Thursday, August 09, 2012

On the Road

 --Workmen on precarious improvised foam-ladder support,
somewhere in Asheville
And it seems like it goes on like this forever
You must forgive me
If I'm up and goin' to Carolina in my mind   
--Carolina on My Mind, James Taylor

[Sorry ... we have been laggards; no excuses.  We will begin some posts of substance after THIS weekend, promise.  This is just to update you, 
--the amaneunsis.]

RAW has made it through N. Georgia none the worse for wear.  All hopes of non-fried veggies, and ANY veggies besides overcooked greens beans, mashed potatoes and okra cast aside long ago.  We bade Bogger Hollow and its "fried pork fat" breakfasts goodbye (fried pork fat being "bacon + 1", we imagine.)


Current stop: Asheville, if only for the farm-to-table ethos and microbreweries.  Think of it as a very mini Portland -- the only one in the Southeast, really.  {Above is the board at Early Girl -- it is so gratifying to see grain and seed pancakes with real maple syrup -- no more Martha White wallpaper paste.}  For us coming from The Swamp, it is a relief to enjoy creative breakfasts that veer from eggs + meat.  The dress is retro-Haight-Ahbury-meets-hillbilly: dresses (ladies and some men), leg tats and boots, Frye And otherwise.
Here is Jim enjoying breakfast at Early Girl, and a typical look, which is to say, staring at the waitresses, um, garb, while being spoken to.  There is another photo which is more typical and may be posted later.  Below is the daily food board at "Homegrown", a local favorite.

 --Lisa on Wall Street, N.C.-style

 These are the small happenings of a day in Asheville: Jim engages the next table, from Ireland, in a discussion of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), saying he likes the group.  Startled, the young man says, "Ah, you must like their tactics."  After engaging them for 10 minutes at 8 a.m. on the topic of terrorism, Lisa suggests we let the lovely people enjoy their vittles.

Stopping at a thrift store benefiting breast cancer research, Jim asks the women if they will discount a jock strap as he has only one testicle.  They fail to find any humor and charge him full price.  Lisa enjoys an apple strudel at the "European Bakery", a hole in the wall which is surprisingly good.

We are off to Jack in the Woods Pub for some bluegrass (when in Rome ...).  There's a Doc Watson retrospective this weekend.  Saturday is annual "Wood Day" featuring, well, people who work with wood. Banner Elk next, then West Virginia to experience some hollers.  Like I say, real thinking coming up ...



Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

sitting on top of the world ~ doc watson

Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 6:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Jim and Lisa,

Hey, are you gonna eat that okra on your plate or what? I'll take it. I love okra.

Jim, please for Christ's sake, do NOT post any pictures of you modeling your thrift-shop-acquired jock strap.


Friday, August 10, 2012 at 9:15:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger basilbeast said...

After you emerged from the swamp, perhaps you went through or passed by Waycross or Blackshear?

That's Pogo country and Waycross is my dad's home.

You're too far west to traipse through my wife's family's home in Henderson, north of Raleigh.

Continue traipsin'.


Sunday, August 12, 2012 at 3:51:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

You guys sure must be fun guests; seems to me it'd be like hosting Dorothy Parker and Smedley Butler; hopefully your graciousness smooths over the ol' soldier's candid opinions.

In my time in the South I found that grace is usually much more appreciated than candor, at least among mere acquaintances.

Sorry to see what I missed not venturing more outside the sandhill country of NC. Ashville sounds like a vast improvement on Fayettenam...

Monday, August 13, 2012 at 12:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Oh, and re: the roofers - I work with a crew of ground-anchor installers who are alomst to a man straight out of Michoacan. They are famous for this sort of frightening jury-rigging; can't tell you how many times I've turned around and found Ramiro or Cesar hanging off a cliff with a 1/4" rope around his waist as "fall protection"...

Here in the U.S. I think we tend to be incredibly thick about the degree to which all that "bureaucracy" tends to protect us from having to work this way. And, obviously, even here...

Monday, August 13, 2012 at 12:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

We were on the Doc Watson highway today.
It's near Boone NC.

Monday, August 13, 2012 at 4:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Jim has a very interesting military friend in Hendersonville, N.C. whom I've met once; we think he's re-located to S.A. following retirement.


Your description of us is funny. You're right: Southerners do (at their best) grace; at their worst, it is a false politesse. "Y'all come by, y'hear?"" = "Never, would be too soon." If you're a Cleveland boy, you're just never going to be on the inside. (Jim does not understand that it is the "War of Northern Aggression".)

Now I, being a border state girl, can usually pass. But I shall never have a mouth full of grits.

Monday, August 13, 2012 at 7:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Now I, being a border state girl, can usually pass.

I picture you in the Deep South like one of those English expats of fiction who, while never really becoming anything other than who they are, become so well versed in the local manners and mores that they are capable of both slipping deftly through the booby-traps of local customs while recognizing the worst of the local silliness and hypocrisy.

Jim, using the same metaphor, becomes the "curry colonel", harrumphing and damning the eyes of the natives over his india pale ale for not measuring up to the standards of his Cleveland upbringing.

All you need is the battered Land Rover and a haversack full of uneatable British snacks...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 12:52:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


You are so funny, and have me chortling ... how have you read us so well?

And you know, there are the Carr's biscuits and McVities digestives and tonic, in the car, and English Breakfast, Earl Grey and P & G's to counter the local Liptons ...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 1:06:00 PM GMT-5  

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