feel even more happiness when #45 has vacated the building.

Buttercup said...

Thanks so much for voting in Georgia. We truly learned that every vote counts. I've been using my Atlanta mug in homage to my Georgia friends. Love your post, especially all the pictures of the Parthenon and your grandmother and her friends. We owe her so much.

Goldendaze-Ginnie said... give a lot of info. Thanks. Also thanks for commenting on my blog and giving me more information about India and their grown (not built) bridges.
I also liked very much what you shared about the plight of the nation as it relates to Trump and your photos were lovely.

Nadezda said...

It's amazing that you know about your grandmother's ideas.The very old and valuable photo, Vagabonde. I have read the news about US election, and can say it was the people's decision. Lovely pictures of autumnal Centennial park, trees look like decoration in the Theater of Nature.
Take care, dear.

Linda P said...

As usual an informative blog post and the inclusion of wonderful photos of the historic park is appreciated. You made a great effort regarding your vote for which respect is due. Take care of yourself dear Vagabonde.

claude said...

Hello Vagabonde !
Magnifique publication, comme toujours ! Super bien documenté en explications et en documents et photos.
J' au suivi les élections américaines et ai été contente que l'autre dingue de Maison Blanche ait perdu. C'est un grand malade cet homme là et dans mon entourage, personne ne croit qu'il a eu la covid. J'ai vu Barack Obama hier soir à la sortie concernant la sortie de son livre. J'ai aimé sa façon de soutenir Joe Biden.
Merci de ta visite chez moi.
Je t'embrasse

Bonnie said...

Hello, I just discovered your blog after you commented on mine (thank you for visiting!). I very much enjoyed this post. My older brother lived in Nashville for many years and when we visited him he took us to many wonderful areas in the city including the Parthenon and Centennial Park. He no longer lives there though as he moved to Costa Rica to enjoy his retirement.

You have so much interesting information here. I enjoyed reading about the women's suffrage movement in Nashville. It was also very nice to see the picture of your Grandmother in Paris. That is really a historical picture!

Kay said...

You write the MOST amazing posts. Thank you for your hard work! And you have the Parthenon in Tennessee? Wow! I had no idea. It would be so much fun to see. I'm so glad Harry T. Burn listened to his mama! It took so much effort for such a long, long time that ALL women should vote as soon as they're able if they want to preserve their hard fought for rights.

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