Thursday, April 30, 2020

A Final Farewell

Hi! Jodie Wolfe here. It's been almost seven years since Crystal Barnes and I started this blog. It's hard to believe how quickly those years have flown by. We've had a number of authors who helped to keep the website up and running. Thank you to all who have been a part of Stitches Thru Time - the writers, our guests, and most importantly our readers.

While we no longer plan to keep the blog running, you still can find us online:

Carole Brown

Catherine Castle 

Angela K Couch Newsletter

Heidi Main 

Linda Matchett

Shirley Raye Redmond

Amber Schamel

Terri Wangard

Jodie Wolfe

 Thank you for your support through the years! May God bless you!

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Tuesday Tidbit: Metropolitan Museum of Art

While growing up in New Jersey, I often visited historic landmarks, museums, galleries, and other sites of interest in New York City during school field trips. One of the places most often visited by my school groups was the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a gorgeous quarter-mile long building of nearly two million square feet.

Celebrating its centennial this year, the Met (as it’s known) contains collections of Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, East Asian, Middle Eastern, Greek, Roman, European, pre-Columbian, New Guinean, Islamic, and American art including sculpture, paintings, drawings, calligraphy, prints, photographs, glass, bronzes, ceramics, textiles, metalwork, lacquerwork, furniture, period rooms, arms and armor, and musical instruments. (Whew!)

Founded by businessmen, financiers, and artists, The Met received its articles of incorporation on April 13, 1870, with the museum opening on February 20, 1872 in the Dodworth Building on Fifth Avenue. Railroad executive John Taylor Johnston was the first president, perhaps prompted by the fact that his personal art collection seeded the museum. Eight years later, the museum had outgrown its location twice and moved to the current location. By the early 20th Century, The Met was considered one of the greatest art centers in the world.

Every organization needs a mascot, and The Met proudly hosts “William” a 4,000+ year old statute of a hippopotamus as theirs. The piece was gifted to the museum in 1917 by Edward S. Harkness, an American philanthropist, whose father Stephen V. Harkness made his wealthy by an early investment in Standard Oil. Discovered during the Khashaba excavations in Egypt in 1910, the statue is nearly eight inches long, three inches wide, and four and one-half inches tall.

The fourth most visited museum in the world, The Met hosted 7.3 million visitors in 2019. In addition to its main facility on Fifth Avenue, The Cloisters is located in Fort Tryon Park and built using salvaged structures from five medieval French cloisters. Dedicated only to medieval art, the facility was completed in 1938 and filled with a collection originally assembled by George Gray Barnard and purchased in full by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1925 as a gift to the Met.

A popular location with movie directors, The Met has been featured in dozens of films including When Harry Met Sally, Hello Again, The Nanny Diaries, Hitch, and Keeping the Faith.

Have you ever visited The Met? What is your favorite art gallery?


Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is also a trustee for her local public library. She was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. Now located in central New Hampshire, Linda’s favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors. Visit her website where she blogs about history, mystery, and faith.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

One City's Pandemic

My Great Aunt Ella died in 1918. I have never found a death certificate for her. She died in the Spanish influenza pandemic. More than 350 people died in Milwaukee (Wisconsin). Apparently, record keeping was also a casualty.

When Ella died, she left a year-old son, who became my godfather.

The flu first struck sailors at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station north of Chicago on September 11. Within a week, 2,600 men were ill, but furloughs were still being granted. It didn’t take long for the disease to spread to Milwaukee.
By September 21, the number of sick in Milwaukee had risen to 100. Two days later, the first death occurred. The city health commissioner encouraged everyone to avoid crowds and practice personal care, such as avoiding kissing and handshakes.
War raged in Europe, and the Fourth Liberty Loan Drive was scheduled that month. Milwaukeeans ignored the no-crowd warning and staged a massive parade on the 28th. The flu found a foothold and took off.
The city’s hospitals were taxed beyond capacity. Compounding matters, most able-bodied physicians were away in military service. The Milwaukee Auditorium was quickly converted into a temporary isolation hospital.
The health commissioner adopted extreme measures. All theaters, movie houses, and dance halls were closed until further notice. The Milwaukee Sentinel estimated the seven theaters and 68 motion picture houses lost $120,000 of daily admissions, depriving the government of $18,000 daily in war taxes.
More closures came. Bowling alleys and billiard halls, football games and boxing matches, political meetings and department store sales were all banned. Anyone violating the orders could be fined up to $100 a day. If they didn’t pay the fine, they could be imprisoned.
Churches and saloons were closed with certain exceptions. Only near relatives could attend weddings and funerals. The churches were open for private prayer as long as there were no large crowds. Assembling in saloons was also not allowed. Customers came in, bought a drink, and left.
Health care workers and caregivers wore themselves out. Several nurses died. Idled teachers went door-to-door, and created an accurate count of the sick. Six thousand official cases were reported, but the commission estimated the actual count as high as 30,000.
The 1918 pandemic infected over 500 million people worldwide, and killed between 20-50 million, more than all the soldiers and civilians killed in World War I.
Today we are in another pandemic. Like the Spanish Influenza, this too will pass.

Terri Wangard writes novels that entertain and enlighten. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and has won and been a finalist in various writing contests. Her latest book, Roll Back the Clouds, featuring the Lusitania, released last month. When not writing, she’s likely to be reading. Learn more at