Corn Pudding

For this edition of Recipes from the Archives, I made a seasonally- and regionally-appropriate treat – Janet Harris Goldiere’s Corn Pudding, from the Davidson Senior Center’s 1985 printing of The Davidson Cookbook.

Davidson Senior Services (later the Davidson Senior Center), open to all town residents over the age of sixty, began operating in September 1977 in the railroad depot building on Jackson Street. The Center sponsored programs (including an income tax assistance service and a Senior/Student Friendship program), day trips, connected volunteers with seniors, put out a yearly newsletter (Tracks), and published three printings of a cookbook (The Davidson Cookbook). The Center closed in spring 2004, but a variation of the Senior/Student program continues to be operated through the Davidson College Presbyterian Church and the College Civic Engagement Council, now known as the Adopt-a-Grandparent program.

As the Cookbook explains, the community-sourced recipes reflect “the unique quality of life in our town, a hospitable place where the old landmark ‘Depot’ houses a lively program of activities and services of older townspeople through DAVIDSON SENIOR SERVICES, the official sponsor and beneficiary of this cookbook project.”

The cover and front page of The Davidson Cookbook, 1985 printing.

The cover and front page of The Davidson Cookbook, 1985 printing.

Janet Harris Goldiere (1898 – 1991) was a North Carolina native – born in Macon, in Warren County, she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1919, just as the school changed its name from North Carolina State Normal and Industrial College to Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina. As a student, Janet Harris was a member of the Cornelian Literary Society, Classical Club, was a substitute on the sophomore field hockey team.

Janet Harris and the rest of the UNCG sophomore hockey team of 1917

The UNCG sophomore hockey team of 1917, from the 1917 Carolinian, courtesy of University of North Carolina at Greensboro’ Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives’ Digital Collections.

Janet Harris taught French in public high schools for twelve years, and married Augustin Victor Goldiere (1895 – 1965), a professor of Spanish and French at Davidson College, in 1930. A.V. Goldiere received a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University. He served in the U.S. Ambulance Service in France during WWI, and first arrived in Davidson in 1922, while working on his graduate degrees. A.V. Goldiere taught at the College for nearly 40 years, until retiring in 1963.

Both Goldieres were very active in the Presbyterian Church; Janet served as the President of the Women of the Church and A.V. was President of the Men of the Church of the Concord Presbytery, and he also served as a deacon and elder of the Davidson College Presbyterian Church. Janet participated in several Davidson community organization – she was a member of the Quadwranglers Wives Club, as well as serving as the vice-president and then president of the Davidson Civic Club in 1930s, when the club motto was “Do Something For Davidson.”

Janet Goldiere's Davidson Senior Citizen Center portrait, as photographed by Frank Bliss.

Janet Goldiere’s Davidson Senior Citizen Center portrait, as photographed by Frank Bliss.

After A.V. Goldiere’s death in 1965, Janet Goldiere remained in Davidson. In 1974, she won the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for Service to the Community, which each year recognizes a member of the senior class and a member of the community “who have given unselfish service without due recognition” (according to award text from the Davidson College Catalog, 2009 – 2010). At the close of the personal information sheet she submitted to the Davidson Senior Center, Goldiere noted: “Nothing unusual except, perhaps Christmas in Russia with UNC-G and UNC-CH college groups in 1974.”

Janet Goldiere accepting the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, from the May 22, 1974 Mecklenburg Gazette.

Janet Goldiere accepting the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, from the May 22, 1974 Mecklenburg Gazette.

As further proof of her community spirit, Janet Goldiere served on the Board of Directors for the Davidson Senior Center, and contributed several recipes to The Davidson Cookbook. I chose to make her Corn Pudding – a classic Southern side dish.

Janet Goldiere's Corn Pudding recipe, in The Davidson Cookbook.

Janet Goldiere’s Corn Pudding recipe, in The Davidson Cookbook.

I purchased eight ears of sweet corn at the Davidson Farmers Market, and doubled the ingredients in Goldiere’s recipe in order to make more pudding. The recipe is simple – the only area that requires interpretation was the note to “start it at 350° and cut back to 325°” as this doesn’t specify when to lower the heat. I chose to bake the pudding at 350° for the first fifteen minutes, and then reduce the temperature for the remaining 45 minutes. I ended up leaving the pudding in the oven for a few additional minutes, in order to brown the top lightly.

My corn haul from the Farmers Market, ready for

My corn haul from the Farmers Market, ready to be cut!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Janet Goldiere’s 1908s Corn Pudding, in the E.H. Little Library staff room.

The resulting corn pudding is delicious! The final product is less cake-y or bread-like than some corn puddings, due to the ratio of corn to flour and eggs. This corn pudding really calls for fresh, in-season corn, which is the highlight of the dish. I highly recommend making traditional corn pudding recipes like this one in the summer!

Happy Anniversary – Davidson Community Players

July 9, 1965 marks the date of the first performance of the Davidson Community Players.  There had been occasional theater productions in Davidson before and certainly townspeople had acted alongside students in college productions– but this was something new.  Now there was an town organization and hopes for years of productions. The first production was directed by Constance Welsh and the play was written by her husband, music professor Wilmer Welsh.

Constance and Wilmer Welsh in 1969

Constance and Wilmer Welsh in 1969

Connie Welsh was central to the new organization and would show up on many of the programs in the years to come.  She directed at least one of the company’s plays each year from 1965 to until her move to Charlotte in 1980. The company quickly moved from one summer production a year to multiple shows. Play choices ranged from familiar works (Our Town, Arsenic and Old Lace) to premiere’s and more challenging works. For their third offering in 1966, the company tackled Eugene Ionesco’s Bald Soprano.

Cast for first Children's Drama Workshop - featuring many faculty children.

Cast for first Children’s Drama Workshop – featuring many faculty children.

From 1965 to the mid-1970s, she also directed the Children’s Drama Workshop, offering acting classes for children that culminated in performances  (with very short runs).  The first of these productions, a play titled “Glad to Meet You,” was presented on April 2, 1966.  In 1996, the Davidson Community Players revived the idea of live theater for children by establishing The Connie Company, named in her honor.

50 years later, DCP continues to flourish, due in great part to the dedicated early members not only gave of their time but encouraged newcomers to get involved.  The earliest board members (who also served as assistant directors, set designers, box office, publicity and actors) include Ralph Quakenbush (whose business The Hub was the ticket office for many years), Peter Nicholls, Louise Thompson, Frank Bliss, and Hansford Epes.  Early actors who graced multiple performances include Max Polley, Van Lear Logan, Ethel Rhodes, Ellen Winkler, Bob Manning, Louise Martin, Scotty Nicholls, Casey Jacobus, Randy Kincaid, Larry Ligo, and even college president, Sam Spencer.

New directors and new plays for DCP.

New directors and new plays for DCP.

Within a few years, Tony Abbott, Rupert Barber, and Louise Hampton joined the roster of directors. By 1985, the company not only had a board of directors but also Pam Stephenson as the Executive Director.  Her work was recognized in 2010 as a recipient of Davidson College’s Algernon Sydney Sullivan Community Award.  The citation read in part, “The continuing vibrancy and increasing success of the Davidson Community Players is due to large extent to her energetic commitment to that treasured part of our community.”

Letter from  DCP board chair Max Polley and executive director Pam Stephenson

Letter from DCP board chair Max Polley and executive director Pam Stephenson

The DCP’s productions have moved from rented space in college buildings, beginning with Hodson Hall to filling the much larger Duke Family Performance Hall and to their own facility, the Armour Street Theatre in 2008.  The first production in the renovated Baptist Church was “Working,” a musical by Stephen Schwartz based on Stud Turkel’s oral histories.

Some old hands with newcomers to DCP in the 1986 production of Inherit the Wind: J. B. Stroud, Elisabeth Davis, Irvin Brawley, Kemp Sherrill, Roy Fuller, David Martin, Rand Hartsell, Robert Stephenson, Bob Manning, Robyn Oldham, Dave Hampton and Max Polley

Some old hands with newcomers to DCP in the 1986 production of Inherit the Wind: J. B. Stroud, Elisabeth Davis, Irvin Brawley, Kemp Sherrill, Roy Fuller, David Martin, Rand Hartsell, Robert Stephenson, Bob Manning, Robyn Oldham, Dave Hampton and Max Polley

There’s an adage that says “many hands make light work.”  In DCP’s case, many hands have made theater work.

 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Courtship of Miles Standish

The Courtship of Miles Standish

The Courtship of Miles Standish and The Song of Hiawatha are poems which many of us remember from our childhood days. The story of Miles Standish, John Alden, and the woman they both loved, Priscilla, is a famous love story, with some historical context, the ballad being about the Plymouth Pilgrims. And, the verses of Hiawatha, written in the easily repeatable trochaic tetrameter, are familiar, particularly those in the chapter on Hiawatha’s Childhood.

Hiawatha's Childhood

Hiawatha’s Childhood

Hiawatha's Childhood

Hiawatha’s Childhood

 

 

 

 

 

But who was the man who wrote about these characters who are now a part of our literary childhood?
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine on February 27, 1807, the son of an attorney. He was primarily educated privately, and entered Bowdoin as a sophomore, graduating fourth in his class in 1825. He was already writing poetry, the first appearing in the Portland Gazette in 1820. After graduation, Longfellow taught at Bowdoin until 1835, then at Harvard beginning in 1836. He was a prolific writer, and became close friends with other New England writers including Lowell and Hawthorne. He was becoming wealthy from the publication of his poems, bringing in amounts from $15 to $3000. Tiring from both teaching and writing, he resigned from Harvard in 1854. His fame as a story-teller grew, and his stories were read world-wide and translated into many languages. He died in 1882, and was buried in Cambridge. In 1884 his bust was placed in Westminster Abbey in the Poets’ Corner, the only American to be given that honor.

We are lucky to have in the library’s Rare Book Room copies of both The Courtship of Miles Standish (1st edition, 1858), and The Song of Hiawatha (1st American edition, 1855), both in their original bindings, as part of our Fugate Collection of First editions.

Courtship of Miles Standish

Courtship of Miles Standish

Song of Hiawatha

Song of Hiawatha

Longfellows' Signature

Longfellows’ Signature

The Davidson-R.E.M. Connection

Like many college students in the early to mid 1980s, Davidsonians were fairly obsessed with R.E.M. The weekly campus newspaper, The Davidsonian, featured reviews of every R.E.M. album and local show (see the April 22, 1983September 21, 1984, and September 21, 1987 issues for examples), and during the Spring 1983 semester, R.E.M. played at Davidson twice.

Interview with R.E.M. at Reflections Studio in Charlotte in the February 4, 1983 Davidsondian - a few days prior to the band's first show on campus.

Interview with R.E.M. at Reflections Studio in Charlotte in the February 4, 1983 Davidsonian – a few days prior to the band’s first show on campus.

R.E.M. played in the College’s 900 Room on February 5, 1983, and by all accounts the show was a major campus success – the room was packed to capacity and students had to be turned away. The band was had been in the area for a few weeks, recording their debut studio album Murmur at Charlotte’s Reflection Sound Studios (R.E.M. would return to Reflection the next year, to record their second album, Reckoning).

Ken Pooley (Class of 1985)'s February 14, 1983 Davidsonian article on the 900 Room show: "All things considered, R.E.M. was possibly the best thing to happen since Davidson best Chapel Hill in 1926 to win the state football championship."

Ken Pooley (Class of 1985)’s February 14, 1983 Davidsonian article on the 900 Room show: “All things considered, R.E.M. was possibly the best thing to happen since Davidson best Chapel Hill in 1926 to win the state football championship.”

After the show, Director of the College Union, C. Shaw Smith (Class of 1939, College Union Director 1953 – 1983, and namesake of the C. Shaw Smith 900 Room) received a postcard from the physical embodiment of Davidson’s connection to R.E.M. – Bertis Downs IV, then a recent Davidson College alumnus (Class of 1978) who began giving legal advice and assisting R.E.M. with contracts as a law student at the University of Georgia, after seeing the band’s second-ever show at Athens’ Kaffee Klub in April 1980. Downs’ father, Bertis Downs III, was also a Davidson alumnus (Class of 1953).

Downs to Smith, March 24, 1983: "Enjoyed seeing you last month - hope to again soon."

Downs to Smith, March 1983: “Enjoyed seeing you last month – hope to again soon.” Downs became R.E.M.’s  manager, taking over from previous manager Jefferson Holt in 1996, in addition to providing legal counsel. He is currently in charge of “orchestrat[ing] the afterlife of R.E.M.” (Bloomberg Business, “R.E.M.’s New Business Plan,” November 26, 2014)

After Murmur was released in April 1983 (and reviewed in the April 22 Davidsonian), R.E.M. returned to the Davidson campus, to play a larger venue – the Love Auditorium, in New Chambers, on Friday, May 6th.

The concert promotion in the April 29, 1983 Davidsonian notes that the February R.E.M. concert was so popular that Concert Chairman Jim Hoskins "had to turn students away. I didn't talk to anyone who didn't like it."

The concert promotion in the April 29, 1983 Davidsonian notes that the February R.E.M. concert was so popular that Concert Chairman Jim Hoskins “had to turn students away. I didn’t talk to anyone who didn’t like it.”

The Davidsonian has a long tradition of tongue-in-cheek humor - this special commencement issue of "The David'sStonedAgain" spoofed the recent R.E.M. feature.

The Davidsonian has a long tradition of tongue-in-cheek humor (still demonstrated today by The Yowl) – this special commencement issue of “The David’sStonedAgain” spoofed the prior R.E.M. feature.

In addition to numerous student newspaper references to R.E.M.’s perfomances and albums, the Davidson College Archives & Special Collections hold a copy of the band’s contract for the May 1983 performance. There are several interesting nuggets to pull out of the contract:

A copy of the show contract, signed April 25, 1983. C. Shaw Smith, as the College's representative, signed after repeatedly correcting references to Davidson College as the "employer" - preferred DC nomenclature is that the College was the "presenter" of bands, not the "employer."

A copy of the show contract, signed April 25, 1983. C. Shaw Smith, as the College’s representative, signed after repeatedly correcting references to Davidson College as the “employer” – preferred DC nomenclature is that the College was the “presenter” of bands, not the “employer.”

R.E.M. makes it clear in their contract - it is not an abbreviation or a word.

R.E.M. makes it clear in their contract – it is not an abbreviation or a word.

C. Shaw Smith is fine with the 8 large towels, but wants R.E.M. to know that "Davidson College provides refreshments as a courtesy - but not by contract."

C. Shaw Smith is fine with the 8 large towels, but wants R.E.M. to know that “Davidson College provides refreshments as a courtesy – but not by contract.”

The stage setup for R.E.M.'s  spring 1983 shows.

The stage setup for R.E.M.’s spring 1983 shows.

Unfortunately, R.E.M. didn’t play at Davidson again after the Spring 1983 semester, but we here at Around the D can still be proud of the success alumnus Bertis Downs has found with the band. According to an interview with the Gwinett Daily Post in 2012, Downs’ love of music also fueled his Davidson activities:

At Davidson I had been on the concert committee and had a radio show. I was always interested in music but I was interested more in the business side of music: how does it work? You know, the inner-workings of the business, concerts etc.

Downs also recently wrote a reflection on Davidson College Basketball for the Davidson Journal. Downs remains an employee of R.E.M., and is a retired adjunct professor of entertainment law at the University of Georgia.

#DavidsonNCResources

Archivists struggle with finding ways to connect collections with communities. We want to get our materials in the hands of people – young and old, local and far away, ones with personal ties and newcomers looking for ties.  We use blogs (like Around the D), create encyclopedias and online exhibits, and we take to Twitter – (@DavidsonArchive.)

@DavidsonArchive twitter site

@DavidsonArchive twitter site

The hashtag #DavidsonNCResources is borrowed from a new movement by historians and archivists and activists to share information and encourage thoughtful reflections on history related to current events.  One of the first uses came from Georgetown College. #Fergusonsyllabus was created by Marcia Chatelain, an assistant professor in the Department of History, in the wake of events in Ferguson, Missouri as a way for educators to share ideas and ways to help students discuss historical and social contexts.

In recent days #Charlestonsyllabus is being used to develop an online bibliography of books, articles, and primary sources on the American South and South Carolina history in particular.

Over the last few weeks — without the tragedies of the Ferguson and Charleston events –but with a similar concern for getting useful history to a broader audience, the Davidson College Archives staff have been working on a digital map.  It’s not finished yet – and will eventually move to a new digital address– but it’s close enough to share.

Portion of the Davidson Neighborhoods map

Portion of the Davidson Neighborhoods map

It’s a map of the town of Davidson with markers placed to link sites with historical documents.  Click on the bubble over the Ada Jenkins Center and you’ll get a list of oral histories, research papers, and manuscript collections about the former school and current community center.  For now, the list is online but the records are not – you still have to come in to the archives to use them.

Example of resource list for the Main Street business district.

Example of resource list for the Main Street business district.

Future plans are to make more of the records available online and to fill in more spaces on the map. There are many areas in Davidson that are underdocumented – businesses we know little about, neighborhoods with long histories, religious communities and civic organizations that have shaped the town — you get the idea.  And if you have records or stories to share, let us know.  Call or email or tweet – lets make community history a community project.