natural bridge
Natural Bridge Virginia  (Photo credit: periwinkled)

Pretty soon, many friends will begin setting goals for 2014.  Some will post stories of their wins and losses.  Others will swear the whole endeavor is ridiculous. My thoughts on the subject, like my politics are somewhere in the middle.

I had a few ideas concerning worthy goals for 2013, one of them books I would read during the year. I set a foolishly high goal, and have been revising it down all year.  I am two books shy of my current goal. Will I make it?  I have no idea.  I have three books underway. One of them on Byzantium (Margins and Metropolis) by Judith Herrin a professor of history, is a hard slog. I am about 20% through the book with two weeks left in the year.


This morning as I read my book on Byzantium and drank my third cup of coffee, I covered much detail about the ecclesiastical leaders who provided the glue for this empire which lasted a thousand years. The most noteworthy fact for the lay person concerning this chapter is that these religious leaders carved their names and dates in the Parthenon columns.

Lord Byron's name carved into a column.

Lord Byron’s name carved into a column at Chilion Switzerland  (Photo: Schmidley 1999)

This factoid got me to thinking about the places people have carved their signs and symbols over the millennia beginning with petroglyphs in the Outback of Australia and Arizona, the Sphinx in Egypt (Napoleon’s soldiers), and the columns inside the castle at Chilion in Switzerland.


Behold, this morning the Post contains a story about Natural Bridge Virginia, where many folks, including a young surveyor name Washington, carved their names in the soft limestone.  A local group recently purchased this natural formation from its owner, a DC developer.  For the first time, it will be held in public hands, where the Post speculates it may become a State or national park.

Several years ago, I visited Natural Bridge to attend a Commonwealth Al-Anon convention with a group of my friends.  We were housed in a downscale motel wedged into the side of a mountain, and each room had a small balcony where we could view the mountain by day and the stars at night. We were mostly women who knew each other, so we could talk with our next-door neighbor while she stood on her balcony or her neighbor.  (David swears I was with him, but I thought I was with my fiend Liz.)

Photo of Kate Smith and Ted Collins from the t...

Photo of Kate Smith and Ted Collins from the television program The Kate Smith Show. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The weekend we had our convention at Natural Bridge, the singer Kate Smith died. Kate’s theme song was ‘When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain.’ And that night the biggest harvest or blood moon I have ever seen came over the mountain. It was incredible.  We shouted to each other “come out on your balcony and look at the moon.”  I truly don’t know that mystical night why the moon was so big, but it must have had something to do with Kate’s passing.


12 thoughts on “Autographed

  1. I guess people throughout millennia have had the compulsion to carve their names at historic places. I remember some cave we went to visit and the park ranger pointed out graffiti that was written over a hundred years ago.

    Whenever I think about Kate Smith, I can hear her God Bless America.


  2. +
    Saw the bridge the summer I was fourteen a life time ago. When I lived in Stone Mt. as a child ,the Mt. was still owned by a family not the State of Ga. but they didn’t care if people climbed the Mt.. I remember seeing writing on the Mt. it was too hard to crave anything it being granite , but people would write their names in paint .


  3. I have been there a few times and noticed the engraving by Washington. I always wondered if it was for real or just a “come on” for gullible tourists. It’s still fun to think about him being there though.


  4. I’m too busy collapsing at the list of things to do before Christmas to think about any new year goals. Better give it some thought soon. Blessings from Dalamory


  5. Did you carve your name in the tree at the top? LOL
    I never did that, and perhaps I will be forgotten iif I don’t.

    Swimming. I’m there 5 days a week today under really black skies and light sprinkles. Yesterday I walked over enthusiastically for half an hour. Hurt all day. Today I took it easier. Do I think I can leap back to where I was before the hip tried to wear out?


  6. Wow, what a coincidence on the blood moon and Kate’s death. Has to mean something!

    Your posts always get me to thinking. I like that. Not sure I will be making any lofty goals for 2014. Last year I chose a word for the year (peace) and then pretty much forgot about it. Hope you finish your book since you are so close to meeting your goal.


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