Saturday, August 05, 2006

Christmas at the Mansion

This is the 2005 Christmas card sent by the Governor of NC, Michael Easley and his family to fellow North Carolinians. It is a painting by William Mangum, of the executive dining room in the mansion, as it was decorated in 2004 for the holidays. I was part of the team who decorated the Mansion, and that is why I got a card. I have one from the year before as well, and if I can find it, you will see it too.

I have been fortunate enough to help in the decorating of the mansion about 6-7 times over the years. One of my favorite memories is sitting at that dining room table at midnight, eating pizza with the design team and 5-6 of the "Trustys" as they are called. The trustys are inmates of the NC State Prison, whose job it is to work at the mansion in various capacities. Some do yard work and gardening, some clean the house, some cook and some act as porters and aides to the staff.

No one is supposed to ask a trusty why he is in prison, but we are always curious. Most of them hardly seem like inmates. They are extremely polite, to the point of being obsequious. If you are in need of something, you have only to ask. We are treated as if we are honored guests - not laborers. The food is great, as well.

My boss is in preparation for the 2006 decorations at the Mansion. I will post photos of that in early December. We didn't get to decorate in 2005 because the mansion was being renovated and treated for mold, so we are all happy to be going back there to decorate for this season. Getting to go there is one of the perks of the business!


David said...

always nice to visit a friends ( blog)

yellojkt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
yellojkt said...

That decorating job sounds really cool. I have a blogfriend who calls himself trusty. Now I know it's a real word.

I messed up the html the first time and had to redo it.

Leah said...

Hello! Michele sent me.
Wow! What a beautiful place. I'd be proud too if I were part of the decorating team. Great job.

Raggedy said...

Wow! That is awesome!
It must be so much fun being a part of this!
I am sorry about the loss of your cousin. I went back to the picture post and read there also. What a handsome young man.
I can just imagine how excited you were to get the Hawaiian stuff!
I hope he did get some more chicken dinners...

Have a wonderful day!
(=':'=) hugs
(")_ (")Š from da Raggedy one

Maria said...

What an exciting adventure to decorate such a beautiful mansion. I know I too would be curious about the trustees from prision. Of course they are very polite. They are highly motivated to keep such an interesting job. =)

I thought often of you while looking through the antique stores in Oregon. There were lots of old post cards and sheet music that I think you would have loved.

sage said...

what a beautiful card. Any chance that you can get one sent to a NC boy in exile? and does politics play on who gets to decorate the hall? (Tell Mike I'm a Democrat when asking about the card) And the idea of having "trustys" working around the governor's home is something out of the old south. There's that scene in the movie Leadbelly, where he's working for some bigwig, I think he's the governor, who likes his music.

an one warning, when I was living out in Utah, the tree in the governor's manison caught fire! Make sure you water those trees well!

oh yeah, I'm here this time from Micheles.

Terri said...

Ooooh, this sure sounds like fun. Lucky you! And I look forward to hearing about it and seeing the photos in December. (WHICH will be here before we know it!)

Catherine said...

What a privilege to be part of that. I've been looking at previous posts too. You have some wonderful treasures there. I would never throw those letters away, if I had any like that. They are precious family history.
If you worry that no one else in the family will want them when you are gone, there may well be a local museum or archive that would be interested.
Here from Michele's

Duke_of_Earle said...

That DOES sound like fun, Judy. And being a trusty sounds better than, say, working in the prison laundry. Good system.


justrose said...

i can never prevent myself from really wanting to ask those kinds of questions. i have to hold my tongue.

what a beautiful room and card. did you put that gorgeous swag over the fireplace?

justrose said...

and wow, kenju, a picture of you a couple of posts down!!!!! what a great photo!! now i know what you look like. next i want you to visit the rowhouse! ;)

Shephard said...

I really can't think of anything more delightful than decorating a mansion for the holidays. Of course, I'm a decoration nut (used to have 4 trees, when we had a house big enough). I love the card. Artwork so well done, I can picture what the room really looked like. Thanks for sharing that.

PI said...

Golly ! Some mansion!