Prissys Pepper Patch

Block Number: 120


“Mighty Monteith Moose” and “Prissy’s Pepper Patch” blocks were recently added to the ever-growing Quilt Trail. On August 8, 2012, two separate blocks were installed for Al and Priscilla Reel, one at their home and one on their camper at the Moose Lodge.

Al, who is Administrator of Marion Moose Lodge #1705 founded in 1953, is also the current President of the North Carolina Moose Association. In August, he and his wife Priscilla, whom he originally met at the Moose Lodge, escorted eight young ladies on a ten day mountains-to-the- coast trip through North Carolina. The trip emphasized the heritage of North Carolina and made many stops including Winston Salem, Charlotte, Rockingham, and Wilson to name a few. The girls are students and residents of Mooseheart, a self-contained child city and school sponsored by Moose International.

Mooseheart is located about 40 miles west of Chicago, Illinois and is a fully contained community for children and teens in need located on over 1,000 acres. Mooseheart will be celebrating its 100 year anniversary in July 2013, having been established in 1913. It is not an orphanage, but home to those children underprivileged or experiencing parental loss for one reason or another. The student residences, once a barrack style, now include spaces as nice as any private household, each having home care manager ”house parents” who see to it that things are run on a regular and normal family basis.

The philosophy of Mooseheart is “every child is entitled to a basic high school education and a trade counseling service” and a vast component of the children’s education is centered on vocational programs. Those programs include carpentry, agriculture, barbering, sewing, cooking, electronics, photography and sports among many other electives. A full gym and sports stadium, 4-H program, swimming pool, medical facility and place of worship are all incorporated in the Mooseheart city.

In 1997 the Marion Moose Lodge, along with others in North Carolina, became the sponsors of its own beautiful home within the city and lodges teenage girls. A program encouraging Moose associations throughout the states to raise funds to purchase vans for each campus home was begun several years back. The program resulted in van purchases so “the families” could run errands and outings just like a conventional home. The van that the Reels used to tour our State in with the girls hosted from the North Carolina home is the product of that campaign. For the last eight years the Reels have spear-headed the trips, sponsored by the Marion Lodge. The van is then driven back to Mooseheart for daily use, where the vehicles are maintained through the automotive mechanics vocational program on campus.

The Loyal Order of the Moose, first founded in 1888, is a non-sectarian, tax-free non-profit and non-political fraternal organization dedicated to the service of others. Lodges are located throughout the United States as well as Canada, Great Britain and Bermuda. The Women of the Moose are a large part of the Lodges and Chapters and help provide millions of dollars worth of community service through monetary donations and volunteer hours annually.

Our local Moose Family Center sponsors and participates in countless community service capacities and activities. These include the Special Day for individuals and members of their families with games and food, the Polar Plunge, Lake James Clean-up, Red Cross Blood Drives, Christmas Moose Tree and food boxes and the Day of Honor to our Veterans, to name just a few.

The Reels first became interested in hosting a block when they visited the Quilt Block Trail booth at the Mountain Glory Festival last year. They brought home an application and decided to join the Trail with not one, but two blocks. Mighty Monteith Moose, #121, is 3’ X 3’ and is located at 99 Horseshoe Loop at the Moose Lodge. It depicts the head and full rack of a moose, with the lake, mountains and colorful skyline in the background. The name of the block is in memory of the Reel’s friend, Marie Monteith, a very active member of the Moose Lodge on both our local and state levels, who passed away several years ago.

Block #120, “Prissy’s Pepper Patch was installed on the home of the Reel’s at 287 Oak Hill Drive. The 4’ X 4’ block is quite colorful and eye-catching, the center incorporating three chili peppers in yellow, red and green. The heat of the peppers is emphasized with its southwestern zigzag borders of bright yellow, orange and crimson. Priscilla notes that the name “Prissy” was once a knick-name given her at work and just seemed to fit the name for the block.

Priscilla’s unexplained fascination with chili peppers is evidenced by her massive collection of any and all types of pepper paraphernalia. For the past twenty years she has collected figurines, ornaments and anything imaginable that includes a pepper. Throughout their travels the family is constantly on the lookout for anything with a chili pepper design that can add to her hobby’s display. Priscilla’s household is a virtual museum to a variety of chili decorations including (but not limited to) cookie jar, salt & pepper shakers, candles, Mardi-Gras beads, lights, towels, t-shirts, bandannas, Christmas ornaments and spoon rests. She proudly exhibits an especially relevant one with a moose on a pepper!

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