The Man who Died Twice

The story about the Man who Died Twice begins with my trolley ride and ends with a What would You have done?

Into the Montford Historical District

Like I said in a previous post, I visited Asheville, North Caroline and had the nicest trolley ride around town. I boarded the Gray Line Trolley Tour of Asheville at the lovely Asheville Visitor’s Center.

The tour is a fully-narrated historic tour with ten famous sites where you can hop on or hop off. If you stay on for the whole ride, it’s 90 minutes.

Annie, our guide, was a history major who is looking for a job as a teacher…Please hire this woman! She is a wealth of knowledge! Not only that, she’s a good driver and kept us entertained with little-known facts about Asheville. For instance…

The Wright House and Carriage Inn

The Wright House and Carriage Inn.

When You Marry Mr. Wrong

As Annie drove us through Asheville’s Montford Historical District, she told us about the man who died twice. Mister Osella Brent Wright (ahem, Mister Wrong) married one Leva D.  Both hailed from Rock Island, Illinois. In 1899, they built themselves a home with porches and parlors, gables and slate roofs, Doric columns and spindles…All in the Queen Anne/Colonial-Revival architectural tradition, according to the National Park Service.

The Wrights owned the Carolina Carriage House, a leather goods business in Asheville.

You’d think their life together was idyllic, living in such a beautiful house in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains.

Not so much.

Apparently, Mr. Wright ran off in the night. Mrs. Wright was so humiliated that she told peeps that Osella B died. She even staged a funeral for the man.

A 1930 census indicates that Awesome Osella was living in Apopka, Florida.    The census says he was married, but he didn’t name his wife. (What a guy!)  Source: Find a Grave.

One stormy night, a knock rattled Leva’s door.  It was Awkward Osella, dripping wet, hat in hand.  He begged Leva to take him back. Leva offered him a modicum of grace. She allowed him to stay if he never ventured out again. After all, what’s a girl to do when she’s already faked his funeral?  What would she tell his mother??

Osella agreed.  Like Boo Radley, Osella’s face never saw the light of Asheville (or anywhere else) again.  I would have gone stark, raving mad with cabin fever, how about you?

At his real death, Leva buried Osella underneath his first tombstone.  Or somewhere…I can’t remember what Annie said.

So, the man died twice.  Kinda.

Mrs. Wright died in 1945, according to NPS. Since the couple had no children, the house was bought and sold several times.  It slowly eroded until people started calling it the “Faded Glory.”

The Wright House and Carriage Inn

The Wright House and Carriage Inn signBut the story ends happily.  (Not for Osella and Leda, but for us who love southern architecture.)

In the 1980’s, some enterprising man or woman remodeled the Wright House to use as a bed and breakfast.  No longer a faded glory, it is now known as the The Wright House and Carriage Inn on 235 Pearson Drive.

What would You have done?

Because of my beliefs about marriage, I would have taken Osella back unless he had run off with someone else. We’re supposed to stay married for better or for worse, right?

So what about you? What would you have done if you had been lovely Leda?

Annie with rescue kitten

Annie works with rescue kitten, Wilbur. Visit my Instagram for video.

P.S:  Thanks, Annie and the Gray Line Trolley for the trip and the fabulous stories.  I know I embellished the story a little bit. Annie didn’t say that it was stormy when Osella returned home, I don’t know if he knocked on the door–all just speculation on my part–and I can’t remember where she said they buried Osella the second time.

P.P.S: Please let me know if you like this kind of story. I’ve got tons more, so stay tuned!

Note: I received a ticket in return for blogging on Gray Line Trolley, but (regardless) I had a great ride with a fantastic guide!

trolley selfie

Gray Line Trolley selfie.

A Visit to Alabama’s State Capitol

Lefty and I visited Alabama’s State Capitol while Princess Buttercup attended Alabama All-State for band this weekend. (Yayyyyyy! #proudmom)

I hadn’t been near the state capitol building since I marched in the Million Dollar Band for maybe Governor Guy Hunt in 1990. Wiki says he won the 1990 election, so it must have been for him.  Anyhow, it was a beautiful day, and the bright building stood out in stark contrast to the beautiful cerulean sky overhead.

Alabama State Capitol

Alabama’s State Capitol Architecture

My favorite part was the rotunda. (Go here to see a better photograph.) I wanted to take more photos, especially of the stairway and the Greek revival columns outside, but my phone was getting full, and I wanted to save my space for pictures of Princess Buttercup and her pals.

Lefty did take some fun pictures of me in the old legislature chamber. The Alabama State Historical Commission says that all 3 branches of the state gov’t met in the capitol until 1942. Then the SCOTUS moved off somewhere, and the 2 legislative branches moved in 1992.

I wouldn’t have.

I would have stayed put because who wouldn’t want to do all that legislation in a beautiful, old, historic chamber?

They painted the walls of one of the chamber with the trompe l’oeil effect. I would have n-e-v-e-r guessed! I thought they were wooden panels until I went up to them and looked really close after reading the sign that said it was trompe l’oeil! Amazing! I may have to try this at home.

Anyway, court is in session, and Lefty took the following goofy pictures of Judge Stephanie.  (Hey, who you callin’ ‘goofy??’)

Over-ruled, Counselor!

Order in the court! One more word out of your client, Counselor, and I’m holding him in contempt!

For Foodies

Lefty and I did some good-eatin’ while in Mont-g. We had good ol’ southern food at Cahawba House. I even had meatloaf, cornbread, and collard greens. I don’t think I’ve had collard greens since I lived at home. They put a cute, little cornbread muffin on top for garnish. Loved it (but Mom makes the best cornbread ever!)  I tried cabbage and hash for the first time at the Irish Bred Pub, a nod to my Irish roots.

Cahawba House

Geeking out with other Band Mamas

I’m a band geek through-and-through, and I was in my element as hundreds of talented young musicians stormed the Dunn Oliver Acadome. The top band played the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Absolutely beautiful!

I think it’s almost as sweet to be a band mama as it is to be in the band….Almost.

Hundreds of the best young musicians in the state.


Beautiful Day in Downtown Huntsville

Downtown Huntsville Big Spring Int’l Park[/caption]For the first time in months,the temperature rose to nearly 80 degrees.  It was sunny, and a lot of folks were out in the downtown area.

I needed a protein drink…desperately.  Fortunately, I met Ty Blackwell who runs a local Wheelys Cafe along with his family. Known as “the World’s Fastest Growing Cafe Chain,” Ty’s family only just started about 3 days ago. I don’t know about the other days, but this was the perfect day to run that kind of business.

Wheelys Cafe food stand Ty at Wheelys Cafe

A Beautiful Day

I knew I was going to be in the Downtown Huntsville area this morning, so I brought along my little Nikon d7000. I also know how much y’all like photos of beautiful southern architecture. I didn’t have to stray far to get some good shots (IMHO) of buildings and water features. We really do live in a beautiful southern town!couple in Downtown Huntsville

Huntsville’s Big Spring International Park

They’ve done a lot of work to make the Big Spring International Park area even more gorgeous than it was when John Hunt built his cabin nearby in 1805. I gather it was probably a pretty primitive place back in the 1800’s. That seems funny, considering the fact that Huntsville is now known as the engineering capital of Alabama. Not far from John Hunts settlement are law offices, engineering firms, and some of the best restaurants our town has to offer.

By the way, in case you haven’t guessed, our little southern town was named in honor of John Hunt!

So, there’s this fountain underneath the big bluff at Big Spring International Park. People go here to get prom, wedding, family, and senior portraits made.

Then, it’s the home of lots of ducks and koi.

a ducky life in Huntsville Big Spring DuckThese sweet little ducks were just hanging out in the water, just enjoying the day. That’s the life!

Isn’t this a beautiful bank? I think they say it was built in the 1800s. We have a few Greek-revival-style places around Huntsville. You can read more about it, here.

Greek revival architecture bank at Rocket City

Downtown Huntsville

door Downtown Huntsville

Pin or Pitch — Harrison Brothers Wall Art


The wood.

So I bought these pieces of wood from Harrison Brothers a few weeks back.

Wood glue didn’t hold the wood to an old piece of laminate flooring that I found in my Dad-in-Law’s junk pile.

Instead, I nailed each piece to the laminate with some trim nails that I had on hand.


Old laminate is not the easiest thing to hammer into. At least it was upcycled, though. (I.e., Free!)

One piece split (boooo!) and I nailed them in a little crooked.


Oh, come on, nail! Really?!!!


I’m such an impatient crafter. To hide that, I stuck pieces of sticks in the crevaces and hot-glued the raw edges to hide the laminate.

My Dad-in-Law had these awesome steampunk-looking pieces of rusted wire that I bent to make some pretty lines for the hanger.

I made a patch-work quilt of sorts out of decorative contact paper and duct tape. I wanted the back to look pretty, and I also wanted to protect my drywall from the protruding nail heads.


Alas, the wood was too heavy, so I nailed these Hillman sawtooth hangers on the back and hung them on my drywall with monkey hangers.


It turned out crooked on my wall, but I’ve got to scram and didn’t have time to hang it straight.

I’ve got about 3 tiny holes in the wall, but the artwork hides them.

Since I got the wood pieces at the Harrison Brothers basement, who knows what part of a great old southern home now hangs in my house!
So what do you guys think?

Is it Pin-worthy or should I pitch it?


Done! (Sorta.)