food, history, rural life, and how we connect our cultural past and future
Heading out on our Southern Spring Adventure
On a stop over in Chattanooga, birth place of Bessie Smith, my friend Kelly and I took a long walk around the River Walk section of the downtown. The Tennessee River meanders through the city center and the public areas were full of families enjoying the spring weather. Of course I had to spot an interesting looking book store and headed right to it.
What to my surprise the owner, Polly Henry, is not only a book seller but a weaver, spinner and dyer. She confessed to being 78 – seems to be a force of nature, and loves sharing her knowledge of fiber craft. The place was a hodge-podge of books, piles of wool roving, stacks of bales of rug weaving strips, fantastically dyed and felted fabrics in wild disarray, with looms and and carders filling in what small room there was for anything else! I never made it to the books.
The bag you see at my feet is full of peachy/melon/plum/apricot dyed mohair rovings ready to spin. I just could not resist. Miss Polly propped the bag on the scale, pronounced a price that had me gasping for joy and bingo it was mine. Along with all the fibers and yarns she also sells hats knitted and crocheted in silk, mohair, in fabulous textures and colors. I had a ball. (Crazy Daisy in All Books, 410 Broad Street, Chattanooga, TN firstname.lastname@example.org)
The road south to Louisiana was sunny and bright with flat pine barren land under that immensity of sky I miss there in Virginia where the mountains act as topographic borders.