december

Word Wednesday: Abacot

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Devil's Dictionary Image
Screen Capture
Ambrose Bierce
The Devil’s Dictionary

Generations of reference books once included this term, including the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, dated 1771 […]

James Murray, the famous editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, found that the original word was bycoket, which was indeed a form of headgear, a cap or headdress with a peak both in front and behind, whose name he thought derived from an Old French term for a small castle crowning a hill. He declared abacot to be a ghost word and wrote in an article in [T]he Athenaeum in February 1882:

“There is not, never was, such a word.”

His entry for abacot in the first edition of the OED read in its entirity [sic] “a spurious word found in many dictionaries, originating in a misprint of bycoket.” In the bycoket entry, he told the story:

Through a remarkable series of blunders and ignorant reproductions of error, this word appears in modern dictionaries as abacot. In Hall’s Chronicles a bicocket appears to have been misprinted abococket, which was copied by Grafton, altered by Holinshed to abococke, and finally “improved” by Abraham Fleming to abacot (perhaps through an intermediate abacoc) […]

One may instead argue that since the word has — albeit rarely — been used, then it exists and ought to be treated as such. There is, after all, no shortage of words that have been grossly altered through popular error. The revision of its entry in the Oxford English Dictionary in December 2011 takes this view […]

Michael Quinion
Weird Words (Abacot)
World Wide Words
April 15, 2006 (Updated: June 23, 2012)

You want to know what an abacot/bycoket is? Think Robin Hood. ~Vic

Snapshots Sunday: Land of Oz

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We're Off...Image One
Flag at the Entrance
Image is from the early 1970s
09-08-2017

In September of 2017, I paid a visit to a place I had not seen since I was about six years old…the Land of Oz. I remember bits and pieces of the trip. My parents took me in 1972 and two of my strongest memories are of riding on the balloon ride (a converted ski-lift) in a blinding mountain rainstorm and the wet ride in a bus, with no windows, down the mountain, leaving. For years, I wondered what had become of that park.

Originally opening on June 15, 1970, it was a grand place to visit and managed to stay open for a decade, even after a fire in 1975, before falling into disrepair and abandonment. Many things were stolen, vandalized or left to nature.

Appalachian State University had a cultural museum, at one time, that showcased saved pieces from the park including the yellow bricks, some munchkin houses, costumes, parts of the witch’s castle and other assorted props. All artifacts were eventually returned to the park.

In 1991, the park was included in a celebration for Independence Day for Beech Mountain. Watauga High School students dressed in costume. Emerald Mountain, Inc., purchased the property in 1994 and a slow restoration began. An “Autumn at Oz” was started as a reunion for former employees and became a yearly event. By 2010, the park drew 8,000 people.

By the 80th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz movie, 12,000 guests had come through in June of 2019. I have tons of pictures of this place, old and new and, I will be posting them over time. ~Vic

Oz Sign Image Two
Picture snapped in the 90s
Photo Credit: Emerald Mountain Realty

Land of Oz (Official Website)

Snapshots Sunday: Walsenburg

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Walsenburg Sign Image One
Photo Credit: Acts & Tracks (Radio Ronin WordPress Site)

As a companion piece to the Fort Sumner post, my ex-Marine and I headed north, still on our way to Liar’s Lodge. We headed into snow and landed in Walsenburg, Colorado, in Huerfano County, a town smaller than the one I am living in and, as of 2019, continues to hemorrhage people from a peak of 5,855 in 1940. We arrived after dark and stopped to eat. There’s not much there, back then or now. ~Vic

New Mexico Mountains Image Two
Driving north on I-25 through New Mexico.
Click for a larger view.
Mileage Sign Image Three
Las Vegas, New Mexico, by the way…
Driving Into Snow Image Four
The snow showed up.
Click for a larger view.
Snowy Road Image Five
Continuing north.
Click for a larger view.
Empty Diner Image Six
This is from December 2008 but,
the diner looks like it’s from 1974.
Alpine Rose Cafe
Click for a larger view.
Deserted Diner Image Seven
It was open but, deserted.
We had a decent meal.
It’s still there as of 2018.
Click for a larger view.
Radio Station Image Eight
KSPK
It appears to still be there.
It is the only home of Colorado Rockies Baseball
in Southern Colorado.
Huerfano Courthouse Image Nine
County courthouse and jail all lit up.
The lights in the windows are odd.
Click for a larger view.
Snowing Image Ten
It started to snow, again,
while I was attempting another picture.

Additional Reading:
Returning to the Place I’d Never Been (Acts & Tracks/radioronin.wordpress.com)
City of Walsenburg (colorado.gov)
Walsenburg (colorado.com)
Walsenburg (Uncover Colorado)

Shutterbug Saturday: Old Fort Sumner Museum

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I lived in Texas for nearly a decade. My ex-Marine and I did some traveling through the west when we had opportunities. I’ve been digging around in some old stuff and found some photos from a visit to the Old Fort Sumner Museum in New Mexico in December of 2008. We were on our way to Liar’s Lodge. The museum closed in 2017. ~Vic

Old Fort Sumner Museum Image One
A terrible shot of the front of the museum.
It was so overcast.
It never occurred to me to take pictures inside.
Historic Marker Image Two
Official Marker
Lucien Maxwell
Fort Sumner
Bosque Redondo
Elusive Tombstone Image Three
They kept stealing it.
Joe Bowlin
Notice the reference to Texas International Airlines
Jarvis P. Garrett is Pat’s son.
UPI Article on the 1981 Recovery
Stone Marker Image Four
Group death record.
Charlie Bowdre December 23, 1880
Tom O’Folliard December 19, 1880
Billy's Tombstone Image Five
Henry McCarty
AKA William H. Bonney
AKA Billy The Kid
July 14, 1881
“The boy bandit king,
he died as he lived.”

Late Add:

Fort Sumner Cemetery Panorama Image Six
Fort Sumner Cemetery
Photo Credit: Erans World
02-11-2014
Click to view full picture.

Additional Reading:
BTKOG (Billy the Kid Outlaw Gang Site)
Whiskey and the Devil: Taiban, New Mexico (City of Dust Blogspot January 10, 2012)
Billy the Kid’s Two Graves (Roadside America August 15, 2020)
Caught With His Pants Down: Billy the Kid vs Pat Garrett (True West Magazine August 1, 2010)
Brushy Bill Roberts (Wikipedia)

POTD: Stickwork Sculpture

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In November of 2015, Patrick Dougherty of Stickwork was commissioned by the Hillsborough Arts Council to craft a sculpture for our Riverwalk. The saplings were sustainably harvested from the Ayr Mount Historic Site. In December of last year, the heavy snowfall damaged the original piece and it was finally taken down. I’m glad I got some photos of it. ~Vic

Stickwork Sculpture Image One
“A Sight To Behold”
06-09-2017
Stickwork Marker Image Two
06-09-2017