Thursday, August 12, 2021

HGB Ep. 397 - Ghost Hunting New Orleans and Beyond

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Moment in Oddity - Corpse Flower at Abandoned Gas Station (Suggested by: Scott Booker and Paula Mitchell)

The Titan Arum is most famously known as the Corpse Flower and first became known to the world in 1878. It is thought to be the world's largest flower and it most definitely is the stinkiest. This is a tropical plant that is native to the rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia. The Corpse Flower starts as a bulb that likes lots of water and to stay above 60 degrees. The nickname comes from its foul stench it exudes that is similar to rotting meat. The plant gives this off to attract nighttime pollinators like sweat bees, flesh flies and carrion beetles. The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in California has several plants that it brings out on occasion so everyone can enjoy seeing a very rare sight. There is no predicting when these flowers will bloom. One of these Corpse Flowers recently caught some attention in May of 2021. A gardener named Solomon Leyva lives in Alameda, California and he raises succulents and rare plants, one of which was a Corpse Flower. He noticed one day that a stalk had shot up and he knew that soon the flower would bloom. He decided he wanted to share this delight with people, particularly because of the Covid Pandemic. He loaded the huge plant onto a wagon and wheeled it through town. He found a patch of asphalt in front of an abandoned gas station and off-loaded the plant for people to come see. It was quite a treat since this only happens every few years and the bloom only lasts for a couple of days. It really is quite beautiful and extraordinary, but it certainly is odd!

This Month in History - Maggie Kuhn, Gray Panther founder, Born

In the month of August, on the the 3rd, in 1905, elder rights activist Maggie Kuhn was born. Kuhn was born in Buffalo, New York and she never fit into the social norms of her time when it came to women. She began her social activism in the 1930s and she started teaching some controversial stuff at the YWCA. This included unionizing and women's issues and then she really pushed the limits by starting a human sexuality course that discussed mechanics, birth control, pregnancy and she also promoted that being single was okay in a society that pushed marriage. But her real claim to fame came when she hit the age of 65 and was forced to retire. In 1970, there was a mandatory retirement law. Kuhn was so angry she formed the Gray Panthers. Their motto was "Age and Youth In Action." This was because they welcomed teenagers into their movement to help with the activism. The group advocated for nursing home reform and fought ageism. She died in 1995 at the age of 89.

Ghost Hunting New Orleans and Beyond

One thing History Goes Bump knows is ghost tours. We've been joined by several tour guides on the podcast and on this episode, we are joined by our favorite, Cedric. Cedric has served our country in the military, worked as a Firefighter/Medic and founded a company creating leathercraft for the movies. He and his wife Eevie are also tour guides in New Orleans and he is an amazing storyteller. On top of that, Cedric and Eevie have their own paranormal investigation group called N.O.P.E. Cedric joins us to share his techniques and experiences while ghost hunting and to talk about some of the haunts in New Orleans, particularly in the French Quarter. Join us as we discuss ghost hunting New Orleans and beyond!

We may not know until we ourselves are spirits how all of this works, but the questions and the search for answers is interesting and fun. Are any of these places that Cedric talked about haunted? That is for you to decide!

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