A short driving day made even shorter by listening to Richard Dawkins narrate his auto-biography. An amazing life. One of the campaigns supported by Dawkins that I am most interested in is "Ask For Evidence". The thinking is that when you are presented with "claims", you should look for evidence that supports those "claims". You should do this for new drugs, diets, religion, Donald Trump. Here is the place to go Ask for Evidence.
After checking into the hotel, we walked to the music district and spent a couple of hours at Robert's Western World a honky-tonk and country bar. Most Nashville bars were closed for Thanksgiving, but the ones that were open were busy and hopping. Robert's Western World is three doors down from Tootsie's (closed) and was featuring "The 12 Hour 6th Annual Eileen Rose & Silver Threads Thanksgiving Show" - happy smiles on our faces. We stayed for hours 4 and 5 of the marathon, and they were still yakking, honking and singing everything in sight. The 82 and 80 year old 2-stepping couple at the next table were regulars out enjoying the music, the dancing and a couple of 2 dollar beers. Nice, just what you hope to see in Nashville.
Today we are off to Jackson Mississippi. Why? We are trying to get as far south as we can before we head into the storm that has hit northern Texas. The weather maps show that if I can get into southern Texas before turning west, we might miss a lot of bad weather. I am following the map at US Weather Service and it shows a clear path along the Rio Grande.
Today is Black Friday!
- Tonight - Fort Wayne, Indiana.
- Tomorrow night - Nashville, Tennessee - downtown, walking distance to the music.
- who knows from there
There is nothing too exciting to report about our first day on the road except for a nice visit with Bronwen and Eryn in Guelph. We all had lunch together. Bronwen gave Eryn a dill pickle and she really seemed to enjoy chewing and sucking on the vinegar. Occasionally her face would pucker up but she would keep on going.
The drive seemed long, with fog in the morning as we left Collingwood and the 401 closed at Tilbury for a multi-car prang. Stopped at the Outlet mall in Fremont, but the Calphalon store had gone out of business. Today we start in Fort Wayne and head to Nashville. I have been scouring the internet for music in Nashville hoping to go to the Bluebird Cafe but it is American Thanksgiving. Looks like Tootsie's might be open though.
Tried to book a room in Baton Rouge, but the prices are sky-high - $300US plus a deposit of another $300 if you live within 50 miles of Baton Rouge. This being a deposit for damages. There must be a local college football game. So - - we will shorten the drive on Friday and stay in Jackson Mississippi. By Saturday morning the storm in the mid-west should have subsided and we can shoot across the lower part of Texas, to California.
Ron Hynes passed away this past Thursday. I have been watching snippets of the funeral service in St John's - lots of Ron's songs being sung by Amelia Curran, Allan Doyle and Ron's family. The Internet is full of beautiful tributes to Ron. I will just say that I was a big fan from the moment I heard Ron being interviewed by Shelagh Rogers on CBC. On that show he introduced two new songs (The Mother Who Bore Me in Pain and Dry), both songs about his ongoing battles with drug addiction. The songs and interview were so candid that I went looking for more Ron Hynes. I have remained a big fan. There is no video posted here. There are several videos posted on YouTube that you could browse around.
Jackson Allan Garland 10lb 9oz. A New Family Record!
Mother and son doing just fine. Everybody very happy.
Here is a photo that I just found from earlier this spring. It is of the tennis team that I played for in the BNP Paribas Indian Wells Seniors Tournament. We did not do well this year. Must have been over-confident from last year.
We are well on our way home. We stopped in Quebec City for our first night out of Moncton. Had a nice walk around the walled city including lower Quebec (walked down, but rode the lift up), found the old Anglican church founded by the Scottish troops after the battle on the Plains of Abraham (probably members of the 78th Fraser Highlanders), and took in a nice dinner.
Our hotel that evening was a bit of a surprise. When we first opened the door to our room we were hit with a blast of heat - the room was over 40 degree centigrade. The staff claim to have never seen this happen before. Fortunately they were able to find us another room.
This morning we woke up in Cornwall, ON. We stayed here so that we could visit Upper Canada Village for the first time in 40 years. I wanted to get some photographs of Louck's farm. The main farmhouse was moved from nearby and once was owned by a direct ancestor of Mary (Loucks) Lauro a good friend of ours. She has never seen the house.
Many of he 78th Frasers were Scottish survivors of the Jacobite rebellion and may have been present at the battle Culloden Moor in 1745. I believe that the 78th was recruited from the survivors of this battle and they were shipped to North America with General Wolf to ensure that they did not participate in any further rebellion against the crown, and that the regiment was disbanded in Quebec City after the Battle of the Plains of Abraham to ensure that they did not return to Scotland and take up their old ways. Further, Williams family history believes that an early member of the 78th was a Cameron ancestor of my mother. Wolf is not well thought of in Scotland for the butchering that took place at Culloden. We think pretty highly of him and he is enshrined in Westminster Abbey by the English - just different POVs
Home now . . .
Last time that we arrived at home it just did not feel right. This time when we arrived it felt very good. We were rested (actually unpacked already) and the home and community looked good - not grey and cold, but green and promising. We were hungry and thirsty so started dinner and cocktails (one should not withdraw from the travelling lifestyle too quickly; we would not want to get the tremors).
Canada Day, but nothing broadcast by CBC from Parliament Hill. I was counting on a live music broadcast from the Hill. When did this all change? CBC was showing the Dragon's Den - very patriotic - lots of flag waving and Kevin sang O'Canada, but still not the hill. I had to watch a Maple Leaf press conference explaining why Phil Kessel was traded. I did not know that he had been traded but I already knew why he was traded. Maybe the Food Channel will have a good show about how to preserve poutine (canned poutine - a great idea, not mine originally but a good idea).
We are home and that is good.
We are in Moncton. Carol and I just left Elwood Cemetery where there was a short committal service for Joyce. To our pleasant surprise both of Joyce's living sisters were able to make the trip to the service and we were able to meet some of Carol's cousins for the first time. After the service we went to Joyce's favourite restaurant for some lunch and to visit.
l-r Lloyd, Marie, Jean, Ray, Irene, Paul, Sandra, Carol
We are in Montreal. It is normal for us to pass through Montreal, but not actually stay and enjoy the city. Checking into our hotel, we were asked "are we sensitive?" Hotel 10 has an after hours club and they are shooting a video tonight. We might hear some thumpa - thumpa - thumpa from the dance floor. We were certain that we would be OK. We probably will not be fine.
Old Montreal (close to the hotel) is an area of Montreal that has been preserved from the early 1900s. I thought that it might be a bit older. Full of good restaurants. Lots of people walking and reading the menu boards. Really very nice. Carol thinks that she saw one of the FIFA women's soccer teams out for stroll through "Vieux Montreal". A minor disagreement occurred during dinner. Carol thought that the hostess was not wearing enough clothing. I just thought that it was warm out tonight. All of this disagreement because Carol would not go to Schwartz's Deli.
How about your daughters and their families making certain that you get to a beer festival for Father's Day. Good grand-parenting is what we call it.
We are happy to announce the birth of Eryn Llewellyn Neath, May 1st 2015, about 1:21PM. First daughter of Glenn Neath and Bronwen Appleton. Mother and baby doing very well in Guelph Hospital. For those in the Appleton/Williams family it is worth noting that Carol and I will be referring to our two grandchildren as "Billie and Lew". It will roll off our tongues really easy as that is how we heard everyone refer to my parents for years and years.