The World’s Deadliest Storms

10. Hurricane San Ciriaco 1899

Hurricane San Ciriaco, also known as the 1899 Puerto Rico Hurricane, San Ciriaco Hurricane, or 1899 Hurricane San Ciriaco, was an intense and long-lived Atlantic Cape Verde-type hurricane which crossed Puerto Rico over the two day period August 8 to August 9, 1899, causing many deaths from the flooding.

It kept tropical storm strength or higher for 28 days, which makes it the longest duration Atlantic hurricane on record and the second-longest anywhere in the world.

The tropical storm that later ravaged Puerto Rico developed on August 3 in the tropical Atlantic. It moved in a west-northwest direction, becoming a hurricane on the 5th. As it neared the northern Lesser Antilles, it strengthened into a major hurricane, bringing heavy winds to Dominica, St. Kitts, and Guadeloupe on the 7th. It continued to intensify to its peak of 150 mph before hitting southeast Puerto Rico on the 8th. It crossed the island in an east-southeast to west-northwest direction, causing maximum wind speeds between 110 and 140 mph throughout. After it passed Puerto Rico, it brushed northern Dominican Republic as a Category 3 hurricane, but passed north enough to not cause major damage.

It passed through the Bahamas, retaining its strength as it moved slowly northward. After drifting northeastward, the hurricane turned northwestward, hitting the Outer Banks on August 17. It drifted northeastward over the state, re-emerging into the Atlantic on the 19th. It continued eastward, where it became extra-tropical on the 22nd. The extra-tropical cyclone turned southeastward where, on August 26, it became a tropical storm again. Like most of the rest of its lifetime, it drifted, first to the northwest then to the east. It strengthened as it moved eastward, and on September 3, as it was moving through the Azores, it again became a hurricane. The intensification didn’t last long, and the hurricane became extra-tropical for good on the 4th. It dissipated that day while racing across the northeastern Atlantic. Estimates of people killed range from 3,100 to 3,400, with millions of dollars in crop damage in Puerto Rico. North Carolina fared a little better, but still had considerable tobacco and corn damage from the longevity of the strong winds and rain, making this hurricane the 10th deadliest in history.

9. 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane

The Okeechobee Hurricane or Hurricane San Felipe Segundo was a deadly hurricane that struck the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and Florida in September 1928.

It was the first recorded hurricane to reach Category 5 status and as of 2006, it remains the only recorded hurricane to strike Puerto Rico at Category 5 strength. The hurricane caused devastation throughout its path, as many as 1,200 people were killed in Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico struck directly by the storm at peak strength, killed at least 300 and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. The 160 mph (260 km/h) wind measurement from Puerto Rico was taken by a cup anemometer in San Juan, 30 miles (50 km) north of the storm’s center, which measured 160 mph (260 km/h) sustained winds three hours before the peak wind speed was reached; however, the instrument was destroyed soon after and could not be calibrated. The hurricane was also extremely large as it crossed Puerto Rico. Hurricane-force winds were measured in Guayama for 18 hours; since the storm is estimated to have been moving at 13 mph (21 km/h), the diameter of the storm’s hurricane winds was estimated very roughly to be 234 miles (376 km). At least 10 inches (250 mm) of rain was dropped over the entire island. Official reports stated that “several hundred thousand” people were left homeless, and property damages were estimated at $50 million 1928 US dollars.

The eye of the hurricane passed just south of Grand Bahama as a strong Category 4 hurricane, again causing very heavy damage. Unlike Puerto Rico, authorities in the Bahamas were aware of the hurricane’s passage well ahead of time, and preparations minimized the loss of life in the islands.

In south Florida at least 2,500 were killed when storm surge from Lake Okeechobee breached the dike surrounding the lake, flooding an area covering hundreds of square miles. Coastal damage in Florida near the point of landfall was catastrophic. Miami, well south of the point of landfall, escaped with very little damage; Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale suffered only slight damages.

Northward, from Pompano Beach to Jupiter, buildings suffered serious damage from the heavy winds and 10 ft (3 meter) storm surge, which was heaviest in the vicinity of Palm Beach; total coastal damages were estimated as “several million” dollars. Because of the well-issued hurricane warnings, residents were prepared for the storm, and the loss of life in the coastal Palm Beach area was only 26.

Inland, the hurricane wreaked much more widespread destruction along the more heavily populated coast of Lake Okeechobee. Residents had been warned to evacuate the low ground earlier in the day, but the hurricane did not arrive on schedule so people returned to their homes. The worst of the storm crossed the lake with winds measured on the ground at around 140 mph (225 km/h) — the south-blowing wind caused a storm surge to overflow the small dike that had been built at the south end of the lake. The resulting flood covered an area of hundreds of square miles with water in some places over 20 ft (6 m) deep. Houses floated off of their foundations and destroyed hitting any obstacle they encountered. Most survivors and bodies were washed out into the Everglades where many of the bodies were never found. As the rear eye wall passed over the area, the flood reversed itself, breaking the dikes along the northern coast of the lake and causing a similar but smaller flood.

Floodwaters persisted for several weeks, impeding attempts to clean up the devastation. Burial services were quickly overwhelmed, and many of the bodies were placed into mass graves. The Red Cross estimated the number of fatalities as 1,836, which was taken as the official count by the National Weather Service for many years; older sources usually list 3,411 as the total count of fatalities, including the Caribbean. However, in 2003 this was revised as “at least” 2,500, making the Okeechobee hurricane 9th deadliest hurricane. In total, the hurricane killed at least 4,075 people and caused around $100 million 1928 US dollars in damages over the course of its path.

8. Newfoundland Hurricane of 1775

A letter from New Bern, North Carolina recounted, “We had a violent hurricane…which has done a vast deal of damage here, at the Bar, and at Matamuskeet, near 150 lives being lost at the Bar, and 15 in one neighborhood at Matamuskeet.”

The Newfoundland Hurricane of 1775 is also known as the Independence Hurricane. It was a hurricane that hit Newfoundland in September of 1775 and is believed to have killed at least 4,000 people.

A storm struck the eastern coast of Newfoundland on September 9, 1775. It is uncertain if this storm was the remnants of the hurricane that had crossed the Outer Banks over a week earlier; if so, it was probably extra tropical by this time.

Newfoundland’s fisheries “received a very severe stroke from the violence of the wind, which almost swept everything before it,” the colonial governor Richard Duff wrote shortly after it struck. “A considerable number of boats, with their crews, have been totally lost, several vessels wrecked on the shores,” he said. Ocean levels rose to heights “scarcely ever known before” and caused great devastation, Duff reported.

A total of 4,000 sailors, mostly from England and Ireland, were reported to have been drowned, a localized storm surge is reported to have reached heights of between 20 and 30 feet. Losses from the hurricane include many fishing boats and two armed schooners of the Royal Navy, who were on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland to enforced Britain’s fishing rights.

The hurricane is Atlantic Canada’s first recorded hurricane and Canada’s most tragic natural disaster (and by far the deadliest hurricane to ever hit Canada), as well as the eighth deadliest hurricane in history.

7. Atlantic hurricane 1766

In 1766 there was a severe hurricane in Jamaica around the islands of the West Indies. Captain John Leaycroft, who was a member of the Leaycraft family of Beaufort North Carolina, was in Jamaica days afterwards and his report was published in the Virginia Gazette on 24th October 1766. His claim says “it came in at 10am continued without abating until 5pm and has done considerable damage”.

The hurricane moving northward through the Carolinas affected a Revolutionary War battle in Virginia; it caused supply ships to sink in the Chesapeake Bay area.

September 4th, 1766: The hurricane hits Galveston.

A mission named San Augustine de Ahumado, located in what is now considered Chambers County, was destroyed. Storm surges of 7 feet flooded the area. A richly-laden treasure fleet of 5 galleons en route from Vera Cruz to Havana was driven ashore and had to wait many weeks for assistance to come. Fortunately, much of the treasure and people aboard were saved.

The powerful hurricane hit Martinique on September 5.

It hit Pointe-a-Pitre Bay, Guadeloupe the next day, and caused 6000 fatalities making it the 7th deadliest hurricane in Atlantic history..

6. Hurricane Flora 1963

Hurricane Flora blasted through the Caribbean in September and October 1963.

The Category 4 system struck the southwest peninsula of Haiti on October 4, causing heavy rains and flooding. Flora hit southeast Cuba near Guantanamo Bay also on the 4th, but a high pressure system to its north and another to its west caused Flora to drift over Cuba. It reached the Caribbean again on the 6th, but it again hit Cuba on the 7th. Flora was pulled to the north-east by a trough, bringing the hurricane into the Atlantic Ocean on the 8th. Flora steadily strengthened to a 115 mph major hurricane on the 10th, but cooler water temperatures weakened Flora until it became extra tropical on the 12th.

The hurricane caused such great damage in Tobago that it changed the economy of the island from cash-crop agriculture towards tourism and fishing. Heavy crop damage was reported in Haiti, with smaller amounts of damage in Dominican Republic.

Flora left 7,193 people dead in Haiti and Cuba, making it the 6th deadliest hurricane in Atlantic history.

In addition, Flora caused a total of $528 million (1963 dollars) in damage.

5. 1930 Dominican Republic Hurricane

The 1930 Dominican Republic Hurricane was a small but intense Category 4 storm during the 1930 Atlantic hurricane season.

On August 25, a tropical storm was observed to the south of the Cape Verde islands. It moved steadily westward and attained hurricane status on August 31 while located about 495 miles east of Guadeloupe. It moved just south of due west, and strengthened into a hurricane later on the 31st. The hurricane continued to slowly strengthen, and reached winds speeds of 95 mph as it crossed the northern Lesser Antilles on September 1.

The hurricane quickly strengthened over the Caribbean Sea, and reached major hurricane status just off the southern coast of Puerto Rico on September 2. It slowed to a west-northwest drift and intensified, peaking as a Category 4 hurricane with 150 mph winds on September 3. Soon after, the intense hurricane struck southern Dominican Republic near Santo Domingo. The city experienced very intense wind gusts estimated from 180-200 mph.

While crossing Hispaniola on September 3 and September 4, the hurricane rapidly weakened over the mountainous terrain to a 70 mph tropical storm as it entered the Windward Passage. After spending less than 12 hours over waters with a severely disrupted circulation, the storm hit southeastern Cuba late on the 4th, and paralleled the southern coast of the island. It briefly emerged into the Caribbean Sea on the 5th, but moved back ashore as it continued its west-northwest motion.

On September 6, the small tropical storm reached the Gulf of Mexico. Its motion changed to a northeast drift, where it crossed Florida near Tampa Bay on September 9. It accelerated to the northeast, where it was finally able to strengthen over the warm Gulf Stream waters. On September 12, it became a hurricane again to the east of South Carolina, and reached a secondary peak of 95 mph on the 14th as it turned eastward. It weakened over the Northern Atlantic, and dissipated on September 17.

While crossing the Lesser Antilles, the hurricane had a relatively minor effect; Puerto Rico received heavy rains up to 6 inches, though an unusual occurrence happened when the southern part of the island, the part nearest to the hurricane, felt only 1-2 inches of rain.

The city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic was nearly destroyed from the hurricane’s strong winds. The damage was estimated at $50 million USD. This tropical cyclone killed as many as 8,000 people when it crossed Hispaniola, making it the fifth deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record.

4. Hurricane Fifi 1974

Hurricane Fifi (or Hurricane Fifi-Orlene) was a catastrophic storm during the 1974 Atlantic hurricane season that made landfall in Belize. Fifi was one of the most costly hurricanes in history, causing $3.7 billion USD in damages. It was also one of the deadliest Atlantic hurricanes, killing as many as 10,000 people. Fifi was one of the few storms that crossed from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean.

Fifi, only a Category 2 hurricane at its strongest, skirted the north coast of Honduras, causing massive flooding from the inflow of southerly winds. The rains collected in rivers, which caused enormous amounts of physical and economic damage to poor villages, small towns, and commercial banana plantations when it skimmed Honduras. Most of the country’s fishing fleet was destroyed. Although estimates of the number killed range from 3,000 to 10,000, a figure of 8,000 dead is generally accepted. Most deaths may have been caused by freshwater flooding from the rainfall that accompanied the hurricane.

Hurricane Orlene

The remnants of Fifi encountered a depression and interacted with it. This triggered the development of another system. After it was named Orlene, it paralleled the coast of Mexico before reaching hurricane intensity on September 23. It made landfall near its secondary peak strength on September 23 southeast of Culiacan and dissipated shortly after that.

Hurricane Fifi is usually considered the fourth deadliest hurricane in history, though uncertainty about the number of deaths caused by Fifi and the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 could place it as the third deadliest ever.

Fifi caused a total of $900 million 1974 USD in damage

3. Galveston Hurricane of 1900

The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 made landfall on the city of Galveston, Texas, on September 8, 1900. It had estimated winds of 135 miles per hour (215 km/h) at landfall, making it a Category 4 storm. The hurricane caused great loss of life with the death toll estimated to be between 6,000 and 12,000 people. The number most cited in official reports is 8,000, giving the storm the third-highest number of casualties of any Atlantic hurricane.

Common names for the storm include the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, the Great Galveston Hurricane, and in older documentation, the Galveston Flood.

At the time of the 1900 storm, the highest point in the city of Galveston was only 8.7 feet (2.7 m) above sea level. The hurricane had brought with it a storm surge of over 15 feet (4.6 m), which washed over the entire island. The surge knocked buildings off their foundations, and the ocean pounded them to pieces.

Over 3,600 homes were destroyed, and a wall of debris faced the ocean. The few buildings which survived, mostly solid built mansions and houses along the Strand, are today maintained as tourist attractions.

2. Hurricane Mitch 1998

Hurricane Mitch was one of the deadliest and most powerful hurricanes ever observed, with maximum sustained winds of 180 mph (290 km/h). The storm was the thirteenth tropical storm, ninth hurricane, and third major hurricane of the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season. At the time, Mitch was the strongest Atlantic hurricane ever observed in the month of October.

Mitch formed in the western Caribbean Sea on October 22, and after drifting through extremely favorable conditions, it rapidly strengthened to peak at Category 5 status.

After drifting southwestward and weakening, the hurricane hit Honduras as a minimal hurricane. It drifted through Central America, reformed in the Bay of Campeche, and ultimately struck Florida as a strong tropical storm.

Due to its slow motion from October 29 to November 3, Hurricane Mitch dropped historic amounts of rainfall in Honduras and Nicaragua, with unofficial reports of up to 75 inches (1900 mm). Deaths due to catastrophic flooding made it the second deadliest hurricane in history; nearly 11,000 people were killed with over 8,000 left missing by the end of 1998.

The flooding caused extreme damage, estimated at over $5 billion (1998 USD).

1. Great Hurricane of 1780

The Great Hurricane of 1780 is considered the deadliest Atlantic tropical cyclone of all time. About 22,000 people died when the storm pounded Barbados, Martinique, and Saint Eustatius in the Lesser Antilles between October 10 and October 16. Thousands of deaths also occurred offshore.

The death toll from the 1780 storm alone exceeds that for any other entire decade of Atlantic hurricanes. The hurricane struck the Caribbean in the midst of the American Revolution and took a heavy toll on the British and French fleets. British Admiral George Rodney arrived from New York after the storm, finding eight of twelve warships left in Barbados totally lost and most of their crews drowned. The storm also scattered and damaged most of the fleet under his command.

The storm killed nine thousand on Martinique. While in the Lesser Antilles, it killed several thousand sailors of the Spanish, Dutch, British, and French fleets. The storm also took many lives on other islands, including Saint Lucia.

Four to five thousand lives were lost on Saint Eustatius. The storm then passed over the southwestern corner of Puerto Rico heading northwestward. It probably ranked as the most devastating in the history of the island at the time.

The hurricane passed east and north of Hispaniola around 16 October and apparently approached Florida on 17 October. It continued to produce strong northerly gales off Charleston, South Carolina as it passed to the east of the coast.

Source by Jamie Stone

Cue Stick Grooming, Cue Tips Care, & How to Maintain a Cue Stick

The most important part of any cue is the tip. Your major concern should be how well it maintains its shape and holds chalk. The tip should never be smooth or chalk deficient!

1. The tip should be shaped within a dime to nickel radius. A gauge is available with most tools.

2. If not within dime to nickel radius, place a tip shaper on the floor with the bowl side up.

3. Turn the cue upside down placing the tip of the cue into the shaper bowl.

4. Rotate the cue while pivoting the cue back and forth. Be careful not to over sand and wear the tip down too quickly. Remember, you are not sanding down the tip, simply shaping it.

5. Use a tip-pik and scuffer on the leather tip to roughen and create deep perforations for maximum chalk retention and better ball control.

6. Apply a small amount of wax to the outside edge of the tip and burnish. This helps prevent the tip from mushrooming and will sharpen your sights in relationship to the cue tip and the ball.

Shaft Maintenance

When the cue gets dirty or sticky the shaft needs to be cleaned.

1. Using No. 600 wet/dry sandpaper, white scotch bright pad or No. 0000 steel wool clean the shaft from the ferrule, down 10-15 inches.

2. Using a piece of brown paper, undyed leather or even a 20 dollar bill, burnish the shaft until it becomes hot to the touch. This gives the shaft a polished look and feel, enabling the shaft to slide smoothly through your fingers without wearing a glove.

3. Another option would be to apply a small amount of conditioner to the shaft working it down into the shaft where you have cleaned.

Additional Maintenance

1. To clean and polish the ferrule use Pearl Drop Tooth Polish with a dampened cotton cloth and twist the ferrule back and forth in the cloth between your fingers.

2. Adding a drop of silicon, shaft treatment or graphite to the joint pin will reduce friction

3. Never apply water to any part of the cue stick.

Tips on Protecting Your Investment

1. Never leave your cue stick in areas of extreme heat or cold. To do so may causes the shaft to warp.

2. Do not expose your cue to any moisture.

3. Make sure you always have the bumper on the butt end of your cue.

4. Never apply any oils to your cue. This will soften the wood and damage parts.

5. Never leave your cue unattended unless it is secure.

6. A Good Rule to Follow…Only let your cue go where you would go.

7. Always store your cue exactly upright or horizontal.

8. Always use experienced and reliable service personnel.

Source by Darren Kincaid

10 Things Every For Sale By Owner Should Know

1) Get Professional Advice. Use local Real Estate Agents for a free Home Valuation to find out your properties worth. This is a no-obligation free service; You do not have to agree to your home or use their services.

2) Invest in your Home. You should receive some pretty good feedback from Real Estate Agents and their valuations. Ask them what you can do to increase your home value?

3) Do Market Research. Read the paper, pick up Real Estate Magazines for your local area, and go to open houses with in a 5-7 block radius. Talk with others sellers in your area. Compare and contrast your House and Pricing based on your findings. There are many free internet resources available where you can dig up some great facts about homes sold in your neighborhood recently.

4) Price to Sell. Pricing your Home based on facts and not your emotional value of it, is essential in successfully getting your home sold.

5) Set a Realistic Time Frame. Manage your expectations. Look at the various factors of how the market can affect the time your home sits on the market. Factors that can affect this vary from Supply of similar Homes for sale in your neighborhood or how long it takes the average home to sell.

6) Stage Your Home. De-clutter, work on curb appeal, clean up trash, paint outside if needed, replace worn carpet, and repair broken fixtures. Stage your furniture like a Model Home or a Furniture store. Make it cozy yet inviting and clean. Allowing potential buyers to see how the space will work for them.

7) Marketing is Key. Every previous step is only activated if people know your home is for sale! Attract potential buyers. There are so many different types of Advertising. One that is really effective is listing your property on your local Multiple Listing Service which allows your home to be listed in the database of Homes for sale that Real Estate Agents use when their looking for properties for their buyers. You need to be here. There are many internet Listing services that offer packages which include this service. Only a licensed Real Estate Agent can list properties for sale here, but you can a Flat MLS fee service or another Internet listing site. I will visit this further as this step is very important.

8 ) Have Open Houses. Have cookies baking..cliché..yes! But it works, people relate to smells, have an inviting smells. This goes without saying but – clean up and make sure your home is staged. Everything mentioned in Step 6!

9) Have Forms Available. You should always have forms for potential buyers contact information for easy follow-up and advertising trackibility. Have easy to take flyers of your Home with your contact information and Property Details. Have resources available to qualify a buyer. You will need contracts. When “closing the deal” you want to look into getting professional help here.

10) Don’t Forget. A typical Sale involves:

• a home inspection,

• an appraisal,

• a survey,

• a title search,

• a termite examination,

• loan underwriting and approval,

• date of closing,

• Show me the money!

Source by Andrew J Sims

James River Smallmouth Fishing

The upper James River in Virginia offers some of the best smallmouth fishing in the country.

Fly fishermen and conventional fishermen both can enjoy the hard-fighting nature of the smallmouth in this absolutely beautiful river, which flows from the confluence of the Cowpasture and Jackson Rivers in Bath and Highland Counties, through Lynchburg and Richmond, past Williamsburg and Jamestown to the Chesapeake Bay. It’s upper sections wind through the Jefferson National Forest, cross under the Blue Ridge Parkway, and through the George Washington National Forest, along the beautiful Appalachian Mountains.

Words alone cannot describe the beauty of this stretch of river, or the thrill of landing a 4 or 5 pound smallmouth bass that call it home.

The river’s fall line runs through downtown Richmond, and anywhere upstream of there the smallmouth are plentiful year-round. This section of river also holds largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish, and even musky, but the smallies are the predominant species, and the most fun to catch.

There are many good places to fish from the bank or wading, especially in the foothills, but float fishing in a canoe, kayak or other small boat is the best way to go for large numbers of fish. For kayak fishermen, you’d be thrilled to experience the James’ beauty and serenity, as well as the excellent smallmouth fishing that has been a mainstay of the river for decades.

For conventional fishermen, on light spinning tackle or small baitcasting gear, try small jigs or grubs in natural colors. Suspending jerkbaits like the Rapala X-Rap, and Senkos are also excellent choices. Focus on slow-moving water and the deeper pools. If the bite is slow, use smaller baits and slow down your retrieve. I also like to use small spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, and crankbaits in the warmer months, and have caught many fish on topwater poppers. Live minnows and worms will work too, but artificial lures are more feasible if your fishing from a kayak or canoe.

The fly fisherman can have so much fun fishing for smallies on the James, they might not want to go back to trout fishing! Use a 7 or 8 weight fly rod with matching floating line with a weight-forward taper and a 1x or a 0x tippet for bugs and poppers, or a sinking tip fly line and a 6 foot leader setup with strike detectors for underwater flies. A good tip to remember is the lower the water, the longer the leader. If the water is shallow, say under 3 feet, the fish will be easily spooked, so you may want to use a 9 to 12 foot leader and cast a little upstream of your target, letting the current carry the fly to the fish. Also be very quiet and move slow when approaching your fishing hole. It doesn’t take much to scare-off a fish.

Smallmouth bass dine on many different insects, but their most common cuisine includes frogs, mayflies, grasshoppers, caddisflies, damselflies, dragonflies, hellgrammites, shiners, leeches and crawfish. Just as in trout fishing, it helps to “match the hatch”, but smallmouth are not nearly as finiky as trout. Try a popping bug alongside grassbeds in the summer, and in colder water, a sinking fly cast to a gravel bar or against the bank in 2 feet of water can produce trophy-size fish.

All freshwater fish like to hang out around structure, and smallmouth are no exception. Fly fishermen and conventional anglers can use this to their advantage. Any particular boulder, rockbed, downfall, bush or weedbed is likely to be holding a fish. One trick I’ve learned is when you catch a smallmouth in a particular spot, release him and come back 3 or 4 hours later to catch the same fish again.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has an excellent float trip map as well as public boating access locations here. I highly recommend printing the page if you are going, as there are rapids and dams to avoid along the river’s 340 miles. You can buy a Virginia freshwater fishing license online here.

Whatever your style of fishing or your method of getting to them, I guarantee you will have a blast fishing for smallmouth bass in the awesome James River. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as you will be showing your family and friends not only your fish, but the incredible scenery of the river and the surrounding country.

Happy Fishing!

Source by Scott D Rogers

Moore’s Brick Cottages and Lake, a Trace of Vintage Virginia Expires

It’s summer in pre-World War II Virginia and the livin’ is easy – and hot as blazes.

Where do you go to escape the heat?

Moore’s Lake!

The popular swimming hole right off U.S. Route One between Richmond and Petersburg, was the most refreshing refuge from humidity and sweltering dog days west of Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. It was a mecca for locals seeking a few hours of blessed relief and a major vacation destination for tourists from throughout the state. Folks were drawn by its enormous sand beach, water slides, the high diving board where giggling girls congregated to watch the boys show off, and the adjacent dance hall that filled the evening air with Big Band melodies. Everyone entering the bath house received a distinctive pin, later using it to reclaim their clothes after a swim. Today, the brass pins are cherished by many old-timers who wear them as lapel ornaments.

Tommy Crump, whose parents bought the lake and surrounding cottages after working several years for R.D. Moore, the original owner, recalls that hundreds of families from as far away as North Carolina came back year after year. Folks driving from the north to Florida soon learned that it was the ideal overnight stop both going and coming. For the locals, Moore’s Lake was the place to be and to be seen. It was inevitable that the sunny afternoons and moonlit evenings were responsible for untold romances. Many blossomed into marriage.

The sturdy brick and stone cottages Moore built in 1929 were the epitome of luxury when George and Lena Crump took over the business. They quickly modernized them further by adding bathrooms. As the Depression eased and tourists clamored to enjoy their amenities and the sylvan setting, they built more cottages throughout the fragrant woods until they numbered 38. By 1941, they had erected a restaurant and their own comfortable brick home on the property.

When World War II broke out and Camp Lee in nearby Petersburg was reactivated (it was renamed Fort Lee in 1950), some of the servicemen stationed there brought their families along and quartered them in cottages at Moore’s Lake. Several of their wives found work as waitresses in the busy restaurant that served three meals every day to cottage guests, local residents, and defense workers commuting to their jobs at nearby military facilities. To defray expenses, the older children of service families staying there contributed to the war effort by making themselves useful as busboys, dishwashers, gardeners, and lifeguards.

Tommy Crump, now 68, was a toddler then. He was closely supervised by a nursemaid as he peddled his tricycle along the scenic lanes to claim a tasty treat from the restaurant kitchen serving guests of Moore’s Brick Cottages and Moore’s Lake. Growing up in the roomy house his parents built, he learned to swim in the lake and appreciate the beauty and unique setting of the property. It was only natural that he never strayed, but chose to stay and raise his own children there.

In 1970, he and his wife bought the cottages, adjacent gas station, and the restaurant. Re-christened Sylvester’s, the restaurant was destined to become the most popular for miles around. Along with a mouth-watering prime rib dinner that drew crowds, the menu offered succulent seafood, savory soups, “croissant-wiches,” stuffed potatoes, and scrumptious homemade desserts, among them a double chocolate silk pie and hot fruit cobbler.

Moore’s Brick Cottages thrived until construction of Interstate 95 nearby lured cars and trucks away from the venerable Jefferson Davis Highway, thereby cementing the operation’s fate. With the advent of high-speed highways nationwide, families discovered the lure of the open road. No longer content to vacation a short distance from home, tourists sped from Boston to Miami in a fraction of the time they could chug along the obsolete two-lane road. When large motels and hotels sprang up along the Interstate to serve the long-distance travelers, it was not long before Moore’s Brick Cottages became superfluous. The buildings drifted into disrepair and those who came to swim took their chances without lifeguards on duty. Today the lake is little more than an unattended neighborhood swimming hole.

Sylvester’s, however, continued to prosper. It catered to a local loyal clientèle until December 2004 when Tommy Crump sold the property to a developer. The office park and retail businesses springing up on the bulldozed land will serve the town of Chester. Tommy watched with brimming eyes while all but two of the quaint cottages were demolished and their rubble used as parking lot fill.

“I feel an obligation to save these last two as a part of history,” he says. “I’m keeping one for myself and am having it moved to my property along the James River. I hope someone – or some concerned organization – will take the other and preserve it for posterity.”

With no takers as yet, time is running out. Soon only the ghosts of halcyon days gone by will hover over the property that is still sheltered by gigantic, aromatic trees awaiting destruction in the name of progress.

Source by Emily Cary

What Were You Thinking?

My daughter Kelly asked, “What were you thinking?” She was looking over the shoulders of her sons…our grandsons Brendan and Riley…as they were looking at my wedding album and the photo of our new “blended” family. I replied, “Obviously, we weren’t.”   The ages of our children in that photo, were 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.   She asked a very good question. I would propose the same question to any two people who are about to blend families, even if their numbers are fewer than ours and the ages are different.  

What are you thinking?

  • Are the two of you thinking about each other and the love you’re sharing with one another?
  • Are you thinking about how or whether the children will get along with each other? You may already know, or think you do.
  • What do your children really think about your future spouse; their future step parent? Actions speak louder than…
  • And Vice Versa? Ditto on the actions…
  • Where will they live most of the time? When & how will they go back and forth?
  • Are your food choices and cooking habits the same as or different from those that they’re used to?
  • Do you discipline differently from each other, from the former spouses?
  • Will the new step siblings share bedroom(s)?

When you read (above) the ages of our children on our wedding day, you might have said “WOW!” That was a plate full. Then we moved the plate. Three days after that beautiful beach wedding, on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton, Virginia, we moved to Denver, Colorado.   We moved our newly blended family to a city, more than 1700 miles away, and into a house that only their parents had seen. New house, new city, new schools, new friends, new job assignment for me (with a lot more travel) and a new job for the new Mrs. This is not an unusual scenario in today’s America.  

Here’s another question to ponder: What comes after the wedding? The honeymoon? Guess again. How about ‘the marriage.’  

I recommend to those new or soon-to-be step-parents that you think about the questions I’ve proposed, and the countless others I haven’t thought of, and that someone is you know we love to ask you, if they only dared.   We hope that you will talk with each other about those questions and that you’ll talk with your children about those questions.

And finally, that you will listen to what your children say. You shouldn’t have to learn it all the hard way. That’s why I say, ‘if you get to know us, we should give you hope.’   By the Grace of God and a lot of hard work, we can say that we love our life, now. We’re a fully functional family, now. We could have gotten to this point sooner if we had someone ask us those same questions.

Source by Perry Coons

Notable Traits of the Virginia Big-Eared Bat

The Virginia Big-Eared bat is one of three federally-listed endangered species of bat in Virginia. In fact, it has been categorized as endangered since 1979 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. There are several interesting facts about the Virginia Big-Eared bat species, adding more reason to keep these precious critters protected and preserved. Continue reading to learn more about the Virginia Big-Eared bat, and what to do if you suspect you are having nuisance bat issues around your property.

Scientific Classification

The Virginia Big-Eared bat is part of the Animalia kingdom, Chordata phylum, Mammalia class, and Chiroptera order. Their scientific name, Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus, is derived from their genus (Corynorhinus), species (C. townsendii), and subspecies (C. t. virginianus).

Physical Appearance

This special species is distinguishable by its large ears, which can reach lengths of 2.5 centimeters or more. When resting, their ears reach back to half of the length of their body! In addition to their most distinguishable trait, these mammals have long, soft, brown fur that ranges in shade depending on their age. Weighing and average of 7 to 12 grams (0.25 to 0.42 ounces), it is one of the largest Microchiroptera species in its range. With rounded muzzle and elongated nostrils, the Virginia Big-Eared bat can grow to 98 millimeters (3.85 inches) long by adult hood.


The VBE bat usually mates in the fall and winter. Females actually store the male’s sperm until they begin ovulation, which generally occurs in late winter or early spring. Females have a gestation period of 3 months, and give birth to only one baby, called a “pup.” The pup stay with the mother for up to 8 weeks, in which time they are fully-developed and capable of flight. These bats generally roost in caves, where they also hibernate for the winter. Because they prefer it, they are mostly found in mountainous limestone caves surrounded by forest with oak and hickory trees.


Although they are called the Virginia Big-Eared bat, they are not just native to Virginia. They are also found in states like Kentucky and North Carolina. The Virginia Big-Eared bat species is not a migratory one; they stay in their caves all year, whether hibernating or not. They only leave to hunt for food at night, which they do with the help of their amazing sonar abilities called echolocation. Bats see quite well, opposed to common belief, and only use their echolocating abilities to better dart and dive for insects. They are nocturnal, so it also improves their night-time navigational skills.

Nuisance Bat Problems?

It is vital to contact a licensed bat control company for safe, humane, and non-lethal bat abatement services. You should never attempt to trap, touch, harm, or kill a bat under any circumstances. This is also important since you never know if it is a federally-protected species.

Source by Sarahbeth Kluzinski

Speak the Speech, I Pray Thee

Long before talking heads and hosts of newscasts proliferated the airwaves with multiple superfluous insertions in every sentence, or began a remark with “So,” educators promoted Shakespeare’s plea to “speak the speech trippingly on the tongue” through elocution classes. They heralded the ability to communicate in grammatically correct sentences devoid of hesitation with appropriate inflection, pronunciation, and knowledge of the topic as paramount to one’s success in life.

I was a third-grader at Concord School in Pittsburgh when my mother trotted me off to the King School of Oratory to cure my shyness and fear of speaking with adults. By the time she learned about the miracles its founder, Byron W. King, had accomplished, among them curing himself of a speech impediment, the nation’s most celebrated elocutionist had been dead many years, but his wife Inez, a renowned actress of the Chautauqua circuit, still trained actors, businessmen, lawyers, clergymen, and even children after public interest soared in child stars like Shirley Temple, Mickey Rooney, and Judy Garland.

Despite dutiful memorization of the dramatic readings Mrs. King assigned me, I remained painfully shy. Furthermore, I could not cultivate the deep, theatrical speaking voice she preferred. The first step toward that goal, she suggested, was to practice screaming often each day. The first time I tried it at home, Mother came running, believing I was injured.

My progress in public speaking was minimal by our move to Philadelphia and my entry to the seventh grade at Swarthmore High School, where social studies was taught by Nathan Bell. Each day, I entered his classroom trembling that he would call upon me to participate as a news reporter. Several times each week, Mr. Bell distributed a newspaper published by an educational organization devoted to enlightening teenagers about current national and international events. The format was that of a typical newspaper with columns covering a variety of topics, from serious military and political stories to humorous reports about clever animals or accomplishments by popular stars of stage, screen and radio. Mr. Bell called the serious articles “heavy” and the lighter ones “fluff.” He cautioned us to avoid the fluff and focus on the heavy stories because we would be graded for our understanding of the latter.

Once we had perused the newspaper and selected an article, he instructed us to stow it inside our desk to deter peeking. Then he would call on a student at random to explain the story of his or her choice and why it should interest us. His criteria for excellent reporting demanded extemporaneous delivery with expression, appropriate vocabulary, and clear understanding of the topic. To facilitate sharing, he directed us to move our desks into a circle. He always asked for comments on the presentation just given and how it might have been improved. Then he would move on to another student, stressing that the chosen article must be different from those already covered. Repeats were not permitted.

Terrified, my focus each day was to recall key points about the article I had selected and fervently pray that he would call on anyone but me before the bell sounded. Sometimes my mind went blank and I could not remember one fact. Not only did we have to report on the story in our own words, but we had to stand erect and address Mr. Bell and the others in the circle as if we actually knew what we were talking about. Unable to do this to his satisfaction without stammering, I received poor grades for “participation.” Still, I persevered.

The goal of our English teachers was to produce students who were masters of the spoken and written word, even if they did not hear ideal grammar at home. After drumming basic rules into our heads, Elizabeth McKee rewarded us the last few minutes of class by reading from her moving novel about her grandmother’s wait for her sweetheart’s return from the Civil War. Before exiting her classroom, every student who had made an error on a paper or during a discussion that day could expect to be halted, asked to recall the correct usage, and to use it properly in a sentence.

Hannah Kirk Mathews, who studied at Cambridge and became one of the world’s finest scholars of the Chaucerian dialect, taught only freshmen and seniors. Under her tutelage, we were voyagers across wondrous seas of words. We lapped up every poem, short story, play, and novel she recommended and performed at least two of Shakespeare’s plays per year, always yearning to evolve into adults who could transfer that knowledge to our own children or students.

A Quaker, Ms. Mathews began her career teaching at George School in Bucks County, Pennsylvania where one of her students was a young man so nourished by her wisdom and guidance that he devoted his life to celebrating mankind and our fragile earth through his novels. Just as she followed closely the lives and careers of all her students, she never lost touch with the young man destined to put “Hawaii,” “Chesapeake,” “Alaska,” and “South Pacific” on bookshelves.

Long after I had been teaching for many years, Ms. Mathews wrote, “My fondest memory is of my retirement party where the community came to give thanks and James Michener came to see me instead of attending a White House dinner.”

The strict rules of elocution that my classmates and I eventually mastered under these watchful teachers are shattered daily on television newscasts by reporters who insert “you know,” “like,” or “I mean” multiple times in each sentence. And let us not ignore those who blithely reverse subject and object as they chatter about what “her and me” or him and I” did.

Is proper speech destined for extinction?

Source by Emily Cary

Tips When Planning a Destination Beach Wedding

Details: Please confirm with the vendors the exact date, time, and location of the events of the day. Even though it is written on your contract, sometimes things may change. Also make sure that your vendors have your cell phone numbers or the numbers of those who will be in charge. The balance due should also be paid ahead of time, as we do not recommend that you wait until that day to pay the balance. Things are crazy, as you know, on that day, and it just adds to the stress of the day to wait until then. Also remember to secure any necessary permits and license fees associated with getting married on the beach-especially if you are using one of the state or national parks. Many times your vendors, such as your photographers, will need to have business liability insurance and separate photography special event permits in order to perform their services on the beach. We strongly recommend hiring a certified wedding planner familiar with the local area, as he or she will know the rules and idiosyncrasies of the various beach locations, as well as the local vendors and reception venues. This will alleviate the need for you to have to make several trips to the location ahead of time to meet with vendors, coordinate details, and deal with the stress of making sure that everything is in place by the day of the wedding. After all, this is supposed to be a wonderful and exciting time in your life, and you should not have to worry about details. That is a wedding coordinator’s job.

Time Frame and Locations: We always field the questions, “Well, what if we are getting married in a church but want beach formals, or what if we are getting ready in one place, getting married on the beach, and having our reception in yet another location? Keep in mind that this takes time, so plan accordingly both with the ceremony/reception venue(s) and with the portrait package that you choose. If you did not opt for full day coverage, the time frame is CRITICAL, because although you may think that everything is going to go according to plan and everything is going to be on schedule, it rarely does. If your package only includes 3 hours, then it is 3 hours INCLUDING travel time to get from location to location. During the busy summer months in a beach town traffic and parking are issues. People wrongly assume that they can get from place to place in a few minutes. Even though your destination may only be a few blocks or a few minutes away, tourists drive very slowly, traffic jams are common, and parking is at a premium in some locations (think boardwalk and oceanfront locations). For example, if your ceremony is on the beach somewhere in a busy downtown beach location and your reception is on the outskirts of town, then you need to allow for travel time even though it technically is only maybe a few miles away. Also keep in mind that photographers need time to do all of those “must-have” before and after shots that you will want to remember on your special day. If you are opting for getting ready shots, then PLEASE be ready to be photographed when the photographers arrive. It happens so often that the brides and her bridesmaids are not ready until the last possible minute or the groom and his groomsmen are doing shots out on the balcony in their underwear, and then the photographers have to scramble to get those all-important pre-ceremony formals. It results in everyone getting all flustered and maybe forgetting something they were supposed to bring or wear or do. It usually takes an hour or so to do these, so that means that your hair and makeup should be done and your dress should be ready to be put on by that time because you will be in every shot. After the ceremony, you will need to allow time for the post ceremony formals. This is so crucial for all weddings, as these are the images that will ultimately end up in your album. Remember that if you scheduled your reception to start a half of an hour after the ceremony, then all we will have is that half hour-subtracting time for travel, receiving line, etc. I always tell brides to allow at least 45 minutes for the formals-especially if the bridal party and/or families are large. Some family shots can be done at the reception when there is more time and when everyone is more relaxed, but the majority of the formals are done directly after the ceremony. It takes time to pose groups of people, and if there are children involved it takes a little bit longer to get them to pay attention. This is when we applaud the brides who have included a cocktail hour for their guests so that we have time to do the formals while the guests are enjoying the beginning of the reception. Although we understand that it is your wedding day and that you should have the right to be late to your own reception if you want, it does cause problems with the other vendors. If you and the bridal party are late to the reception, then the chef or caterer, the DJ, the servers, and the banquet manager are understandably unhappy because the food will be cold and they will be under a time crunch to try to get back on schedule. This is where the venue location is important. It is so much more convenient and a real time saver if you are able to choose a venue that has a beach area to use for the ceremony, a block of rooms that can be reserved for out of town guests, ample parking for those guests, and a reception area large enough to accommodate those guests.

Special Tips for Beach Weddings: Beach weddings are lovely, but be sure to plan for windblown hair, squinty eyes and harsh shadows if the wedding is too early, a possible rainout, and uninvited beachgoers in the background if it is not on a private beach. Often times brides will spend many hours in the salon getting their hair done, only to be disappointed when windy conditions at the beach ruin all of the time and money they just spent on their hair. We recommend up-do’s and lots of hairspray. Also, long veils are pretty, but keep in mind that they need to be anchored down so that they don’t go tumbling down the beach if a gust of wind renders them airborn. Weather is always a factor when considering a beach wedding. Always have backup plans in case of a possible rainout or one of those famous coastal storms (we call them Nor’Easters here in Maryland). You do not want to look like a soggy mess on the most important day of your life. Also keep in mind that you most likely will have elderly guests at your wedding, so they will need to be accommodated with beach wheelchairs, special seating, and a handicap beach access ramp if needed. The last thing you need is for grandma to fall down the dune and break her hip on the way to the beach.

Uncle Tom or Aunt Mary with a camera or a video camera: Although we are very nice about giving family members and friends the opportunity to take their own pictures at your wedding, some photographers try to discourage this. Videographers love to stand behind the officiant during the ceremony, and this makes for a very distracting ‘extra person’ in all of your ceremony shots. If it is a professional videographer, they usually know better than this-but Uncle Tom thinks he is doing you a favor getting his video footage. He doesn’t realize that he is ruining your wedding images by being in the way. This is common during beach weddings, because church weddings do not offer the opportunity for this to happen. Try not to forget that you are paying for professional images of your special day. You would hate to have a bunch of images of the two of you looking at Aunt Mary instead of the photographer or of Uncle Tom in the background during your ceremony in your wedding album!

Final Thoughts: Always remember that it is your special day, so no matter what happens, just enjoy the day and try not to worry about every little detail. If you hire vendors that are used to doing weddings at the beach, you will be assured that they will make sure that all runs smoothly. This is especially true if you do not hire a wedding planner, because then you are at the mercy of your vendors to make sure everything goes according to plan. Like I always tell my brides, choose your vendors wisely!

Source by Pam Goodman

Apartments That Approve With Bad Credit Or Broken Lease in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is a large vibrant city in the historic state of Virginia. This city which played such a pivotal role in the foundation of the United States and also formed a central part in the Confederate States in rich in not only history but also in culture. There are numerous individuals and families that continue to move here to settle and this definitely places a demand on the city’s apartments, rental and town homes.

Usually to rent an apartment in Virginia Beach involves good credit, a sound rental history and background as well. Unfortunately, there are many nice people who would want to lease housing in this city but their record is plagued with less-than-perfect credit and other rental maladies such as a broken lease.

If this is you, the obvious question comes to mind; are there any apartments in the city of Virginia Beach where one can be approved if they have a tarnished credit or a broken lease? The question is yes, but you have to be tactful.

The name given to apartments which are willing to work with people with previous broken leases or credit blemishes is “second chance Virginia Beach apartments”, and sometimes, these can be hard to find simply due to their reluctance to advertise in the mainstream media. There are however, a few places where one can start looking:

  • Lynnwood
  • Croatan Beach
  • Lynnhaven
  • King’s Grant

The difficulty sometimes in locating these types of apartments arises from the fact that few if any at all engage in any kind of advertising. This is usually because working with people who possess problematic credit is done on a case by case basis. The apartments also do not want any negative publicity which might drive their rates down or cause existing tenants to decline to renew their leases. If you are looking for a second chance rental apartment within the Virginia Beach area, there are a few tactics you can employ. One is to see an apartment locator. Sometimes these too may draw a blank but it is worth trying.

Another option is to use the Internet. Instead of spending money on gasoline driving around from apartment to apartment, you might want to plug in a term like “broken lease apartments in Virginia Beach” in Google and see what comes up. It may not be an exact science but this is a good starting point and can save you hours and money.

You can also network and ask around. Friends, co-workers, family and even neighbors can be an excellent source of information on where to rent if your credit is not what it should be or if your rental history is less than satisfactory.

One crucial point to note though is that even if you do indeed locate these types of rental properties within Virginia Beach, you must meet the minimum criteria that they ask for. One is that you must be prepared to furnish proof of income. Others may also ask that you pass a background check

Source by Jimmy Jamm