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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Friday, March 25, 2011

History--Musical and Otherwise

One thing we've noticed in many Southern States there are no billboards--in some cases, none at all and in other cases, only as one approaches a major town. Along the Interstates they abound and some are rather amusing--need I say more?

Left Perry and headed 20 miles away to Macon and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. We really enjoy these types of sites because we spend several hours surrounded by music and in this case of many kinds. There was a radio pair of men who used to have a show in Savannah singing Gospel music. The remarkable thing is that while there were just the two they sang four parts and were known as the only two man quartet in the South. I wish I could remember their names-- they were in the film in the chapel and were remarkably good. It was great to sit at the soda fountain and sing with Johnny Mercer and the Pied Pipers as they played on the jukebox. There was no one else around so I really belted out my part in Accentuate the Positive--just like I used to do when they came on the radio when I was little. I bet I sounded as good as I did then, too! LOL

It was fun to see Connie Hines and Bob Eberle, two of my Mom's favorites and listen to them sing on the headphones. Such fun to see Usher and Jerry Reed and Ray Stevens and Ray Charles and the beautiful Lena Horne! and Ludacris and on and on. The movie comprising various inductions included Lena singing----Stormy Weather--and all I could think was how different this was than when she sang that in her movie debut. Whites and blacks were not shown on the screen together so she was filmed alone singing and was spliced into the movie! She also lost the role of the mixed race girl in Show Boat to Ava Gardner! How times do change! The costumes, the music, the stories all so much fun and the movie culminating in snippets of various singers performing Georgia on My Mind, the State song, written by Hoagy Carmichael. Just terrific. But the most fun was in the Children's section--playing with the instruments and hearing Happy Birthday played in about six different styles.

From there we headed to the Ocmulgee National Park and the mounds of the prehistoric Indians of the Mississippian civilization. We've seen many of their mounds throughout the Southeast on our various trips and also went to Russell Cave but this is the first site in which there is a mound that has been excavated and was actually a subterranean meeting room--the Earthlodge. So similar to the kivas we saw in New Mexico and Arizona. Archeology is so fascinating and the similarities and differences among contemporary civilizations worldwide is truly mysterious.

Met a couple from Rochester, Ny at the burial mound whose daughter lives in Burlington and who got married last year in the Round Church in Waitsfield. Small world. Also found out that the Ivy Classic Corp makes power tools and the guy with the van is working out of Atlanta selling them.

Tired and stayed in tonight for a respite and Bill brought me soup and salad from Chili's plus a huge cup of mango iced tea. So I'm going to go now and humming, Georgia on My Mind, am going to research Flannery O'Connor whose home is here in Milledgeville, Ga. May want to explore it on our way to South Carolina tomorrow. Anyone ever read anything by her? She had a study time at Yaddo in Saratoga. Wonder if we were wandering around the grounds when she was there in the 50's? Where was Hoagy Carmichael born? How high is Cumberland Gap National Park? Pondering, pondering--til tomorrow--Accentuate the Positive and take care!

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