Tennessee State Museum

Ernest Tubb Record Shop

We visited the Tennessee State Museum, which has a fine new building, but only a middling collection. Many exhibits dwell on war: Indian, Revolutionary, 1812 (In Canada known as the war of American aggression.), Civil, WWI and WWII. All of this warfare is fitting for the patron state of shooting stuff. In addition to war, both slavery and civil rights are well covered.

One fun topic that is covered is music, for which Nashville is deservedly known. Near the museum is the Bicentennial Park Bells, a beautiful carillon. We ate lunch at the next door Farmers Market. Its food court had a pretty good selection to choose from. Later for dinner, we got takeout at Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria, a historically black establishment. Tonight’s special was husky sized pizzas at slim prices.

As we were doing the pizza run, Rey told me about a book that he and Becca have. It is a YA novel by author Angie Thomas, whose first book, The Hate U Give, was a runaway bestseller, with almost two-years on the NYT bestseller list. It has also been optioned for a movie. Before Corwin was born, they attended a reading by the author of this new book, On the Come Up. What I found interesting in this book is that the young black female protagonist’s mother is called Jay and her sister is called Pooh. Making her sister, Auntie Pooh. Auntie Pooh is a good egg, although she is a drug dealer, but other than her choice of employment, she still has the family’s best interests at heart.

The rest of the day was consumed watching the Corwin show. He has an affinity for lights. He loves to stare up at them. Today, I tried running the ceiling fan, with the lights on. It appeared to be a hit. The day was the coldest day here yet, but the wind slackened, making it feel warmer than yesterday.

Spirit Shields

According to the curators of the Smithsonian who prepared these two artifacts:

Native American warriors sought protection, strength and courage from spiritual beings that they worshipped and believed controlled their universe. If these beings manifested themselves to a warrior during a vision quest, the warrior would paint the visionary experience on his shield. Before a battle, he would respectfully call upon his spirit helpers for assistance. During the actual battle, a shield was the strongest spiritual protection a warrior carried. A warrior’s shield gave him specific powers. Only a shield’s owner had full knowledge of the symbolism, songs and rituals associated with it. The two bear paws painted on the first shield suggests that its owner invoked the spiritual power of bears. The second shield shows the battle exploits of Chief Hump. Hump was a prominent Lakota warrior at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

For Native Americans, in war, as in life there is a religious element. The same cannot be said for the current Administration. Last week, they wagged the dog, to distract from the latest doc drop related to impeachment. Missed it? Mission Accomplished! That’s OK, Cadet Bone Spur has marched us off to fight another unwinnable war, for his own personal interests. Why should I believe anything else? After he has told 15,000+ lies in office, why should I believe anything he says? You know how I know when he is lying? His lips are moving.

Now, good American men and women will die, just to serve his own private political benefit. He cares nothing for this country or anything, but himself. Before he was elected, he projected upon Obama, what he has just done himself, attack Iran to get reelected. Assassinating Iran’s number two man was an act of war and was way out of proportion to anything that was done to provoke it. He hopes to leverage this conflict to facilitate his reelection. He will do anything to get reelected. No criminal act is too low for him now and may God help us if he succeeds. Then there would not even be a prayer to shield us from destruction. 

Evangeline Oak

Evangeline Oak

Longfellow’s poem Evangeline immortalized the tragedy of the Acadian exile from Nova Scotia in 1755. This oak marks the legendary meeting place of Emmeline Labiche and Louis Arceneaux, real life counterparts of Evangeline and Gabriel. It served as a rest stop during last year’s Cycle Zydeco bike ride.

Saturday night, we attended a dinner party with some fellow Saint Louis based Zydeco riders. Our hosts, Phil and Mary are within walking distance. It was a great party, with the long and short of it being that we will be doing this year’s Cycle Zydeco bicycle ride in Louisiana. We still have to sign-up for the ride and make ancillary reservations, but I’ll get on that this week. We might checkout the Gulf Shores area too. For those of you who are keeping score that checks off April, filling our travel dance card until September. I don’t think that any future planning is really warranted beyond that point, at least for now. We are already well on our scheduled way to becoming former Saint Louisans.

In other comings and goings, this Sunday morning, Dan and Britt launched back eastward, to NYC. We really enjoyed their visit and this will leave us empty nested once again. I sent them off with my signature avocado toast in their bellies, wishing them and fueling them both, for their safe travels home. It will be way passed our bedtimes before they make Brooklyn tonight.

With Dan’s departure, I declare the Christmas season officially over. Tomorrow, I’ll take down the decorations, but I think that I’ll leave most of the lights up for a while longer. They look so pretty at night and even though the days are supposedly getting longer now, it still gets dark awfully early and a little more light will help. There are no excuses now, for not plunging into the new year.

A Proposition

Candidate Amethyst Rock Replacement

Dear beach bums—I have a proposition for you. I propose that we substitute the old Amethyst Rock down at the Doelle end of the beach, with the above bauble. You can’t really tell by the photo, but they are about the same size. Now I understand that in its current form, it would be a bit difficult to stand on, at least barefoot. Its sharp crystals would surely hurt, but hear me out. We can leave the original Amethyst Rock where it is and you, “traditionalists”, can continue to march down the beach and commune with it, as you always have. In the meantime, we’ll just set this new one up in front of the cabin. I figure that in a few years, wind, wave and water will smooth its exterior to the smoothest finish of purple beach glass that you have ever seen. And because it will be right in front of the cabin, when were all old and doddering, it will still be accessible, as they say. Are you on board with this plan? Good!

Now there is just one little teensy-weensy other thing. This Amethyst Rock is currently located in the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, in its Minerals and Gems gallery. Woah there, it’s not like it is in the same room as the Hope Diamond, so don’t get your panties all in a bunch. I’m sure that it’s not that well-guarded. With your help, I’m sure that we could pull this little caper off. I know what you are thinking. He goes off to DC, without any adult supervision and this is what he comes up with. While that may be true, it is not entirely my own idea. Before I went to Natural History, I was in the National Archive. Have you ever seen the movie, National Treasure?

In this movie, Nichols Cage steals the Declaration on Independence. It is all part of an elaborate scavenger hunt. He is trying to find the treasure of the Knights Templar, who the Founding Fathers hid, because they were all Free Masons. Clear? Anyway, he has to steal the Declaration on Independence, because the next set of clues are secretly written on its back. Once stolen, he then has to Q-tip lemon juice on to it to make the invisible ink reappear. I guess by now, I should have told you to suspend your disbelief at the door. Anyway, it all works out, he finds the treasure, get the girl and the document in question is not too worse for wear. Except when I viewed it today, it looked horrible. About all that you could still read is, “In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776”, “The unanimous Declaration […] States of America,” and “John Hancock”. I don’t think Nick Cage is all that responsible for this deterioration.

As I was waiting in line to get in, I got to eavesdrop on the spiel of a private tour guide that the family in line before me had hired. He was good and apparently our forefathers were not. Or at least they were none too kind to the Declaration on Independence. In 1823 President John Quincy Adams ordered 200 copies of the document to be printed. The printer used a wet-ink transfer process, where the surface of the document was moistened, and some of the original ink transferred to the surface of a copper plate, which was then etched so that copies could be run off the plate on a press. Then for 35 years the original document was displayed on a wall in the Patent Office, where it was exposed to sunlight and Washington’s horridly humid summers. If faded badly and now is unreadable, as are the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. So, it’s no wonder that Trump behaves as if there is no Constitution—Now, where was I going again?