“Mmmmmm,” my palate trembles. Chocolate fudge oozes from the spoon. At Dee’s Drive-In overlooking the Tug Fork Big Sandy River here in Louisa, Lawrence County, Kentucky. Only a silver dollar’s throw across the River from Fort Gay, Wayne County, West Virginia. I’m so glad to be on the road, pleased to be right here, and delighted to have been a Fire Truck Salesman, if only for 15 minutes. That’s Andy Warhol type fame. It was this morning. A micro story of mistaken identity climaxed with a three mile truck chase. Beginning (Act 1) at the Turkey Creek water wagon. Finishing (Act 2) at Jarrell Community Church. Local cast: an on-stage volunteer fireman who, like many, chuckled at the idea that someone on vacation would with forethought leave home and drive to Turkey Creek, Kentucky, to take a picture of their fire truck; and, an off-stage supervisor who knew exactly what the dude with camera was hustling. Several minutes down the road, that dark thought brought pickup tires sliding to a stop beside me. For me, here was about the nice church yard. For him, here was a message delivered, “He say’s to tell you the truck is not for sale.”… There was a pregnant pause. He chuckled again, and casually began to tell me about the church. It was his after all.
It’s gratifying to take pictures that resemble a specific work or are based on a particular school or style of art. This patch of snow-dusted leaves, on a cold windy morning, calls to mind a ‘drip art’ painting by Jackson Pollock from around 1949. If one asserts, by this comparison, that the frosted pattern-in-nature qualifies as fine art, would that be a legitimate or fallacious example of the argument called ‘Ad Verecundiam’.
5:30 pm. I’m glad to find Dove’s Store, a reassuring last shot from a long day looping thru ‘Highland’ counties in West Virginia: Pendleton, Hardy, Hampshire, Mineral, Grant, and back. Often featured here, ‘Highland’ counties encompass and sustain the South Branch of the Potomac River. And provide generously for those with an appetite for riding county roads. But, I’m still smarting, since morning. An acute smart lingering long after my public humiliation by a tail-thrashing, hoof-splashing, testosterone-charged juvenile Angus bully defending his indifferent heifers, they clearly more interested in a sip of creek water, against my apparent interest in the same. For the rest of the story, check here.
Spent some precious quiet time over the Holiday revisiting and reconnecting with my library of recorded music, after a distant 20 months in other places. Found old pleasures and new discoveries lavishly spiced with advances in digital technology.
Ground Zero DeKalb County, Georgia Saturday 25 December 2010
This is the North Fork French Broad River along State Road 215, about 7 miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway. From the boulder’s ledge, I’m looking downstream, and south. All precious fluids passing thru this jam-up spot course due south 10 miles to Rosman, where the River changes its mind with an eastward u-turn bend into the next County, eventually aiming due north thru Asheville, and onward northwest slicing the great mountain barrier at Hot Springs and into the Tennessee Valley. It's never disappointing here.
Way over in the western corner of Ashe County, State Road 88 hugs along the banks of the North Fork New River from it’s headwaters in Watauga County twenty jaw-dropping miles northeast thru Maxwell, Creston and Clifton to Warrensville and State Road 194, where I usually turn north to Lansing, or vice versa on the return. These are certifiable ‘3-check’ drives with spectacular goings-on in all directions. Every year, or two or three I take this same picture of Sutherland Church hoping to capture a moment of perfect light - light so sweet that an instant’s worth can make the whole day. Following this shot, I sheepishly switched on my always-off cell phone, just in case there’s a speed dial on its way here from NatGeo. Make a note of that.
“The unveiling of the Indian monument at Mingo, in the southern end of the county, at the head of Tygart’s Valley River, took place in accordance with the program on Saturday, September 25, 1920. “The monument stands about 20 feet high and an Indian is represented standing listening, looking and ready for the “war path” upon short notice. “Some 1200 or 1500 people attended the meeting from Pocahontas and Randolph counties and a few from other sections, who are candidates for political honors. The dinner served was superb and praised by all who attended as being one of the biggest, best and freest dinners ever offered in the county.”
Captain William H. Cobb, National Historical Society:
“The Indian “village site” at Mingo has been regarded as the habitat of this tribe, but it is with no certainty that this is at all correct, but on the other hand it would appear that this village was the abode of some other tribe, for we have no account which would make this a Mingo home.”
Mr. Andrew Price, Editor Pocahontas Times:
“We must enter a vigorous protest against the historian’s conclusions. It all goes to show that the only way to preserve the history of your own people is to do it yourself and not depend on some person a thousand miles away to do you justice. Such men do not know and they do not care. To doubt that the Mingo Indians once had their tribal center at Mingo Flats is equivalent to what would be the case if some historian would arise… and deny that there were ever any catfish in the Greenbrier River.
Reference: Monument to, and History of the Mingo Indians Native American Collection, Cornell University Library, 1921
Emery Hoke coasted his pickup to an easy stop beside me. “When I saw you I knew exactly what you were doing,” he cheerfully asserted from the window, “I like to take pictures like that.“ Obviously, he knew the picture – a really cool weathered shed nestled against a November hillside. Puffy white clouds posing overhead. Regrettably, somebody recently stole Emery’s camera. So, I’m copying several photos from that morning to a disk which should appear in his stocking by Christmas.