**** update open**** Frank Hoyt Taylor has had to reschedule. He won’t be with us today. However, I’m delighted to announce that Austin Moody will be calling in, giving me the opportunity to introduce y’all to a marvelous new talent. See you on the air! ****update close****
I’ve gotten somewhat used to being picked up at the airport by strangers. (Hmmm…that doesn’t sound just right, but stay with me here. As is all of my writing, this post is G rated.) Maybe we should start over…
Last Wednesday I flew into Knoxville, TN where two ladies I’d never met in person identified themselves as my escorts. Being a trusting soul, I climbed into their rental car for the ride to Townsend, TN. These two appeared harmless enough but as the week progressed I began to second-guess that assumption. Suffice to say there was a time there in the mountains of TN that I wondered if I would be going to see the good Lord sooner rather than later. Janis, our driver, seemed to consider all speed limits posted on those curvy mountain roads to be mere suggestions. Meanwhile, her unflappable sidekick, Debbie, would hold her cell phone OUT of the window to receive better reception for her GPS. Let it be noted that we STILL got lost. I do wish I had taken a picture of one of the signs we encountered but the text shall suffice, “Turn around or call 1-800-#$@-$%!” I’m thinking the phone number was posted for people who might be concerned about turning around on the mountain road without falling into the ravines on either side. Such a concern did not register with my hostesses.
We survived, no doubt because I am a praying woman, and I was able to fulfill my commitment to speak at ChristyFest and meet a lot of other interesting folks. ChristyFest is a celebration of the late Catherine Marshall, her 1967 book entitled Christy, and the subsequent 1994 television series based on that book. (Do scoot over to the website and read more about it.)
Townsend, TN sits at the bottom of the Great Smoky Mountains and it is simply beautiful. ChristyFest put me in my own cabin in the woods where I “roughed it”, forced to unwind in the Jacuzzi each night and endure scenes like this every morning during my porch time with Jesus!
My experiences at ChristyFest included making my own cornhusk doll, under the tutelage of volunteers. My doll now sits proudly on my shelves but I have a feeling the ATS Bellerina Czars are going to feel the need to get acquainted as soon as they see her.
I also enjoyed hiking up the mountain to explore old homesteads that have been carefully restored. Oh, and looking for bears, I did a lot of that, especially after I saw this sign on the trail. Please note the third instruction. I sent up a silent prayer that the bears were literate, too.
Another blessing was the chance to visit with Teresa, the powerhouse behind CAM, Coalition for Appalachian Ministries. I learned about the ongoing challenges of the Appalachian people and what ingenious and good-hearted folks like Teresa are doing to help make a difference in their lives.
Please consider this your invitation to join me tomorrow on ATS LIVE for an ongoing conversation about my time in TN. My special guest will be Frank Hoyt Taylor, the actor who played Uncle Bogg in the television series. I’ll also be playing music by Austin Moody, a son of the Appalachian who is making waves in country music.
And yes, there will be giveaways! I’ll post pics of them on Facebook. Per our custom, you can enter that drawing by posting a comment here, or on Facebook. However, make a note of this: Tomorrow, our conversation will be held on the All Things Southern fan page instead of my personal page. (I’m told my personal page will soon exceed the allowed number of friends and I will one day have to conduct all of my
silliness business on the fan page that does not have a numbers cap. Please like that page and join the fun.)
P.S. This is the kind of stuff I had to put up with on the trip!
See you on the air!