See Rock City

See Rock City

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Colored Tri State Fair

African Americans had attended and participated in the Tri-State Fair well into the 1870's.  Following the collapse of Reconstruction and the 1896 "separate but equal" legalized segregation,  Memphis blacks and whites occupied two separate societies.  In 1911, prominent African-Americans founded, organized, and ran their own fair called the "Negro Tri-State Fair". It was held at the Fairgrounds a few days after the white fair closed.  This was an important event in the black community for decades.  When the white fair changed its name to the Mid-South Fair in 1928, the black fair became simply the Tri-State Fair until it was discontinued in 1959.  The Mid-South Fair was integrated in 1962.


The Shelby County Building At The Fairgrounds In Memphis TN

Montgomery Park Race Track

Montgomery Park Race Track was an American thoroughbred racetrack in Memphis, Tennessee.


The track was originally constructed in 1851 on plantation land southeast of Memphis. In 1882, Colonel Henry A. Montgomery organized the New Memphis Jockey Club, which purchased the race track and the surrounding land. The facility was named Montgomery Park at this time.
The track ran its last race meet in 1906 due to the outlawing of gambling by the Tennessee legislature. Following the closure, the track land and facilities were first leased and then purchased by the city of Memphis and incorporated into the Mid-South Fairgrounds.

Physical Attributes:

The track consisted of a one mile dirt oval 65 feet wide at all points.

Click Here to check out this site that shares pictures and a story about the Park.


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Reminiscing – Dad’s 1940 Ford

1940 Ford

1940 Ford, excerpt from ad below. Image courtesy of

[Editor’s note: This “Reminiscing” story, edited by Richard Lentinello, comes to us from Hemmings Classic Car reader Thomas Murphy.]

One memory that I will never forget is about my father’s 1940 Ford Opera Coupe. It had the jump seats in the rear which, when not in use, folded up parallel to the sides of the rear compartment. Back in 1950, those jump seats were usually occupied by my brother and I; I was just five years old at the time.
My father was one of the original hot-rodders. The Ford had a flathead truck V-8 block which was bored out – apparently truck blocks allowed for thicker cylinder walls for purposes of over boring. The engine was equipped with a 3/4 racing camshaft, high compression Granatelli aluminum cylinder heads, a four-barrrel carburetor, exhaust headers and dual exhausts and Lincoln Zephyr gears for the second gear.
That old Ford would wind out to 90 miles per hour in second gear before shifting to third was required due to those Zephyr gears. There was not much on the street in 1950 that would touch it. The Ford looked stock, being a black 1940 Deluxe Coupe. Only two rusty exhaust pipes sticking out the rear belied it was not stock.

One day we were on a touring vacation in Canada in the Fall of 1950. We were stopped on a gravel road which had an overhead stop light hanging from a wire traversing the intersection on a four-lane road. What pulled alongside us at the light was a brand-spanking new Powder Blue Oldsmobile “Rocket 88” fastback coupe. The Olds still had the price and equipment sticker on the rear-side window. When I looked over from my jump seat out the side rear window of the Ford, the driver of the Olds was smiling like a Cheshire cat and glancing at his buddy in the passenger seat, while revving the Oldsmobile’s engine.
When the light changed, my father, who was never one to ignore a challenge for a race, took off. From the light we were side by side with the Oldsmobile. In First gear we were fender to fender, and the Olds owner was looking a bit quizzical at our evenness. Bear in mind that the loser of this gambit would be eating the winner’s dust from the gravel road. In Second gear I remember the Ford winding out to 90 miles per hour, and it ended up two car lengths ahead of the now vanishing Olds when the shift to Third gear occurred.
So much for the much-heralded Rocket 88 Oldsmobile. That ’40 Ford was fast!

Source: Richard Lentinello on Jul 12th, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Falling Creek, GA

        The Falling Creek HBN Basin is in the southern part of the Piedmont physiographic province in central Georgia (Figure 8.Map of the study area in the Falling Creek Basin and photograph of a typical tributary stream). The basin drains 187 km² of rolling terrain that ranges in elevation from 113 to 244 m. The USGS gaging station is 8 km east of the town of Juliette, Ga., at latitude 33°05'59'' and longitude 83°43'25''. Falling Creek is a south-flowing tributary of the Ocmulgee River with a channel length of about 18 km upstream from the gage and an average stream gradient of 3.8 m/km. The main channel is perennial, and average daily discharge ranges from 0.31 m³/s in September to 4.2 m³/s in February. Average annual runoff was 30 cm from 1965 through 1995 (U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Data, Georgia), of which almost 60 percent occurs during the 20 to 30 storm events each year (Rose, 1996). Climate of the area is temperate with warm, humid summers and mild winters (Payne, 1976). Precipitation averages 122 cm annually and is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year except for the fall months that are slightly drier (Plummer, 1983). Average daily air temperatures range from 7.3°C in January to 26.6°C in July. Freezing occurs on slightly more than one-half the days between December and February, although snowfall is rare (Payne, 1976).
Freeman Creek (12/90; A.Mast)
Freeman Creek
        The basin lies in the Southern Mixed Forest ecoregion (Bailey and others, 1994) and is covered by second-growth pine and mixed pine-hardwood forest types. Pine forests, which naturally reforested previously farmed or logged areas, are composed of loblolly pine with an understory of dogwood and redbud. Hardwood forest types are concentrated along the creek bottoms and in small, sheltered, upland valleys. The lowland hardwood species are predominantly sweetgum, water oak, and willow oak, and the upland hardwood stands are dominated by white oak, post oak, red oak, and hickory. Most soils in the basin are classified as Ultisols and are mapped in the Davidson series (Payne, 1976), which includes well- drained soils that have formed in residual material weathered from mafic crystalline rocks. A typical soil profile has a dark reddish-brown surface layer of loam (18 to 30 cm) that is underlain by dark-red clay subsoil that extends to a depth of almost 2 m. Soils are moderately to strongly acidic (pH 5.1 to 6.0) and have a low organic-matter content (Payne, 1976). Soil mineralogy is dominated by detrital plagioclase, potassium feldspar, pyroxene, biotite, hornblende, and quartz and pedogenic kaolinite with minor amounts of vermiculite (Rose, 1994). Soils are underlain by a layer of saprolite as much as 30 m thick that is the primary source of base flow to the stream (Rose, 1996).
        Bedrock in the basin consists of interlayered felsic and mafic gneiss of Precambrian age. The felsic gneiss accounts for about one-third of the bedrock and consists of oligoclase, microcline, and quartz with accessory biotite, muscovite, garnet, sphene, magnetite, zircon, apatite, and epidote (Matthews, 1967). The primary minerals of the mafic gneiss include hornblende, andesine, and quartz with accessory epidote, magnetite, and apatite. The mafic gneiss weathers to an orange-red saprolite with a boxwork structure. Ultramafic rocks also are present in the basin including a large body of gabbro (12 km by 1.5 km) mapped along the northern basin divide roughly parallel to State Highway 83 (Vincent and others, 1990). The gabbro consists primarily of plagioclase, clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene, and olivine.
        The Falling Creek Basin drains parts of Jasper and Jones Counties in central Georgia. Sixty percent of the basin is in the boundaries of the Oconee National Forest and 40 percent is in the boundaries of the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge (PNWR). The PNWR is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the refuge headquarters is located just inside the southern basin boundary. About one-half the land in the National Forest boundary is owned by private individuals or logging companies. Most areas of the basin are accessible by the 50 km of Forest Service and county roads that traverse the area. The PNWR is open year-round for general public use, although some roads in the refuge may be closed during hunting season or in bad weather.
        Public land in the basin was purchased by the Federal Government in the mid-1930's after almost 100 years of cotton farming had left severely eroded lands and nutrient-depleted soils. The PNWR was established in 1939 to develop techniques for reclaiming depleted areas and to restore suitable habitat for native animals (Riley and Riley, 1979). Current (1997) land cover in the basin is more than 95 percent forest and the dominant land use is for timber harvest, wildlife habitat, and recreation. Management policies of the PNWR are designed primarily to provide habitat for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. Pine forests in the refuge are managed on an 80-year rotation in stands of 4 to 12 ha, and hardwood stands are left to develop naturally (Ronnie Shell, Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge, oral commun., 1994). The refuge also manipulates water levels in natural wetlands, beaver ponds, and manmade ponds to improve food sources for birds. Pine forests in the Oconee National Forest are harvested on a 60-year rotation in a checkerboard pattern by clearcutting 12-ha parcels or thinning slightly larger areas (John Moore, Forest Service, oral commun., 1994). Some logged areas are left to revegetate naturally, whereas others are reseeded. Logging on private land has increased significantly during the past decade with clearcutting being the primary method of removal (John Moore, oral commun., 1994). Logging on private land has increased significantly during the past decade with clearcutting being the primary method of removal (John Moore, oral commun., 1994).
Hillsboro Creek (12/90; A. Mast)
Hillsboro Creek
        Other manmade features in the basin include several gravel pits and feldspar mines that were operated until the early 1980's and have since been revegetated or turned into ponds. A feldspar-processing plant, located just outside the northeast basin boundary, has discharged industrial wastewater into a settling pond at the head of Falling Creek for more than 30 years. The ore processing involves the use of hydrofluoric and sulfuric acids that generate acidic wastewater (Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 1985). The wastewater is treated with a caustic rinse to raise the pH then pumped into the settling pond. Discharge from the settling pond has been identified as a point source of both suspended sediment and chemical contamination to Falling Creek (Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 1985). A sample collected from the outlet of the settling pond in 1985 had a pH of 7.1 and fluoride and sulfate concentrations of 13.8 mg/L (730 meq/L) and 50 mg/L (1,040 meq/L), respectively (Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 1985). The impact of the industrial wastewater on the chemistry of Falling Creek is the reason this station was removed from the HBN in 1994.

Historical Water-Quality Data and Time-Series Trends

        The chemical data set analyzed for this report includes 187 water-quality samples that were collected from October 1967 through June 1994 when the site was removed from the HBN. Water-quality samples were collected as frequently as monthly from 1968 through 1982 and quarterly from 1983 through 1994. Although not documented, water-quality samples in the early part of the record probably were analyzed at one of the three USGS laboratories (Raleigh, N.C.; Ocala, Fla.; Tuscaloosa, Ala.) that provided analytical services in the Southeastern Region (Durum, 1978). After establishment of the Central Laboratory System, samples were analyzed at the Central Laboratory in Atlanta, Ga., from 1973 through 1985 and at the NWQL in Arvada, Colo., from 1986 through 1994. Daily discharge records for Falling Creek (station 02212600) are available beginning in July 1964. Continuous records of water temperature at the gage were published from August 1965 through September 1979.
        Calculated ion balances for 175 samples with complete major ion analyses are shown in figure 9. Ion balances ranged from -27 to +12 percent, and more than 85 percent of the samples had calculated values within the ±5 percent range, indicating that the analyses were of high quality. The mean charge balance of all samples was 0.2 percent, indicating that unmeasured constituents, such as organic anions, do not contribute significantly to the ion balance of stream water at this site.
        Time-series plots of the major dissolved constituents were inspected for evidence of method-related effects (Figures 9a and 9b. Temporal variation of discharge, field pH, major ion concentrations, and ion balance at Falling Creek, Georgia). For example, several higher than average sulfate concentrations were reported during the late 1980's. This pattern coincides with the use of a turbidimetric titration for sulfate analyses at the NWQL between March 1986 and December 1989 (Fishman and others, 1994). In 1989, the NWQL determined that sulfate concentrations can be over-estimated by this technique and changed the method to ion chromatography in 1990 (Office of Water Quality Technical Memorandum No. 90.04, Turbidimetric Sulfate Method, issued December 21, 1989, at URL Sulfate and chloride both show a pattern of slightly smaller concentrations during the early 1970's. The fact that both silica and fluoride are missing for these same analyses may be an indication of a change in analytical laboratory during this period of record. The time-series plot of field pH shows an abrupt downward shift in pH around 1974 and many uncharacteristically low pH values during the next 6 years (fig. 9). Although not documented, these low values may have been caused by a change in the pH electrode used by field personnel. Some instrument-electrode systems are known to give erroneous read­ings when measuring pH in low-conductivity waters, and the electrode commonly is the critical component (Office of Water Quality Technical Memorandum No. 81.08, Electrodes for pH Measurement in Low-Conductivity Waters, issued February 10, 1981, at URL
        Table 14 gives median concentrations and ranges of major constituents in stream water collected at the gage and VWM concentrations in wet-only deposition measured at the Georgia Station NADP station about 65 km west of the basin. Wet- precipitation chemistry at the NADP station is dilute and slightly acidic with a VWM pH of 4.6. During 17 years of record, the dominant cations in precipitation were hydrogen, which contributed 50 percent of the total cation charge, and ammonium and sodium, which contributed 19 and 15 percent, respectively. Sulfate was the dominant anion, accounting for 62 percent of the total anions, whereas nitrate and chloride accounted for 23 and 15 percent, respectively. These data indicate that solutes in precipitation in the basin are primarily a mixture of strong acids derived from anthropogenic emissions of sulfur and nitrogen compounds, which cause acid rain.

Source: pubs.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Proof That English Is Quite Bizarre

English is the easiest language to learn, mostly because it doesn't make use of male/female for everything, like other languages do. But even as an 'easy language', it doesn't mean it's easy to master, or that it doesn't have some pretty weird features that have made their way into the language with time. Enjoy these 3 examples of why English is a crazy language!
1. Things that make no sense!
English language, funny
Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England nor French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads (which aren't sweet) are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither a Guinea nor is it a pig...

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?
English language, funny
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick' ? 
2. Words with double meanings
English language, funny
1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
2. The farm was used to produce produce.
3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4. We must polish the Polish furniture.
5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10. I did not object to the object.
11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13. They were too close to the door to close it.
14. The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
19. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?


Saturday, February 11, 2017

1955 Huffy Radiobike

Christmas has come and gone, and some of us may not have gotten exactly what we were wishing for. Many of us receive Christmas money from grandparents, and other relatives, fueling our desires to get that one thing we really wanted for Christmas, like this bicycle. This 1955 Huffy Radiobike is a great survivor that is rare, and complete. The Radiobike was made for 1955 and 1956 making some very lucky kids the coolest kids on their street, being able to have portable music built right into their bicycle. Unfortunately, not long after the Radiobikes release, the transistor radio came out making it very easy to take music with you any, and everywhere. This rare two wheeled mercury vapor tube radio is offered at $1,800. Find it here on ebay out of Ohio.

Within this tank lies a narrow mercury vapor tube radio. There is a volume knob, as well as a tuning knob, and the key is a locking on/off switch to prevent others from draining your batteries when you aren’t with your bike. The white tube coming out of the bottom of the tank is the antenna. Wearing the lovely “Flamboyant Red” color, the Huffy Radiobike was also offered in “Flamboyant Green” and “Flamboyant Blue”. Although the Radiobike was offered for 2 years, it is speculated that there were only 8,500 bikes made. 8,500 doesn’t sound like too low of a number, but the Radio built into the tank was not cut out for the outdoors, and many fell subject to failure. Upon out living their usefulness as a radio with wheels, the transistor radio would become a quick replacement, and the “Muscle” bikes of the 1960s didn’t do the Radiobikes any favors, making them appear old and outdated.

Fortunately, this radio looks to be in fair health, needing to be cleaned and tested. Also fortunately the on/off switch key is with this bike as well. This 3 tube radio was designed, and manufactured by Yellow Springs Instrument Company.

In nice survivor condition, there are areas where some surface rust has developed.  The radio side of the tank has some minor surface rust, but much of the paint, and graphic on the tank is present. There is also some surface rust forming on the chain guard as well as the rear fender. The battery pack compartment is very clean. Thankfully someone removed the batteries preventing corrosion to the battery area.  The 1955 only headlight is nice with no rust, or paint issues. The handle bars and fork crown are beautifully shiny, although the wheels have not aged as well. There is some corrosion, and even minor rust forming on the rims. These wheels are likely suitable to ride, but they are just a bit ugly as far as condition goes. But we aren’t too picky, we would gladly welcome this 2 wheeled find to our collection. How about you?


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Singing Helps this Alzheimer's Patient to Remember

Ted McDermott has Alzheimer's disease and often struggles to remember who his family and friends are. Therefore, in an attempt to make his life better, his son Mac started looking for ways to improve his dad's memory. His father has a huge passion for music, and even spent some of his younger years singing in bars and clubs across the United Kingdom. Despite his severe memory loss, Mac realized that his father still recognizes his favorite tunes and even sings along to them when they come on. In fact, his knowledge of songs is so vast, he is known as "The Songaminute Man." Furthermore, when he is singing, he seems to remember who his friends and family are.
Therefore, Mac started to sing along with his dad and the pair have now begun to record their singing sessions - they're working on raising money for Alzheimer's research through crowdfunding, and from the proceeds of their album sales.
This terrible disease affects so many people around the world, and while Ted McDermott still struggles with day-to-day life, Mac has found a sweet way to bring their family together while also raising money for a great cause.

Check out a short clip of them performing together below:


Elton John's Greatest Hits

In his five-decade career, the Rocket Man, best known as Sir Elton John, has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the most successful solo artists of all time. His career began in 1969, and he has since played more than 3,500 concerts in over 80 countries. He has had more than 50 Top 40 hits, including seven consecutive Number 1 US albums. One of his most loved songs, Candle in the Wind (the 1997 edition), sold over 33 million copies worldwide, becoming the best-selling single in the history of the UK and US singles charts in the process.
Picking a top 16 list from Elton John's career is a tall order. Nevertheless, much like his many public personas and musical identities, no matter what songs you prefer, there's always something new to find and love in every one. So, while these songs will take you back to your past, we hope that you enjoy this week's Music Box!

Crocodile Rock (1972)
Don't Go Breaking My Heart (1976)
Philadelphia Freedom (1975)
Bennie and the Jets (1974)
Sacrifice (1989)
Your Song (1970)
Candle in the Wind (1997)
Can You Feel the Love Tonight (1994)
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
Daniel (1971)
Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me (1974)
Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word (1976)
Rocket Man (1972)
I'm Still Standing (1983)
Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting (1973)
Little Jeannie (1980)

Children Talk About Love

'Love' is one of the quintessential capacities of the human condition. But, if you were asked the question 'What does love mean?' how would you respond? In a quest to discover children's perception of love, a research group, led by Lecturer and Author Leo Buscaglia, asked a group of children aged 4 through 8 to answer this question. Their goal however, was to find the most caring kid. But along the way, they also discovered that the kids' perception on love was truly profound and deep. 

When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.
Rebecca, age 8

When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.
Billy, age 4

Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired. 
Terri, age 4

Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs. Chrissy, age 6

Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.
Danny, age 7

Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My mommy and daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.
Emily, age 8

Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day.
Noelle, age 7

Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford. 
Chris, age 7


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Christina Crawford

Christina Crawford (born June 11, 1939) is an American writer and actress, best known as the author of Mommie Dearest, an autobiographical account of alleged child abuse by her adoptive mother, actress Joan Crawford. She is also known for small roles in various television and film projects, such as Joan Borman Kane in the soap opera The Secret Storm and Monica George in the Elvis Presley film Wild in the Country.

Early life and education

Crawford was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1939 to unmarried teen parents.
According to Christina Crawford's personal interview with Larry King, her father was married to another woman, and supposedly in the Navy, while her mother was unmarried. Christina Crawford was adopted from a baby broker in the state of Nevada because Joan Crawford was formerly denied an adoption by social services for being an unfit candidate in California in 1940. Christina Crawford maintains that Joan Crawford did not have a positive relationship with her own mother or with her brother, which contributed to social services' conclusion, as well as her multiple divorces. Subsequent documentation showed that the adoption was handled by Georgia Tann through Tann's infamous Tennessee Children's Home Society. Christina was one of five children adopted by Joan Crawford.[1] Her siblings are Christopher, adopted in 1943, and twin girls, Catherine (Cathy) and Cynthia (Cindy), adopted in 1947. Another boy, also named Christopher, was adopted in 1942 but he was reclaimed by his birth mother.[2]
Christina Crawford has stated that her childhood was affected by her adopted mother's alcoholism and violent menstrual mood swings. At the age of ten she was sent to Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, California, where many other celebrity children were in attendance. However, her mother removed her from Chadwick because of alleged "misbehavior" with several of the male students. Joan Crawford then placed her in a Catholic boarding school, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in La Cañada (now the city of La Cañada Flintridge), California, and curtailed Christina's outside contact until her graduation. After graduating from Flintridge, Crawford moved from California to Pittsburgh to attend Carnegie Mellon School of Drama and then to New York City where she studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse in Manhattan. After seven years, she gained a bachelor of arts from UCLA.

Personal life

Christina met Harvey Medlinsky, a Broadway stage manager, while attending acting school. They were married briefly.[1] She met her second husband, film producer David Koontz, while she worked in public relations for Getty Oil.[1]

Acting career

Crawford appeared in summer stock theatre, including a production of Splendor in the Grass. She also acted in a number of Off-Broadway productions, including In Color on Sundays (1958).[3] She also appeared in At Chrismastime (1959) and Dark of the Moon (1959) at the Fred Miller Theater in Milwaukee,[4] and The Moon Is Blue (1960).[5]
In 1960, Crawford accepted a role in the film Force of Impulse,[6] which was released in 1961. Also in 1961, Crawford appeared in a small role in Wild in the Country, a film starring Elvis Presley. That year, she made a guest appearance on Dean Miller's NBC celebrity interview program Here's Hollywood,[7] promoting the films. In 1962, she appeared in the play The Complaisant Lover. She played five character parts in Ben Hecht's controversial play Winkelberg; that same year, she appeared on the CBS courtroom drama The Verdict is Yours.[8] In October 1965 she appeared in Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park, with Myrna Loy, a friend of her mother. She also had a role in Faces, a 1968 film directed by John Cassavetes and starring John Marley and Gena Rowlands.
Christina played "Joan Borman Kane" on the soap opera The Secret Storm in New York from 1968 until 1969. When she went on sick leave in October 1968, Joan Crawford, then over 60 years old, asked for the role of the 24-year-old character. She did this without mentioning it to her daughter, and under the guise of "holding the role" for Christina, so that the part wouldn't be recast during her absence, appearing in four episodes. Viewers increased 40% during this replacement time, and Christina, already feeling betrayed, also felt embarrassed due to her mother's seemingly intoxicated performance.[9] Eventually let go from the series, Christina believed her mother's interference had contributed to her departure. The producers, however, claimed that the character and her storyline had simply run its course.
Crawford would also appear on other TV programmes, including Medical Center, Marcus Welby, M.D., Matt Lincoln, Ironside and The Sixth Sense.[10]

Career after mother's death

After Joan Crawford died in 1977, Christina and her brother Christopher discovered that their mother had disinherited them from her $2 million estate, her will citing "reasons which are well-known to them".[11] In November 1977 Christina and her brother sued to invalidate their mother's will, which she signed on October 18, 1976. Cathy LaLonde (another Crawford daughter) and her husband, Jerome, the complaint charged, "took deliberate advantage of decedent's seclusion and weakened and distorted mental and physical condition to insinuate themselves" into Miss Crawford's favor.[12] A court settlement was reached on July 13, 1979, awarding Christina and Christopher $55,000 from their mother's estate.[13]
In 1978, Crawford's book Mommie Dearest was released. It accused her mother of being a cruel, violent, neglectful, and manipulative narcissistic parent, as she adopted her children for publicity instead of out of a desire to be a responsible, humane mother. It also raised public discourse about child abuse, which was just beginning to be widely acknowledged as a problem.[1] In 1981, a movie version of the same title was released, starring Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford and Diana Scarwid as Christina. The film, while critically panned, went on to gross more than $39 million worldwide from a $5 million budget, and garnered five Golden Raspberry Awards. The film is now regarded as an unintentional comedy and a cult classic. Christina has published subsequent books, including Survivor. For seven years she served as a member of Los Angeles' Inter-Agency Council on Abuse and Neglect Associates, during which time she campaigned for the reform of laws regarding child abuse and child trafficking.[1]
After a near-fatal stroke in 1981, Crawford spent five years in rehabilitation before moving to the Northwest.[1] She ran a bed and breakfast called "Seven Springs Farms" in Tensed, Idaho, between 1994 and 1999.[1] She formed Seven Springs Press in 1998 to publish the 20th-anniversary edition of Mommie Dearest in paperback from the original manuscript. This included material omitted from the first printing about the years following her graduation from high school.
In 1999 Crawford began working as a director of marketing at the Coeur d'Alene Casino in Idaho. On November 22, 2009, she was appointed county commissioner in Benewah County, Idaho, by Governor Butch Otter,[14] though she lost her bid for election in November 2010.[15] In 2011, Crawford founded the non-profit Benewah Human Rights Coalition and served as the organization's first president.[16] In 2013, she made a documentary titled Surviving Mommie Dearest.


External links


Georgia Tann – The Baby Thief

From 1924 through 1950, Beulah George “Georgia” Tann ran the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, from a stately home on Poplar Avenue in Memphis, TN. Tann used it as a front for an illegal foundling home and adoption agency that placed over 5,000 newborn infants and children, from toddlers up to age 16, to sell to what Ms. Tann called “high type” families in 48 states.  

She used manipulation, deception, pressure tactics, threats, and brute force to take children from mainly poor single mothers in a 5 state area to sell to wealthy parents up until outrage, lawsuits, and complaints spurred a state investigation into her tactics closed her down in 1950.  
Protected by the infamous Edward Hull “Boss” Crump, she regularly altered and destroyed the records of the children “processed” through her custody and did not conduct checks on the adoption homes to which she sent children. Hers was a complicated story: Ms. Tann craved the wealth and power that her position and role afforded her – hopefully to eclipse her locally famous father who was a judge in Mississippi and who had prohibited her from entering the field of law. She delivered speeches about adoption in Washington, New York, and other major cities and was consulted by Eleanor Roosevelt regarding child welfare. So many children died while in Tann’s care that at one point, the infant mortality rate in Memphis, TN was highest in the country and many more deaths were never reported.
Notable celebrities such as Joan Crawford, June Allyson, and her husband Dick Powell, Smiley Burnette, and Pearl Buck used her services as well as the parents of New York governor Herbert Lehman and professional wrestler Ric Flair. Tann’s death prior to prosecution in 1950 led to more stringent laws on adoption in Tennessee in 1951. Fewer than 10% of these stolen children were ever reunited with parents or siblings due to the complicity of local and state officials such as Juvenile Court Judge Camille Kelley, who provided about 20% of the children adopted out by Tann, and difficulty finding true and accurate documentation for identification. Cindy Lou Presto was one of the children adopted by her and was reunited with her mother after 32 years. She was abducted by her while she was playing at a park when she was just a toddler. Two of her former children, Lynne Heinz and Nancy Turner, are looking for their birth families.

Extra Notes: This case first aired on the December 13, 1989 episode. It inspired the movies, “Missing Children: A Mother’s Story” and “Stolen Babies.” The book, The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption, by Barbara Bisantz Raymond, was published in the U.S., Australia, and the U.K.


Solved. Soon after the broadcast, Lynn was reunited with her father and two half-brothers. Nancy was also able to locate and reunite with her sister, Evelyn Routh, whom she hadn’t seen in over forty years.


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The Movie: "StolenBabies"


To childless couples, Georgia Tann was a salvation. From 1924 to 1950, Tann headed the Tennessee Children's Home Society, a highly respected adoption agency. During her tenure, permanent homes were found for more than 5,000 babies. Joan Crawford, Mary Pickford and Dick Powell and June Allyson were just a few of the famous people who received their children from the home. But Tann guarded a deep, dark secret: a vast majority of these children were actually stolen from their natural parents.

Lifetime's new movie, "Stolen Babies," premiering Thursday, dramatizes this shocking true story. Lea Thompson stars in the drama as a county welfare agent who works closely with the society, only to discover the illegality in adoption procedures; Mary Tyler Moore plays Tann.

Executive producer Kim Moses' interest in Tann was sparked when she read an article about her in a newspaper. But when she contacted the welfare department, the governor's office and the public relations office of Tennessee, everyone disavowed knowledge of Tann. "I felt that was curious, since it covered such a long period of time," Moses says. "I think it is really a mar on the state of Tennessee. It is something they are not happy about, so they really don't want to make it a part of that history."

So Moses and her partners, Ian Sander and J. Moses, began doing independent research. They found a social worker in Tennessee who had taken over the home after Tann died of cancer in 1950, and was responsible for writing the current laws to protect adopted children.

"She was the first one to be suspicious of Georgia Tann because she was putting together statistics (on adoptions)," Moses says. "There was a high percentage of children in the adoption system in Tennessee from (a certain) county who had mental problems. There were repetitive adoptions. People would bring them back because of their behavior."

Though there also were a number of Tennessee families awaiting children, there were large numbers of out-of-state adoptions. In Tennessee, adoptions were free, but Tann was able to charge any amount for out-of-state adoptions.

"Why would they be adopting so many children from out of state when in Tennessee they were still waiting for children?" Sander says.

The stolen children came mainly from poor, uneducated families.

"Many of the homes they were adopted to were financially very well off," Moses says, "even though they were not from good backgrounds. There was this story where they was a little girl who was adopted out to a wealthy family, and she ate garbage because they didn't feed her. But then there were other children who did get to college."

Tann's rule endured, Sander says, because of the Tennessee political machine. She worked with Judge Camille Kelly to "legally" get the children away from their natural parents.

"When there was a judge who went up against them, he found himself absolutely exiled on the bench," Sander says. "There was a flu epidemic and 40 children died because (Tann) wouldn't give them penicillin because she thought it was too expensive. When a doctor tried to uncover that, he found himself out of a job."

No one was ever prosecuted for the illegal adoptions. Tann destroyed many of the adoption records. She died before she was brought to trial; Kelly resigned her post.

Mary Tyler Moore was drawn to the project because she felt that Tann was a fascinating character. "I wanted to play that character because I am sure she was a product of her time," says Moore, who is almost unrecognizable as the matronly Tann. "If you have a choice between raising a child in a wealthy home with little love, or a poor home with a lot of love, there is no question the children would do better in the wealthy home. That was the conventional wisdom."

Tann was the daughter of a doctor who was from the wrong side of the tracks. "She was not accepted by Tennessee society, so she used this position for power," Moore says. "She had leverage to work her way into the place she wanted to be. With Camille Kelly, they would look at somebody--a worker who was temporarily unable to support his family. They would take the children under the guise of temporarily protecting them, and then send them out for adoption. Because of the disclosure laws at the time, once that family was back on its feet and came looking for the children, they couldn't trace them. It was a heinous thing."

Thompson, who plays the idealistic social worker, says "Stolen Babies" is all about class. "It was really about the poor versus the rich," Thompson says. "'There was a heavy class system in the South--the poor white trash and the rich people. I totally see both sides of the coin, because I have really rich friends and they can't have babies and when a woman wants a baby, man, it is like an intense physical desire."

"Stolen Babies," Moore says, is an important piece not just because it shows how Tann persuaded herself that she was in the right but because it reveals "how people can convince themselves that they are right in all areas of life, when they are really doing terrible things. I am almost saying, don't be so sure of yourself, no matter what you are doing. Look very carefully at your motives and the outcome and be aware of other people's opinions before you take action."

"Stolen Babies" premieres Thursday at 9 p.m. and repeats Saturday at 6 p.m. on Lifetime.



The Tennessee Children's Home Society Lot At Elmwood

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Within Elmwood’s extensive archives T-#504 is short for Turley Lot Number 504.  Of all the lots in Elmwood this is the only one that is forever imprinted on my mind. The mention of T-#504 brings to mind anger, disbelief, shock, curiosity, and especially sadness of the most profound degree.

The Lot Book says that this area is “Reserved for the Tennessee Children’s Home Society.   For those of you not familiar with the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, this was the agency run by Memphis’s infamous Georgia Tann, also known as the “Baby Thief”.

Visit T-#504 and you will see nothing but a grassy patch of ground.  No markers.  Yet within this plot are buried 19 children who died under the supervision of Miss Tann.

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The first burial was on September 17th, 1923 and this little girl’s name as registered in the Elmwood records was Maud.  The last burial, Robert, was on October 10, 1949, less than a year before the agency was formally exposed for what it was and shut down.   Eight other children also have full names listed.  It is known, however, that Ms. Tann commonly changed the names of the children so it will never be known if these are the actual birth names.  Ten of the children are only listed as Baby Estelle, Baby Billy, Baby Herbert, and so on. 

Thousands of children went through this agency and were often deceptively stolen from their legitimate parent/s and sold at a profit through Tann’s nefarious ‘adoption system’.  Hundreds of children died while under her care from neglect, abuse, and improper medical care. No one knows for sure what happened to their bodies.  One story, as told in Barbara Raymond’s book The Baby Thief,  has it that some of the bodies were disposed of through an agreement  Miss Tann had with a local mortuary to cremate the remains. It was said that she liked cremation because ‘graves left a trail’. 
T-#504 is one small, sad, visible reminder of that ‘trail’.  The children buried there still wait for a marker to tell the world who they were and what happened to them.


The Hollywood Baby Snatcher:

Georgia Tann
George Beulah Tann (Georgia)

The sinister story of the woman who stole children and sold them to the stars

The baby snatcher: Georgia Tann stole children from their real families and sold them for her own profit

As she watched her baby coughing in her cot in a corner of her tiny apartment, Alma Sipple felt increasingly desperate.

A single mother in Tennessee, she could not afford medical care for ten-month-old Irma. Suddenly, a knock on the door heralded a turn in her fate: there stood a woman with close-cropped grey hair, round wireless glasses and a stern air.

She exuded authority as she explained she was the director of a local orphanage and had come to help. Alma rushed to show the lady her sickly child.

Examining the baby, the woman offered to pass her off as her own at the local hospital in order to obtain free treatment. She warned Alma not to accompany her, explaining: 'If the nurses know you're the mother, they'll charge you.'

Lifting the child from the cot, the woman turned on her heel and disappeared. Two days later, Alma was told her baby had died.

In fact, Irma had been flown to an adoptive home in Ohio. Alma would not see her daughter again for 45 years.

For far from being her saviour, the woman who had taken Irma was a baby thief.

For 30 years, Georgia Tann made millions selling children. A network of scouts, corrupt judges and politicians helped her steal babies. She also targeted youngsters on their way home from school, promising them ice cream to tempt them away from their homes.

Legal papers would be signed saying they were abandoned - most would never see their families again.
Now, her story has been revealed in a new book. After painstakingly contacting her surviving victims and a forensic search through the archives, Barbara Bisantz Raymond calculates that Tann sold more than 5,000 children - and killed scores through neglect.

During the time she ran her 'business', the infant mortality rate in Memphis was the highest in the country.

Tann molested some of the girls in her care and placed children with paedophiles.

She charged fees to couples desperate to be parents

Some victims were sold as underage farm hands or domestic skivvies. Others were starved, beaten and raped. The lucky ones were sold to wealthy parents, with Hollywood stars, including Lana Turner and Joan Crawford - who adopted twins Cathy and Cynthia - lining up for babies.

Some of the children were featured in magazine articles. A number were placed with families in Britain.
So, who was Georgia Tann and how did she come to ruin so many lives?

Born in Hickory, Mississippi, in 1891, her father, George, was a high court judge and her mother, Beulah, a Southern belle. Inside their lavish house, all was not well.

Sold: Joan Crawford with her adopted daughters Cathy and Cynthia. Many other victims of Georgia were not so lucky
Sold: Joan Crawford with her adopted daughters Cathy and Cynthia. Many other victims of Georgia were not so lucky

Tann's father was an arrogant, domineering womaniser. From an early age, it became clear Georgia was a disappointment to her strait-laced parents.

Big-boned and broad-shouldered, she wore flannel shirts and trousers: unacceptable clothing for a woman at the time. A car accident had left her with a limp.

Social work was one of the few acceptable careers for women of Tann's class, and despite having no empathy with the vulnerable, she saw it as an escape route from her staid home.

She developed her own theories on society. In eugenic language which would be echoed to infamous effect in Nazi Germany, she described wealthy people as 'of the higher type'.

She considered the poverty stricken young women left in poverty by the Depression as 'breeders', privately referring to them as 'cows'. She argued that poor people were incapable of proper parenting.
After getting a job at the Mississippi Children's Home-Finding Society, she began to translate her beliefs into action.

At the time, adoption was uncommon in the USA. Tann would change that.

At first, she simply placed orphans for adoption. But soon, she realised she could make money by charging hefty fees to couples desperate to become parents.

Mothers were falsely told their newborn had died

By 1920, exploiting the lack of regulations on adoption and her father's position as a judge, Tann began placing children she had kidnapped from poor women.

One of the first mothers she targeted was Rose Harvey. One spring morning in 1922, Tann drove her Ford Model T to a cabin in Jasper County, Mississippi.

Asleep inside was pregnant Rose, who was young, poor, widowed and suffering from diabetes. Her two-year-old son, Onyx, was playing on the back porch.

Tann lured the sturdy, black-haired, brown-eyed boy into her car. Her father signed legal papers declaring Rose to be an unfit mother and Onyx an abandoned child. He was placed with an adoptive family. Rose engaged a lawyer, but was unable to regain custody.

In 1924, Tann started work at the Tennessee Children's Home Society, where she turned part-time baby snatching into big business.

'I can still hear her steps down the hallway. She had big feet and wore black lace-up shoes,' says a former resident at the children's home.

'She always went upstairs to see the babies. There would be masses of them one day. They'd be gone the next.'

Lana Turner
Wealthy parent: Lana Turner, pictured in the film Another Time, Another Place, was another Hollywood actress to adopt a child through Georgia

Tann acquired the protection of Memphis's corrupt and all powerful mayor, Edward Hull Crump, and eventually set up her own orphanage, at 1556 Poplar Avenue.

By then, she had met her lesbian partner, Ann Atwood Hollinsworth, who helped Tann ferry babies around the country - as far from their natural parents as possible.

Tann adopted a daughter, June, in 1922. June's daughter, Vicci, says: 'Mother said Georgia Tann was a cold fish; she gave her material things, but nothing else. I don't know why she bothered to adopt her.'

By the Thirties, Tann was charging wealthy couples up to £100,000 in today's money for babies. So, how did she arrange a steady flow of children she could sell?

In some cases, single parents would drop off their children at nursery - when they came back to collect them, they would be told they had been taken away by welfare officers.

Tann offered accommodation to children whose parents were in trouble and targeted the most beautiful infants she could find, dressing them in lace outfits to meet prospective clients.

Older children would be instructed to 'sit on that man's lap and call him daddy'.

Newborns were most in demand. Tann bribed maternity hospital nurses, who falsely told mothers their babies had died.

Irene Green remembers being told her baby was stillborn. 'But I heard him cry!' she protested. She asked to see the body, but was told it had been 'disposed of'. In fact, Georgia's workers had snatched the child.

Tann would falsify birth certificates

Mary Reed was a typical victim. In 1943, aged 18, she gave birth to a baby boy. She was barely conscious when she was presented with a 'routine paper' to sign by a woman dressed in white.
By the time Mary came round and asked for her baby, the child was in New Jersey.

She hired a lawyer but never got her child back. Tann would alter the children's records and falsify birth certificates to make them more appealing to prospective adopters.

Their mother would be described as 'the daughter of a doctor' who had fallen pregnant accidentally, while the father would be 'a medical student'.

She knocked years off the children's age, so they appeared precocious - and to stop them being traced.
Some youngsters were accused of disappointing their adoptive families. Joy Barner was told as a teenager by her father: 'I paid 500 dollars for you - I could have gotten a good hunting dog for a lot less. You come from the lowest scum on earth.'

She later found out she had been stolen in 1925 from a loving family living on a houseboat.

Many of the children were abused. Jim Lambert and his three siblings were taken from their mother by Tann in 1932.
Adoption remains popular in Hollywood: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have adopted three children but thankfully evil Georgia is no longer around to organise the placements

The Chicago couple he was placed with divorced and Jim's stepmother hung him up from a hook in the basement.

He and his siblings eventually traced their birth mother, only to find she had died. In her Bible, beside the names of her stolen family she had written: 'The children of a brokenhearted mother. I have no one to love me now.'

He later said: 'I feel angry, frustrated, as if I was cheated out of a whole lot of life.'

Billy Hale recalled being driven away from his mother, crying, in a limousine, with two women in black.

His loving adoptive parents repeatedly reassured him no such event had occurred.

Through his childhood, he suffered from seemingly motiveless rages. It was only many years later, when he researched his background, that he realised his memory was correct.

He tracked down his mother, Mollie, only to be told by her brother she had died of cancer eight years previously, calling out for her son at the end.

He was told: 'She looked for you all her life, Bill.'

'She was a relentless, cold-blooded demon'

By 1935, Tann had placed children in every U.S. state. A social worker who knew her says: 'She placed with no regard to whether children would be happy in their adoptive homes. She wanted to get her hands on every child she could.'

Among the most disturbing cases are the adoptions by single men of young teenagers - Bisantz Raymond suspects they were paedophiles.

Keen to make more money, Tann began running 'Georgia's Christmas Baby Ads' in the local newspaper under the headline: 'Want a real, live Christmas present?'

A brilliant publicist, she gave lectures on adoption, arguing that adopted children 'turn out better' than birth children, saying: 'Ours is a selective process. We select the child and we select the home.'
She was lauded in the national Press as 'the foremost leading light in adoption laws'.

Eleanor Roosevelt sought her counsel regarding child welfare, and President Truman invited her to his inauguration.

But by 1940, alerted by the rising infant mortality rate in the city, some people were on to Tann.

'She was a relentless, cold-blooded demon,' says a paediatrician who tried to curb her. 'She got bigger and bigger the more power she had. She was pompous and self-important, riding around in a Cadillac driven by a uniformed chauffeur. She terrorised everyone.'

By 1950, officials began a long-overdue investigation into Tann's business. State investigator Robert Taylor reported the horror of what had taken place at Tann's orphanage, saying: 'Her babies died like flies.'

Infants were kept in appalling conditions in suffocating heat. Some were sedated until they could be sold. Many were ill. Some were sexually abused - Tann preyed on young girls and a male caretaker would take little boys into the woods.

A news reporter believed he saw a body being buried in the garden.

In 1945, a bout of dysentery caused the deaths of between 40 and 50 children in less than four months.

The damage suffered at Tann's hands could never be undone

The net was closing, but Tann would evade justice. Three days before her death due to cancer, the governor of Tennessee revealed at a press conference that Tann was not the 'angel of adoption' she claimed to be.

He did not mention the grieving parents or dead babies, but focused on the illegal profits she had made while receiving state funding.

Conveniently for the corrupt politicians who had collaborated in her black market baby trade, Tann was too sick to be questioned about her crimes. She died in her four-poster bed at 4.20am on September 15, 1950.

What became of her victims? Many never saw their families again - after Tann's crimes came to light, there was no attempt to return children to their rightful homes.

They were granted rights to their birth certificates and adoption records only in 1995, after a long battle. A small number were reunited with their birth mothers, but the damage they had suffered at Tann's hands could never be undone.

Forty-five years after Tann had walked into her apartment, Alma Sipple finally found Irma, but they were unable to form a lasting relationship.

'Only someone who has lost a child this way can know how horrible it is,' says Alma. 'There's a hole in my heart that will never be filled.'
  • The Baby Thief by Barbara Bisantz Raymond (Metro, £18.99). To order a copy at £17.10 (P&P free), tel: 0845 155 0720