Thursday, July 8, 2010

Faith and Patriotism

I started the morning by going to the Smokey Mountain Center for the Performing Arts (ok, long name but a beautiful building.). Dr. Dennis Swanberg was going to conduct chapel and since I had sometimes watched Swan's Place on tv, I knew it would be a fun experience. He was a Baptist minister for 20 years and then left to become a minister of encouragement. He has made it a point to bring his message to troops overseas as well as people all over this country. He is very funny and his message is indeed one of encouragement. The hour and a half passed quickly and it was a great way to start the day.

After this I grabbed a really good turkey pastrami at the Motor City Diner and then walked down a couple of blocks to the square where a Tea Party was being held. Contrary to what is often reported on the national news, there were no lunatics, fanatics, or dangerous looking people. What I saw were small town American people from all over the area who were alarmed by the direction their country was headed. That they loved their country was evident. Patriotic songs were sung and speakers said their piece. Nothing way out of line, just a general concern and lots of smiles for those driving by.  I do confess that I shopped during the speeches and listened to the music.

There was one sign  which I absolutely loved and wished I could have gotten a picture of it. The sign said "Next time read the bill before you vote on it." Ok, now that's funny!  I don't care what your political point of view is.  You know politicians don't read all the stuff they vote on and we get the results of their ignorance.

I also stopped in a store which had a wonderful display of quality crafts made in the area. The shop owner was very nice and we discussed how hard it is for small businesses to survive and get the word out about what they have to offer.

Franklin, NC

Franklin is a small town with about 3500 people here for the winter population and about 35000 in the entire county according to the helpful lady at the Visitors Information Center. I have found everyone in town to be extremely nice and I have realized just how much I miss living in a smaller community.

Saturday night was a Concert on the Square and there were 2 singles and a group featured. The music for the night was gospel and, I think, 13 year old Nathan Phillips stole the show. His voice is amazing and the fact that he sang some of my all time favorites was an extra gift.

A childhood friend has a place up here and MH was kind enough to spend Friday and Saturday showing me around the area before she returned home to FL on Sunday. While we were sitting at the concert, a very nice lady put her chair next to ours. Now, this is where it gets really interesting. We got to talking as people tend to do at small town events. She has a daughter in law who is going to apply for a teaching job in , as it turns out, the district from which MH just retired a couple of years ago as head of HR. Names were exchanged, of course. Then we did the usual "where are you from" and she was from Fort Walton Beach FL. She is a member of St.Simons Episcopal Church there. I commented on how much I loved their annual craft fair and mentioned that a friend of mine had a booth there for years. She asked the friend's name. I told her it was BC and of course she knew BC. We talked about how sad it was that she had passed away this year and how much we both enjoyed wearing her handwoven clothing . It gets better. I mentioned that I had attended Shalimar UMC when I lived in that area. She asked if I knew Roger and Bronie who of course I did as R had served on the building committee with H. How wild is that? I do love discovering connections!!!

The downtown area is decorated with red/white and blue bunting and quite a few of the houses in the area are similarly decked out for the 4th.

Sorry for the lack of pictures but I was having such a good time, I forgot all about using the camera.