The courthouse is historically and geographically central to Jonesborough and other small southern towns because it's always been used criminally for fascist armed force to subvert and punish any deviance from autocratic white male privileged rule over non-whites and women (like me) and for seizure of their property. Typical of New England, old brick Mason School and its grassy grounds are central to the northern town, Newton Centre, of my childhood. The difference in emphasis is significant to values very divergent north/south.
I grew up in a hands-on international fine art and antiques museum. Familial and new oriental rugs and lace, marble statues and original paintings artfully framed, a few good prints and art photos framed in monogrammed sterling triptychs, bronze and stone cut-jewels, damask and velvet, leatherbound first editions and "a place for everything and everything in its place," 14k gold rimmed imported china place settings and sewing thimbles, crystal and silk, Limoges and Tiffany nearly everywhere. Mahogany and manners, decency and decorum, matriarchy and maple, humanity and harmony in genteel bouquets of abundance. All the utensils, except kitchen/laundry were monogrammed and weighted sterling silver. I was raised so innocently that I honestly didn't understand why our doors and windows were always locked. And complained about it repeatedly to no explicative avail. I insisted, also uselessly, that Nana give most of her/my money away, that there were homelessly starving peeps all over the earth. Without political digression, she always sighed a little and quoted -- to my exasperation -- scripture: "The poor ye have always with ye."
I had unlimited charge accounts with a few good stores like S.S. Pierce and local Park Snowe's but was taught stringently how to budget money and to market-invest for when i'd be a "big girl" on my own. On a dare I could charge anything at our country club also. I wasn't permitted an allowance, just cash or credit for on-the-spot specifics. I couldn't buy or have at home comic books or watch cartoons on our TV.
An only child, I was warmly loved, hugged a lot, and treated with respectful morality, and intelligently civil interest, and affectionately caring attention.
There was no such thing as not doing my homework or not practicing for a music/dance performance. I don't know what happened otherwise, only that I didn't live to it.
If I didn't "finish my plate" at dinner, I got no desert. Plaintive finickiness/pickiness wasn't allowed.
And then, around the conception of The Internet Age, I re-explored old passions in creating an internationally connected and award-recognized multi-media arts education website and was mugged and put in jail five times below the Mason-Dixon line to critically severe interactive disabilities, necessitating routine homecare for daily-living essentials meal-prep to washing to pet-care, consequent of exponentially extensive official misconduct into my 7th decade on earth from inescapable stress-induced strokes and four years of inappropropriately forcible psychotropic drugging to inculcate a southern socialized "botgirl" norm in this self-supportingly independent, and redundantly FL-VA-TN-DC supragrand-larcened (thug-mugged), diminutively-sized Yankee woman. -- Jeannette Harris Gerlach, 7/29/2015
Original material c. A Country Rag, Inc. and/or Jeannette Harris, Jonesborough Tennessee, April 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. All rights reserved.