Saturday, December 19, 2015


1. Jingle Bells -gif
by edlorens
The crew of Gemini 6 took this photo of Gemini...
2. The crew of Gemini 6
took this photo of Gemini 7
when they were about 7 meters
apart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When during Christmas season, on Dec. 16, 1965, the NASA crew
of Gemini VIWally Schirra Jr.and Tom Stafford decided to play a prank they send the following message to Mission Control:

     "Gemini VII, this is Gemini VI. We have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south, up in a polar orbit. ... Very low. Looks like he might be going to re-enter soon. Stand by ... 
 you might just let me try to pick up that thing."

As the story goes, afterward the 

astronauts on the tinysmuggled harmonica, Hohner "little lady"  and bells played one very popular Christmas song.
That was a very first song broadcasted from
space... It was "Jingle Bells"

English: Astronauts Thomas P. Stafford (left),...
4. English: Astronauts Thomas P. Stafford (left), pilot, and Walter M. Schirra Jr., command pilot, pose during a suiting up exercise in preparation for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Gemini-6 two-day mission. Image ID: S65-56188 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
3. Astronauts Walter M. Schirra Jr.(seated), command pilot, and Thomas P. Stafford, pilot, Gemini 6 prime crew, -suiting up exercise
The suit technicians are James Garrepy (left)  and Joe Schmitt. (Wikipedia)

The Harmonica and bells  used in 'space' 
now are in the hands of Smithsonian and are presently housed in
National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in Washington D.C.
not far from Capitol. That museum was established on 
August 12, 1946, by act of Congress and signed into law by
President Harry  S. Truman. NASM was built with an intention
to look prominent, but not to 'overpower' Capitol. 
St. Louis architect Gyo Obata of HOK was hired.

Presently, NASM is a 161,145-square-foot (14,970.9 m2) place
designed as 4 simple marble-encased cubes... obviously, enough
space for tiny one-inch long harmonica...and NASM holds the largest
collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world....

As Wally Schirra Jr.and Tom Stafford  traveled across the skies in Gemini 6,
Santa's choice of locomotion is sleighing...and probably to the sound of "Jingle Bells".

5. Santa and the reindeer
gif by edlorens

6, jingle bells
gif. free

It seems that Jingle Bells has this wonderfully simple and catchy tune that easily fits with 
the joyful spirit and atmosphere of the Christmas holidays..and at drinking parties. 
It is one of the most popular and known secular song in many different versions all 
over the world. 

However, originally it was not written  for Christmas but for different  
American holiday - Thanksgiving. 
The author reminisced  fondly- his memories of fast racing open sleighs in New England during
the winter season. Actually, the author and composer of "Jingle Bells", James Lord Pierpont 
was so much fond of riding the sleigh in December's snow, while in the boarding school In
New Hampshire in the year 1832, at age 10, that he talked about that in his letter to his mother 
Mary Sheldon Lord.
In XIX century proprieties were strictly observed. But  riding in the sleigh with opposite sex 
would allow some freedom, maybe some frivolities like "spoonin".  "Spoonin" was the term 
used in a Victorian era in relation to kissing taking place outdoors like in "lover's lane" 
or some lonely spot. If the kissing took  place inside like in parlor that would be called "sparkin". 

Possibly, in "Jingle Bells" James simply related something that really did happen. In some other
of his songs James with humor and flare described some misfortune that befell on him. 
The example of that would be his lyrics " The Returned Californian", that James wrote for
 Ordway's Aeolians *, in the year of 1852.  
There, James was making fun of his San Francisco's business failure, 
creditors, and 'gold rush'. Especially, he must found difficult dealing with
 the creditors since in "The Returned Californian" he finished by saying:
                "..If of these United States I was the President,
                 No man that owed another should ever pay a cent;

           And he who dunn'd another should be banished far away,
                 And attention to the pretty girls is all a man should pay."
                              (reprinted from Wikipedia, 
                               Original lyrics are being held in U.S. Library of Congress)
7. animation of jingle bells decoration
by edlorens
( using Glitterboo
I place  that image in public domain)

Here are the original lyrics of "Jingle Bells"  from Wikipedia.
They differ a little from a modern version.
by James Lord Pierpont
Dashing thro' the snow,
In a one-horse open sleigh,
O'er the hills we go,
Laughing all the way;
Bells on bobtail ring,
Making spirits bright,
Oh what sport to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight.

|: chorus :|
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh! what joy it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

A day or two ago
I tho't I'd take a ride
And soon Miss Fannie Bright
Was seated by my side.
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
He got into a drifted bank
And we—we got upsot.
|: chorus :|

A day or two ago,
The story I must tell
I went out on the snow
And on my back I fell;
A gent was riding by
In a one-horse open sleigh,
He laughed as there I sprawling lie,
But quickly drove away,
|: chorus :|

Now the ground is white
Go it while you're young,
Take the girls tonight
And sing this sleighing song;
Just get a bob-tailed bay
Two forty as his speed
Hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack, you'll take the lead.
|: chorus :|

8. Horse-drawn sleigh
by George Cherinilevsky, 2012
 James Lord Pierpont, who was born in Boston, Massachusetts,  on April 25, 1822, 
as one of the 6 kids of pastor of Unitarian Church, Reverend John Pierpont (1785-1866) 
spent a great part of his life as a church organist. 

                   [please note: Unitarian stands for the Christians belief that is contrasting to
                   Trinitarianism. They see Jesus as a son of God, but not  God, also as more 
                   as human than a divine being. The Unitarian movement started in 16in century
                   in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Transylvania. At James times, 
               they believed in eternal hell  and damnation. 
                   Also,  they reject some other Western Christianity teachings, such as
                  soteriological doctrines of original sin or predestination.
              To learn more about Unitarianism please see:
9. Unitarian, Universalist church, Savannah,
            Despite some misfortunes in his life, like the fire that destroyed his business in
San Francisco, James lived his life colorfully and with the 'jingle'. even as a youth, he either
was 'spirited', restless soul or a little rebellious. As a possibility, I dare to speculate that there 
might be some problems between him and his father.  I do not have proof. Except I found 
it interesting, that James as a youth was placed in the boarding school (not much 
time/opportunity for bonding) then in early teens he run away from home, spent few 
years on a whaler ship named "Shark"...after that adventure, he still did not come back 
home , but instead, he went to Navy until he reached 21. Then, for example after the
Unitarian church was closed, his father moved North... James opted not to go with 
his father but to remain with his  2nd wife Eliza Jane in Savannah.
Most interesting fact is that during the upcoming civil war, both father and son 
get involved but on the opposite fronts. 
Father became a military chaplain in Washington D.C. 
James was a military company clerk joining Lamar Rangers, which became part of the
Fifth Georgia Cavalry of Confederacy. He also wrote a number of war-inspired songs, 
including "Our Battle Flag", "Strike for the South" and "We Conquer or Die".
During his lifetime, James tried his hand in quite a few endeavors. There was time he 
worked as a photographer...but music and a songwriting was his real call.
Besides writing songs, James most of his time spent either playing church organs or 
giving  piano, organ, singing lessons -privately or teaching in class.  That was the way 
he lived  in Quitman, Georgia, where he moved in 1869. Quitman is a small city  recently
called Camelia city due to an abundance of Camelia trees there. It has a Historic District
that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Funny thing is, that Quitman
has a local ordinance that as Wiki said: "...prohibits chickens from crossing the road."
It makes me wonder how the governing body of the city communicated that ordinance
to the chickens...and what is the punishment? No wonder that Sheryl 
Lindsell-Roberts included this wacky provision in her book; "Loony Laws & Silly Statutes"
(Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 1994. ISBN 0-8069-0472-0).
I do not know if that ordinance was in effect during James L. Pierpont life. He stayed 
there playing organs in Presbyterian church and teaching music at Quitman Academy
until his retirement as Head of Music Department. That Academy is no longer there.
In 2010, the whole city had 3,850 people and 3 schools:
Quitman Elementary School, Brooks County Middle School, 
and Brooks County High School (Wikipedia).

10. Christmas Decoration
(public domain)
  It is worthwhile to notice that James L. Pierpont had an ultra rich relative - a nephew. 
Juliet Pierpont (1816-1884) married Junius Spencer Morgan (1813-1890) from  very influential
 family.   Their son (and James Lord Pierpont nephew) John  Pierpont "J.P." Morgan  went 
into banking the same year that "Jingle Bells" were published - 1857 with London-based
3 years old merchant banking partnership between his father and George Peabody
-Peabody, Morgan &  Co,..and the rest is making money and becoming one
of the wealthiest.
11. John Pierpont  ("J.P.") Morgan
(born April 17, 1837, in Hartford, Connecticut
-died April 17, 1837, in Italy)
American financier and banker
nephew of James Lord Pierpont
2 wives, 4children
 "J.P." Morgan loved to negotiate and make a deal. During the Civil War, he was capable
of buying from an army arsenal five thousand defective rifles ($3,50 each) and reselling
to field general for $22 each. Did this general test the rifles before purchasing or were the
good one substituted ...there I got no information. Did this general have knowledge 
that they were defective? ...I doubt it...but probably found that soon enough.
Other time he paid somebody $300 to take his place as a substitute in
order to avoid joining the army during the war time. Well...he did have
a lot of health problems...seizures in childhood, were one of them.
He was maverick and Machiavelli responsible  for helping to organize and
underwriting securities for 42 major corporations from 1890-1913.
Even before, in 1889, he and Vanderbilt family helped Edison to merge
Edison Electic Light Co and numerous small one to form Edison General
Electric. J.P. Morgan was making deals with Charles M. Schwab and
Andrew Carnegie. The  purchased from A. Carnegie his steel business and
 the founding of the first billion dollar company in the world - U.S. Steel
was one of his achievements. He was a very fast learner and for an example,
while as a young man he stayed in Germany for 6 months, he not only learned passable German but got a degree in Art History.  J.P. Morgan, however,
although was a big man with piercing eyes had continuous problems with
his health.  He suffered from painful rheumatic fever, his nose was always red
from rosacea, then deformed from rhinophyma. That was the reason, why he avoided photographs. But in a financial world, he was a giant.
Somehow, at his death, his estate was estimated at only $68.3 million
($1.39 billion in today's dollars based on CPI, or $25.2 billion based on 'relative share of GDP'),

12. Santa-reindeer-sleigh
free. gif

 Despite his riches, there is little knowledge if J.P. Morgan was supportive of his uncle James or
even if he stayed in communication. However, I got a feeling, deep in my guts,
that if "Jingle Bells" would fall into J.P. Morgan laps and he would be alive today, that song would not only be Universally cherished with single in'space'
performance on Gemini 6, but it would be by now sung on the moon and
every time the rocket goes into orbit. The NASA practically would be 
wallpapered with the lyrics.                                                                         
13.  .James  Lord Pierpont*
(April 25, 1822-August 5, 1893)
American songwriter, Church organist
His song "Jingle Bells", originally titled
"The One Horse Open Sleigh"
is one of the most worldwide
performed at Christmas time.
In 1970, his name was added
to Songwriters Hall of fame.
In 1997  Armstrong Atlantic  State
University in Savannah, Georgia
honored him by creating
Lord Pierpont Music Scholarship Fund.
He was an uncle to American financier
and banker  "J.P." Morgan,
whose mother was Juliet Pierpont.


The"Jingle Bells"  that became a traditional part of the Christmas and went viral all 
over the world was not a hit from the start. It took time before became popular.
But originally it was published about one year 
after his 1st wife Millicent Cowee 
(they had 3 children)
died from tuberculosis in August 1857.
The song "Jingle Bells" was published under the title "The One Horse Open Sleigh"  by Oliver Ditson and Company  in Boston with a dedication to John P. Ordway*. The song was copyrighted on September 16, 1857.

 First, "Jingle Bells" did not fare well with children church chorus, as it was assumed to be too 'racy'. There are some that speculate that although  "Jingle Bells" was probably written in 1850 in Medford, Massachusetts, the original performance was a school concert for Thanksgiving holiday in Savanah, Georgia, 
But, at the end, both cities 
Savannah, Georgia, and Medford, Massachusetts account James as a very notable resident and honored James Lord
Pierpont with the plaque.
14. James Lord Pierpont's plaque
in the Savannah, Georgia
(Wikipedia, public domain
downloaded his own work by Steve Strummer  in 2010)
15. This is James L.Pierpont's plaque
in Medford, Massachusetts
(Wikipedia, public domain
own work - by Steve Strummer in 2010)
James was a very prolific songwriter. His songs were carrying a cheerful tune
the type that chase the shadows away and lift up the spirits..
"Jingle Bells" never became to him or to his family a financial success. 
With time and in reality due to the efforts of his son  Dr. Juriah Pierpont, M.D.
James name became well known in connection with "Jingle Bells".
In 1880,  Dr. Juriah Pierpont, M.D. renew copyrights, but since then 
"Jingle Bells" fall into public domain. The last days of his life James
spent at a home of his son, in Winter Haven, in Polk county of Florida. 
Winter Haven had less than 400 people. Original  natives of this region
Timucua and Calusa were long gone due to disease/war from 15 century
Spanish invasion, especially Hernando de Soto. However, later the  
real growth came  with Henry Plant and Plant system that brought
railroad. James Lord  Pierpont died there on August 5, 1893. 
He is resting in Laurel Grove Cemetery in Savannah next to 
his brother-in-law Thomas. That was James request.   
16. Santa & reindeer dancing
free. gif

According to Wikipedia:
"..."Jingle Bells" was first recorded by the Edison Male Quartette in 1898 on an Edison cylinder as part of a Christmas medley entitled "Sleigh Ride Party." In 1902, the Hayden Quartet recorded "Jingle Bells."..."
And here is Wikipedia partial list of names of famous artists loving
James Lord Pierpont "Jingle Bells":
"Jingle Bells" has been performed and recorded by a wide variety of musical artists, including Louis ArmstrongThe BeatlesThe ChipmunksJudy CollinsNat King Cole (also using the melody at the end of his hit song "The Christmas Song"), Perry ComoPlácido DomingoDuke EllingtonElla FitzgeraldSpike JonesBarry Manilow,The Million Dollar Quartet (Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley), NSyncLuciano PavarottiSmokey Robinson and the MiraclesFrank SinatraBarbra Streisand, Bing Crosby and Andrew Sisters,
Glen Miller and His Orchestra, Fats Waller and Yello, among many others.


And now..well,'s time to start the Christmas.

 Thank you and

               MERRY CHRISTMAS!

17. Christmas tree

Friday, December 18, 2015

Please note:
In the article in Wikipedia:
there is confusing  or inaccurate information.
In one place this article says:
"...In August 1857, James married Eliza Jane Purse, daughter of Savannah's mayor, Thomas Purse.[3] She soon gave birth to the first of their children, Lillie."...
but later on, the same article states the following:
"...After the war, James moved his family to Valdosta, Georgia... 
 The 1870 Lowndes County Census listed: "Pierpont, James 48, Eliza J. 38, Lillie 16, Thomas 8, Josiah 5, and Maynard B. 4." If Lillie is 16 in 1870, she was born in about 1854..."
Eliza Jane Purse was a second wife of James, that he married a year after
his first wife Millicent Cowee passed away (in  the year 1856 - they had 3 children).
Either the Lowndes County Census got a wrong age for Lillie or there is someplace else a mistake. From the above information, it is not possible
for Lillie, the child from James 2nd marriage to be born in 1854.
Lillie probably was born in 1857-1858, making her 3-4 years younger
than Census claimed.

2. There is article in Wikipedia
 that made a claim: "...Quitman was the final home of James Pierpont..."
but we know that this can not be so, since James his last days spent in his
son's home in Winter Haven, Florida, where he died. Winter Haven was his
last known residence.

3. The Valdosta Daily Times (Thursday, December 11, 2014, 7:15 pm)
 the article titled " Finding Valdosta's 'Jingle Bells' connection says:

"...Others claim Pierpont traveled to Savannah following Millicent’s death in 1853..."

Did you notice the difference in the year?
Here, I think Wikipedia is correct when said:
"...In 1856, Millicent died." Since Wikipedia gives also a link in footing stating:
"See Medford, Mass Census 1855, Millie is still alive." ]

Other remarks:

*John Pond Ordway (August 1, 1824 – April 27, 1880) was a doctor, composer, music entrepreneur, and politician.
* The original photo of James Lord Pierpont is in Wikipedia (in a public domain). The original was created  on January 1, 1893- few months before he died.
I used that photo to create my own.  You can use it for whatever purpose, but attribution to me would be nice. edlorens.


  •   My Christmas Rhymes: "Season Greetings", "Jingle Bell Bunny", Family Christmas photos & animation

  •    CHRISTMAS: JESUS'S HAND, poem by e.d. lorens

  •  CHRISTMAS GREETINGS, Christmas Songs, JINGLE BELL CHRISTMAS Poem, by e.d. lorens

dancing Santa
18. Santa

Christmas animations that are from  this post and mark as free 
and were not made by me. They belong to the side below:

www.aleteia.org818 × 545Search by image
NASA - Great Images in NASA Description

[[File:Jingle Bells 19 High St Medford MA-2010.jpg|thumb|Jingle Bells 19 High St Medford MA-2010]]

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