There are quite a few real photo postcards by E.C. Eddy on our North Carolina Postcards website. I was curious to find out more about him, and the only mention I could find was in an edition of the “Images of America” series titled, “Around Southern Pines: A Sandhills Album, Photographs by E.C. Eddy,” by Stephen E. Massengill, 1998.
E.C. Eddy was born in New Hampshire in 1882 and moved to Pinehurst, N.C. in 1907 to assist the photographer Edmond L. Merrow in taking pictures of travelers at a resort. Eddy eventually set up his own studio, and would travel with his family back and forth between North Carolina winters and New Hampshire summers in order to catch both locations during their peak tourist season.
The image below is taken from Massengill’s book, and shows the type of scaffold system Eddy used to take bird’s-eye view photographs. It is likely he used a similar set up to photograph the downtown scene of Southern Pines shown above.
Eddy had a 38 year career as a photographer in North Carolina, and we know many of his surviving photos because local merchants frequently bought the images in order to reproduce them as postcards.
While processing buttons in the Lew Powell Memorabilia Collection, I came across an interesting group of pins pertaining to war maneuvers. From October through December 1941, approximately one-third of our nation’s army gathered in North and South Carolina to participate in a mock war. They were divided into the Red Army and the Blue Army and fought in an area between Fort Bragg (N.C,.), Fort Jackson (S.C.), and Fort Benning (Ga.). The engineers built bridges and the infantry tested tanks, artillery, and vehicles on the terrain. Twenty percent of the soldiers who participated were considered “casualties.” At the end of the battle, General Lesley McNair held a press conference and shared his view on the results of the “war.” He found that while the level of training for the troops was effective, the United States would have high casualties in real warfare. He prophetically pointed out that the military was most vulnerable to air attacks. Less than a week after the fake war ended the United States entered World War II in response to the aerial bombing attack on Pearl Harbor. Similar maneuvers were held in Louisiana from 1940 to 1944.
Former governor Robert W. Scott died today in Alamance County at the age of 79. You can read more about the story here, but we at NC Miscellany thought that we’d share a few pages from one of the Bob Scott-related items in our collection.
I know that many of you may follow the A View to Hugh blog, which covers the processing of the Hugh Morton photographs here at the North Carolina Collection. If so–or even if not–you might be interested in some of the state’s tourism literature that features Morton’s photographs. This week I found two such examples while filing travel brochures in our local ephemera collection. The first is from Airlie Gardens near Wilmington and the Morton images are color photos of pretty girls amongst the flowers, including a picture of Miss Polly Bergen, Queen of the Ninth North Carolina Azalea Festival. The second is an official brochure for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area. Evidence that Mr. Morton was influential (as if we needed any more): both pieces state in prominent locations that the photographs are his.
This past Wednesday (January 21) former U.S. Congressman Horace Kornegay (North Carolina Sixth Congressional District, 1961-1969) passed away at the age of 84. The image above shows Congressman Kornegay as he prepares to welcome presidential candidate U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy to Greensboro, North Carolina, for a campaign rally on September 17, 1960 (Kornegay is to the left of Senator Kennedy). Kornegay, who was born in Asheville, spent the majority of his life in Greensboro. After retiring from the U.S. Congress in 1969, he went on to a career with the Tobacco Institute. He worked at the Institute from 1972 to 1986, all the while promoting the tobacco industry in North Carolina.
Mr. Kornegay was a prominent Democratic representative of North Carolina in the 1960’s, and was a fixture at Democratic Party events at both the local and national level during this period. He appears in multiple images in the newly processed Edward J. McCauley Photographic Materials, and is included in some of the images that can be seen online in the Edward J. McCauley Photographs digital collection.
According to Lew Powell of Charlotte, the “Jesse Can’t Shag” record came with this sticker. The sticker, one of 2698 items in the Lew Powell Memorabilia Collection, is currently on exhibit in the Gallery as part of the “Soapboxes and Tree Stumps: Political Campaigning in North Carolina” exhibition. The exhibition features twelve Helms-related items, including this comical “HelmsBusters” button. A number of politicians, including Walter Mondale and Ronald Reagan, were also lampooned in this popular culture reference to the 1984 comedy film Ghost Busters.
A recent segment of WRAL’s Tar Heel Traveler recaps the story of a mummy nicknamed “Spaghetti,” that became a bit of an institution in Laurinburg, North Carolina.Spaghetti was the name posthumously given to the mummy of Consetto Formico, a carnival musician murdered in 1911 during the carnival’s visit to nearby McColl, South Carolina, just under 8 miles away from Laurinburg.
Cansetto’s father brought his son’s body to McDougald funeral home in Laurinburg where it was embalmed.However, the body was never buried because Formico’s father did not return with the rest of the bill he had promised to pay.The body was eventually moved to the garage of the funeral home, where it became a local (and macabre) tourist attraction.
In the early 1970s, the sensational story made its way to Congress, and two representatives attempted to pressure the funeral home, still owned by the McDougald family, into burying the body.The WRAL segment credits Congressman Biaggi with the final burial of the mummy, but an article from the Greensboro Daily Times October 12, 1978 gives the impression that the funeral home resented the intrusion of Congress.Two years later, the body was finally buried after members of the local community offered to pay for it.The article states:
“The politicians became interested, particularly an Italian congressman from New York.He and Rep. Charles Diggs (D-Michigan) tried to pressure Hewitt into burying Spaghetti.At one point, representatives of the state attorney general’s office came around.Then the Italian congressman sent $15 by mail (postage paid by the U.S. government) to pay for the burial.Hewitt [McDougald] sent it back.The only message was ‘This stamp paid for by McDougald’s.’Finally, in 1972, a group of townspeople headed toward the aging brick mansion which serves as a funeral home.They wanted to buy the top of the line, put Spaghetti in it and bury all the publicity.”
Spaghetti was buried in Hillside Cemetery, Laurinburg, but unfortunately, all the publicity was not buried.According to the Greensboro Daily Times article, Spaghetti’s corpse was listed for sale in a 1978 catalogue put out by a Wisconsin company called Freak Enterprises.
This fall the Collection received two cartons of miscellaneous printed materials–tourist brochures, political flyers, and the like. In among the brochures was a 45 rpm record entitled “Jesse Can’t Shag.” It was made for the 1984 Helms-Hunt U.S. Senate race. Given the passions that Senator Helms evoked, it’s a surprisingly gentle song. The gist of the song is that the vocalist is leaning toward Hunt because “Jimmy” likes beach music. On the other hand, Jesse “has two right feet” and has never learned to shag. The singer thinks it’s time for Jesse to “shag or get off the floor.”
The music is country. It’s a polished mix, with a honky-tonk piano, a horn section, and backup singers. Click here for an excerpt.
We’d love to know more about this record. Does anyone remember this—how it originated, where it was played, who the performers were and what they’ve done since? Do you have any stories about this recording?
Here’s what we know from the label:
Produced by Jack Dillard and Craig Fulton
Performed by The Filibusters (1984)
Mixed by David Floyd
Charlotte: Bull Moose, 1984
Side A: Jesse Can’t Shag 3:00
Side B: Jesse Can’t Shag (Equal Time) 3:00
If you have an account on Facebook, you can now become a “fan” of the North Carolina Collection. Simply search for “North Carolina Collection” and you’ll find our fan page. We’ve got 12 fans so far, but I’m sure there are more of you out there that would like to join this impressive crowd.
I’m still figuring out what all we can do with our fan page, so let me know if you have ideas. We will obviously use it for announcements, etc., but I’ve also thought about sharing images from the NC Collection. I’m still sort of new to Facebook, so all of you long-time FBers can contact me with your thoughts.