The Adventure Continues

TT in the Blue Mountains and Sheldy in New York.

Culture Shock.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The South

(tt)  Well here as promised are a few momentos of my trip to the South. Hopkinsville, Kentucky was my base for the sojourn

First and foremost it could not have happened but for the kindness and hospitality of Mr Ron Creager and his sister, Bec.
Here they are pictured outside Harper House at which Ron plays on Friday and Saturday nights. While he was battling the din of a Wedding Rehearsal Dinner,  Bec and I were enjoying some Kentucky fare. I had mustard encrusted talapia and grilled asparagus which was very fine indeed. Neither of us heard Ron for the shrieking of the sozzled guests.

Ron and Bec have bought and totally restored a wonderful late 19th century house.

 It is full of beautiful furniture some of which is priceless antique and some filched from the sidewalks or the thrift shops. So lovingly are the cheap treasures renovated you cannot tell them from the real!

 Almost all the art on the walls is made up of semi-sculpted pieces by Bec and they are wonderful.

The front porch is a very prominent room in a southern home. And from theirs this is the view. Doll said she was waiting for Atticus Fimch to walk by.

We would sit out here after sunset and watch the lightning bugs..insects with luminous bodies like little Tinkerbells popping on and off all over the place.

One place across the road was a mystery in that it was boarded up but one day a party of eight descended on it and removed 8 garbage bags of SOMETHING!
This place was bought for ONE DOLLAR after the 08 housing crash!

This is the oldest house around and was the original seat of a vast tobacco plantation. On Sunday Bec is catering a luncheon for 150 herself  (Ron is chopping onions)
People travel for miles to look at the deer.
And in the top left window the ghost of a young woman stands in the evening. She refuses to leave.

A Walk Through the Old Town
Hopkinsville was famous for tobacco, pork and bricks. The latter were so strong and durable they were imported to London for public buildings. And the famous psychic and photographer, Edgar Cayce, lived here for several years.
Main Street was once like St Kilda Rd..lined with mansions. Many are torn down. This was a funeral home before its next incarnation as apartments.

Patriotism is evident everywhere

This is Main St now

And as it was early last century
 So here are a few shots of old Hopkinsville which is virtually being left to die. Nobody is without a car so this area is dead at night and on Sundays . Most buildings are abandoned. The rich leave even the most wonderful old houses and apartments  for new estates closer to the 2 mile long strip mall of  Walmart, Burger King, Taco Bell et al.

A tribute to the dead businesses of Hoptown

The building on the left was a grocers called The Red Store

606 and a half!
  Here it is in its days of splendour

More of the faded glory
The old City hall and the cultural heart of Hoptown

The fabulous ghost of a department store

These stores are the only businesses left in this street

$750 for a steel casket. Not bad value



A defunct house of mirth

These beautiful buildings have been restored but are only partially occupied. They would make magnificent apartments

Bricked up even

Now only used for drag shows.

As it was

The old bottling plant

There is no public transport to Hopkinsville. No bus, no passenger train. no plane. Everyone has to have a car or 5.     'The little station is a historical society

And yet a freight goes through almost twice an hour with the longest line of container cars you have ever seen. It toots at every crossing and can be heard for miles

On the day we walked to take these pics we passed no-one on foot

Served its last gallon
But never out of sugar

More like "Let Me Out"

One day they may skate into the mural

Made with wild hog?

This is Ron's venue for his weekend gig

Ron and I risked being caught in a rainstorm to visit the Farmers Market which was held under three shelters in a car park.

 We went because the mayor was a contestant in a milking competition.
All set to see a line of cows we were greeted by this.

Here is the mayor tugging on the rubber teat

And a local celebrity called Bird Dog who mows lawns while making cat and dog noises. He is in mid howl and was most agrieved when his third of a cup f milk squeezed lost out to a local banker's half

The riveted crowd

The face paintees were so excited it was catching

Some entertainment.....
 a sort of Country Karaoke called

This gentleman sang a classic, "I'm a Little More Country Than That". I could not hear what "that" was because now the heavens had opened and we were captives.

 So we shopped.
Health food enthusiast

We bought some of her pickled beans

And she was ecstatic

Here is man who sold veges
 Then paused to praise the lord

And a patient family waits for the deluge to cease

Ron and I went for a walk along Main away from the old town. These houses would once have belonged to the town's autocracy. They are now homes to the middle class as the monied flee to their gated communities further afield

We just missed Judy and Tom Drake

The Aussie Invasion Continues
Doll and Nick arrived on the Saturday evening from Miami via Charleston. Their trusty navigator robotette  did not let them down

Bec is a stunning cook and she outdid herself on Sunday morning with a southern breakfast
Fluffy scones, grits (a corn meal delicacy mixed with eggs and cheese),  scrambled eggs, bacon and a spicy sausage.

And we had spag bol for dinner!

Some of Ron's friends who have properties on Lake Berkley (man made in the sixties and the largest of its kind in the world) invited us to spend the day on a pontoon.
Looking down on the boathouse from the balcony of Lisa and John's home.
Champagne and mango cocktails all round

Bec on the deck

Here is the company pre voyage
Lisa, our hostess, Doll and Bec

Nick Ron and Terry

Terry and friend, Cindy whose home we will visit later. Terry, a florist and hair stylist, created the spectacular table setting featuring Kangaroo Paw in our honour.

The house from the bottom of the hill

Doll arriving on the Mule with Lisa and supplies

Here are some shots of the lake on our way to see Cindy's fantastic house on another bay in the lake
Bubo, the skipper on the pontoon which was like a floating Nick Scali lounge suite

Nick soaks. Wine and coolers all round.

Doll was shadily sensible all day

Lisa was no slouch while wearing one. She went very fast and totes a gun in her purse!  She later gave Doll a shooting lesson with a laser pistol!!

This was once the top of a hill

Doll pointed out how like the Hawkesbury it felt.

This is Cindy and Tom's humble cottage

 A bamboo garden which I have a feeling they may regret

 Countless outdoor entertainment areas

They used to throw parties  for two hundred guests!
And probably the most beautiful kitchen I have ever been in. I'm pinching everything about it!

There's even a beer cask fitted under the counter  

We headed off for a lake tour and some of the party dived in.  Doll found the current a bit strong so was in for thirty seconds. I dangled my feet in and got a wet arse.
A palace $2 million
This is a Lodge on the edge of what is a huge lake shore park

The very quiet bay where some of us dipped.

And there folks the battery on my camera died.  I had no spare. So fuck you.

The evening consisted of a wonderful salmon meal with chocolate desserts for days and much talk of guns. Having a gun in the south is a bit like carrying a mobile.  You really really need one!
 Doll, Nick and I were so in love with Nashville Airport that we congratulated ourselves on getting there in plenty of time, treated ourselves to coffee and papers..... and then missed the flight. We contemplated staying in the South for a few more days but changed our minds when they got us on the next flight out.  You must see it for yourselves!!!

1 comment:

  1. TT, this is a truly spectacular addition to the blog!! Just wonderful!! xx