This past weekend, my “Streetwalker” friends and I met for breakfast at The Hangar, which is the restaurant at the St. Petersburg, Florida, Airport. We dedicated our get-together to the memory of our friend Jackie Peterson, who passed away the beginning of this month after a long battle with cancer, and toasted her with orange juice and coffee. Joyce Wilson wasn’t able to join us, but she toasted Jackie from her home.
Members of “The Streetwalkers” walking group met for breakfast at The Hangar and toasted our friend Jackie Peterson.
I also went to the annual Art Festival Beth-El at Temple Beth-El in St. Pete, which was wonderful. It’s an invitational, judged, indoor exhibit and sale of original artwork, including paintings, photography, mixed media, glass, sculpture, metal, wood, ceramics, and jewelry.
I’ve just put the finishing touches on the painting that will be released as a giclée during my April Museum Open House and Barn Show. The painting depicts Bushong Farm, which is located in the Shenandoah Valley outside the village of New Market. Bushong Farm holds a sacred place in the hearts of many Virginians, as the famous Battle of New Market was fought around it during the War Between the States on May 15, 1864. I’ve featured Bushong Farm in two previous print editions, Summer at Bushong Farm and Valley Homestead, but we thought it would be nice to revisit it in conjunction with the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the war.
My latest painting of Bushong Farm will be released as a giclée during my Museum Open House and Barn Show, April 27-29. For more information or pre-orders, please contact the P. Buckley Moss Museum at 1-800-343-8643 or 540-949-6473. I included a normal activity of every-day life, like doing the laundry and hanging it on the line to dry, to establish a connection with the residents of the farm. How must it have been for them to be right in the middle of a battle between thousands of men?
Around 4,500 Confederate soldiers drove back a stronger Federal force of around 6,500 soldiers, but the battle is perhaps best known as the one in which the Virginia Military Institute Cadet Corps participated. The Cadets had marched in from Lexington, leaving the youngest ones on their campus. The Cadet Corps was 215 strong when it reached New Market and was put into the opening battle on Sunday morning. They were aged eighteen and under, some of them sixteen and even younger (tradition has it that some were only fourteen); yet, they fought with extraordinary courage and contributed significantly to the day’s victory. When the battle was over, the Cadet Corps had eight dead and forty-four wounded.
As Confederate General John C. Breckenridge passed the Cadets on the road the next day, he stopped to compliment them: “Boys, the work you did yesterday will make you famous.” One of the young soldiers called back, “Fame’s all right, General; but, for God’s sake, where’s your commissary wagon?” I guess ravenous appetites are something that hasn’t changed in teenage boys over the past 150 years!
In between paintings, I love to work in my garden. I’m excited about the new pink flower that my friend Joyce Wilson’s gardener Ray gave me.
My garden in St. Pete.