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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mid-October Part IV

Nov 5, 2013 Office in Nashville Townhouse 12:25 pm CST After having spent a long, hot day at the Hermitage the next week or so was spent on more mundane pursuits such as shopping, eating out, doing housework and reading. We also made a dash up to Bowling Green, Ky to our favorite BBQ place, the Smoky Pig and, of course, made the trek to Grinder's Switch to attend the Radio Hour, have lunch at Breece's Café and return by way of the Trace. Attempted once more to stop at the Loveless but it is always crowded and we just aren't the type to wait on line for much of anything. If ever you have occasion to eat at Breece's do NOT get a hot sandwich. The gravy is gelatinous and tastes like the flour used to thicken it--just awful. I lifted the top bread and ate the tasteless boiled beef inside with lots of salt and pepper. The chocolate silk pecan pie, on the other hand, is delicious! The week-end of October Oct 19 and 20 was a busy one. We had had rain it seems every other day and the temps were like a roller coaster. Oct 19 started out chilly and rain was predicted but we headed over to Long Hunter State Park anyway to attend the Tennessee PowWow. There is a wide open circular area surrounded by trees. In front of the tree line all the way around the circle were vendors of all sorts of Native American crafts. Much pottery, of course, as well as beaded jewelry. I saw a squash blossom necklace for $975 which I would have bought had I not already gotten one in New Mexico several years back. This was reversible--turquoise on one side and coral on the other. Just stunning. As we wandered around I there were speakers and musicians in the center of the circle entertaining the crowd. I heard a very pleasant male voice followed by beautiful violin music--as we wandered we came to a vendor of Arvel Bird CD's and I bought one. Another vendor from Rochester, Mn had lovely signed posters of various birds and animals. It was so hard to choose but I seem to always have a crow that greets me or finds me and stays around cawing at me. So, I've sort of taken the crow as my special wild bird and, though the Raven poster tempted me, I settled on the crow. Another corner was taken up by the Tennessee chapter of the Trail of Tears Society. I have been reading It's My Trail, Too off and on for several months now. It is a sort of journal of a man trying to walk the original trail since he has some Native blood and his family settled in Oklahoma after the relocation, as it is so inaptly called. It certainly was a relocation but not by any means voluntary. Oh, semantics. At any rate, I got talking to one of the gentlemen and he talked about the various actual trails that were used to cross Tennessee and the fact that part of one of them was to be marked and opened officially in Lawrenceburg in early November. He also gave me two of the National Park brochures relating to the Trail. By this time, we were chilled to the bone and starving so we purchased a smoked sausage and coffee to eat before finding a seat in the bleachers around the circle since the drumming and dancing competitions were about to begin. I had not yet realized that I could video with my camera and that sound would be recorded as well. Just as well or I'd have hours of singing and drumming--may I tell you--veins stuck out on the foreheads and throats of these chanting men. Unbelieveably strong and melodious voices and the drumming was so vigorous. How these fellows were able to keep it up for the six hours we were there and then the next day was amazing. The prizes for the various aspects of their performances were probably a major incentive. http://www.naiatn.org/powwow/drum-singing-contest.html Not to be outdone by audible talent, there was dancing competition also. It would be best for you to go to this page if interested in the various categories in both men, women, boys and girls competitions. Let me just say that, despite one little stretch of drizzle and really cold fall temperatures--more like home than Tennessee--, I insisted on staying for them all and it was beautiful. The costumes, the intricacy of steps, the headdresses and the elegance of some of the dancers was truly dazzling. What was even more dazzling was that the whole day with my two purchases, admission and lunch was under $50 ( $43,to be exact ) for the two of us. Non-stop professional quality entertainment with a crowd that had ample room with no poor seats--where does one get that these days? The next day was sunnier and warmer so we went around the corner--almost literally, it is so close--to the Tennessee Agricultural Center for the Music and Molasses Festival. I'm not sure we stayed an hour--one group sang " Will The Circle Be Unbroken" which ranks right up there with "Danny Boy" on my list of all-time least favorite songs. Then, they either didn't know anything else or felt an audience of about ten was too small, they picked up their instruments and trudged off somewhere--???. The vendors had nothing that wowed me and that is mostly what was there--vendors. The annual Crafts Festival at Sunapee in August is much better--bigger and better products. Did not see any molasses or any making of sorghum though we did see the horse walking round and round and there-by grinding up what looked like cane--though where that came from who knows. A few ladies in costume were using various looms and wheels to weave stuff for which the prices were ridiculous. There was someone half heartedly stirring stuff to make soap which sold for $4.50 a bar. Nice display of tractors and an interesting museum though most of the stuff I've seen in other Ag museums--Bill seemed to enjoy it so that was good. But after going to the Big E for quite a few years this seemed really mickey mouse. AND Corn dogs and other Cornbread covered mystery meat did not appeal. So it was back home to watch the Titans lose once more and order Pizza Hut in. It was a bit of a disappointing day--thought being Nashville it would be bigger somehow--but again, we had a nice stroll in the country, in the sunshine and it cost $10. Finished the day by ordering tickets for a cruise on Oct 25 on the Cumberland and tickets for the Bruce Monroe Light exhibit at Cheekwood on Oct 30. Will tell you all about it on the next installment. Enjoy the colorful pictures from this latest blog. Until next time, take care, KandB

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