First and foremost it could not have happened but for the kindness and hospitality of Mr Ron Creager and his sister, Bec.
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.
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!
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.
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?
A SATURDAY MARKET
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
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
WALK UP MAIN
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
A FEAST? NO, JUST BREAKFAST!
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!
A DAY ON THE LAKE
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!!!