Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Marietta Chalktoberfest 2017 and 2019, part 1

My trip to the Western North Carolina Mountains was to be my next post, but something came up.  I realized it was the weekend for the Chalk Festival on the Marietta Square.  If you go to the side of my blog and click on the chalk art festival category you can read on the earlier festivals I have attended in Marietta, GA, since 2013.  I also give more information on this event.  I missed the 2018 fest but was in Georgia for the weekend of the fest in 2017.  I never wrote a post on it though.  I'll start with the 2017 Chalktoberfest.  I had arrived from Nashville on the Saturday night and went to the fest on Sunday October 15, 2017.  From the parking area I walked first by the vintage automobile show.

The Marietta Police gave choices for a ride to those who had a few drinks, and their costs - (click on collage twice to enlarge.)

The chalk paintings had been drawn on the four streets around the Marietta Square.  But some artists had drawn theirs on standing boards as shown in the heading photo and those below.

There were ominous clouds starting to gather over the square and soon enough large drops of rain began falling.  Big rolls of plastic sheeting placed in the center of each street were quickly rolled over the chalk drawings.

But the rain did not last long.  The clouds were pushed away by the sun and we all came back to the streets.  A man with a blower was pressing the water past the plastic sheets.

I was pleased to go back to the street paintings as I had only taken a couple of photos so far.

As usual many people had brought their dogs.  I love dogs but don't have one, so I always stop to look at them.  Of course taking pictures of dogs means that legs and feet of their owners are included in the pictures!

Photos taken from ground level are distorted.  I asked the Marietta City Photographer to use my camera on his ladder and you can tell the difference below.

Even with the distortion these large-scale chalk drawings were dazzling.

I also enjoyed watching the artists creating these masterpieces on the pavement.

Their panoply of colorful chalks tempted my camera as well.

As its name indicates the Chalktoberfest takes place in October when Halloween is coming up as shown by the decorations on the square.

We even had a zombie-looking bride and groom walk by.

But there were more colorful chalk interpretations to see.

and more - (don't forget to click twice on collages to enlarge and see better.)

One of the chalk artists had a little card that she would wave.  It read" "Thank you for giving me a reason to smile today."

Here and there along the way were other signs on kindness.

Kindness matters, indeed.  If humanity would go beyond hatred and fear, maybe world peace could be achieved.

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."        -Desmond Tutu, South African theologian and human-right activist, born in 1931.

I'll stop on these good words, and will show the 2019 Chalktoberfest in part 2.

More to come ....

Friday, October 11, 2019

Lake Chatuge in the North Georgia Mountains

Driving to and around the Western North Carolina and North Georgia mountains was a nice break from working in the Georgia house.  I was surprised that it took less than 2 hours to drive from the GA house (greater Atlanta) to Brasstown, North Carolina, where I went to the John C. Campbell Folk School Fall Festival last week-end.  I took many pictures and will have a post on the event soon.  I stayed in Murphy, NC, an old town established in 1830.  It is the county seat of Cherokee County, located in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains.  In Cherokee County, NC, apart from the mountains, hills and hollows there are lakes, forests, streams, farm land and 6,000 acres owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.  Their land is part of the Qualla Boundary and not a reservation.  The Eastern Band of Cherokee own a small casino in Murphy called Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Resort and Casino.  I did not visit it though.

It was a bit overcast and much cooler than in Nashville or Atlanta, but it did not rain.  On Monday I left Murphy, NC, and drove down Highway 64 to the GA Mountains then Highway 69, around Lake Chatuge, to Hiawassee, GA.  These were little mountain roads, quite curvy as you can see from the maps below.  (Click on collage to enlarge.)

In 1942 the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) built Lake Chatuge for flood control and power generation for the Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains region.  This lake consists of 3,700 acres on the North Carolina side and 3,500 acres on the Georgia side.  The beauty of this area brings many tourists and sport enthusiasts for boating, hiking trails, fishing, swimming, camping, etc.  I drove slowly to look at the gorgeous scenery rolling by as it was difficult, or even hazardous, to stop to take photos.  Below is a vintage postcard of Lake Chatuge.

Lake Chatuge is nestled between the mountain ranges of Nantahala National Forest on the NC section and embraced by the peaks of the Chattahoochee National Forest on the GA side.  As I drove up and down the small mountain roads I could get glimpses of the lake below and the top of mountains.  Trees were still green, just turning gold.  Peak fall foliage will not begin until the end of October to the second week of November.

I kept zigzagging down the scenic roads toward Hiawassee, Georgia.  Again, I could not stop for photos, so below are some vintage postcards of the area.

Early for lunch with my friend, I stopped in the center of Hiawassee to walk around.  There were flowers everywhere.  I parked near the public library, and went inside to have a look.  I should not have, as they had a sale rack and for 50 cents I bought a novel from Mary Wesley, a British author I enjoy.  The local park was being decorated for Halloween.

To get a closer look at the lake I drove to the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, less than a mile away.  I wish I could stay there until next Saturday when the Fall Festival starts and lasts all week long, ending on Saturday October 19, 2019, with the Fiddler's Convention (bluegrass bands, finger style guitar, flat picking guitar, banjo and mandolin.)  During the week well-known entertainers will perform such as The Gatlin Brothers, Ronnie McDowell, Crystal Gayle, The Earls of Leicester and more.  I enjoy listening to bluegrass music.  Below is a sample by Jerry Douglas and The Earls of Leicester.

There was hardly anyone by the lake.  It was quite overcast but still impressive.

I sat on a bench for a while to absorb the surroundings.  Then walking up by a knotted tree trunk I saw a bunch of feathers ahead.  Getting closer it appeared to me that a bird had lost a vigorous fight.

Before leaving I walked to the deck to look at the lake up close.

I have been to Hiawassee several times to visit my friend and have seen it grow from a sleepy mountain town to a tourist destination and a retirement niche of upscale homes with spectacular views.  Originally it was inhabited by Cherokee Indian tribes.  Its name comes from the Cherokee word Ayuhwasi which means "meadow."  My friend is originally from Lausanne, Switzerland, a city I also visited a couple of times.  I guess it was easy settling near Lake Chatuge and the surrounding mountains as it would be a reminder of Lausanne by Lake Leman.  The lake is called Leman on the French side and separates France from Switzerland; it is called Lake Geneva on the Swiss side.

My friend started by building a small house by the lake and along the years it was enlarged several times.  Now it looks like a Mediterranean villa.  The interior looks European, a mixture of Swiss, French and German styles (not the white only decor that American decorators think is the French style...) He added a swimming pool not long ago.

But it was getting late and I had to go and still ascend and descend the curvy mountains roads to my next stop.

I had enjoyed our visit, talking about fun times in the early 1970s and subsequent years.  Having old friends is such a joy.  We talk about our youth, our earlier lives; a particular moment ... Old friends are like a testimony of a time that we may regret but that still subsists a little, thanks to them.  We may find it easy with old friends to mourn an epoch that is no more, but then we can go on and be grateful for our present lives and to still know each other.  Don't you feel that way about old friends?

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Old magazines, old memories ...

My eldest daughter flew from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in August to get me started cleaning up the garage.  It used to be my late husband's domain.  It was packed full (not with vehicles though.)  It was not easy moving around with bicycles, boxes, broken lamps, furniture and more.  For three days we worked non-stop then had to call a junk-man to take all our discards away.  I sat on a chair watching them load it all, including our two bicycles bought in San Francisco in the mid 1960s.

When she left, only one third of the garage was cleaned up, a bit.  Then I alternated cleaning the garage and other interior rooms as it was quite warm in the garage.  My late husband kept everything.  He had been an executive at the Georgia Wildlife Federation and had started a beautiful colorful magazine there for which he was the editor.  I found many issues throughout the house and kept them to give to family and friends as mementos.  He had started writing for the Southern Wildlife Magazine then went on to create the Federation's magazine.  Some of the issues were on a single subject, such as an issue on the Chattahoochee River; they all included outstanding photographs.

One morning I went back to the garage trying to clean up toward the side windows.  It was laborious.  I finally cleared a few boxes, suitcases and lamps.  Behind another couple of boxes was a small bookshelf.  I had bought this bookshelf in San Francisco in the 1960s and thought that it had been given away in the early 1970s when we moved from Decatur, GA, to this house in Cobb County, GA.  But it was there unbeknownst to me.  It was full of magazines and sundry items.  I sat on a stool and started looking at the magazines.  There were Family Circle, National Geographic, Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies' Home Journal and a huge amount of French magazines, such as Jour de France, Femme Actuelle and mostly Paris Match.  At the time I had a French friend who gave me her magazines (she moved back to Paris.)  I thought they had been thrown away; recycling had not started yet in our area - but there they were ...  (Click on collage to enlarge.)

My husband must have kept filling the shelves with discarded magazines then piled up boxes around the bookshelf and it had disappeared from view.  Some of the magazines were musty but most were in great condition.  I started placing them in blue recycling bags and took them to the den - they were heavy.

Deciding to take a break I selected several magazines and brought them to the kitchen for a closer look.  The 1976 issue of National Geographic had an article on climate change, yes back in 1976!  It was fun looking at the old advertisements - such huge automobiles ... true gas guzzlers!

I never was that keen on large American cars.  As a teenager my dream car was the British Jaguar, like this 1958 Jaguar XK-150 at the top of the collage below.  But then my first "steady" boy-friend in Paris owned a 1960 MG-MGA and it was nice and very similar to the Jaguar.  However, he never let me drive it (I had a car then, but it was an old Simca-Fiat coupe.)  In the picture below I am opening the driver's door, but that's it.  It was taken on the hilly street going toward the Sacre-Coeur of Montmartre, near my parents' apartment in Paris.  That was when my girl friend had dyed my hair a brunette and it had upset my parents very much.  His MG can't be seen properly in the photo so I added another.

How about this Polaroid camera ad?  I had one in the 1970s.  Then I could not imagine cameras with memory cards, or being able to look at photos on a computer.  There was a fancy ad for Eastern Airlines flying into the future - but they flew into oblivion.

Behind the bookshelf were some older magazines even, some that my grandfather had given me.  They were "L'Illustration" published during the First World War with photos of the war effort.

There even was a "J'ai Vu" magazine with Czar Nicholas II on its cover.  I read that some people buy these old magazines for the quaint advertisements from that era.  It was like opening a door to the past.  I was touching them close to me now, but they came from another time, gone forever.

Next to the old bookshelf I found a cardboard suitcase - I had never seen it.  It was full of high school memorabilia from my husband - unbelievable.  Musty school publications spilled out.  I guess they were given to students at the time to educate them on current events.

Women magazines featured articles on knitting, embroidery, and crafting - more than nowadays.  A 1971 issue of Family Circle had an article about Mary Tyler Moore making jewelry by using pasta.  In a 1975 holiday magazine I saw that I had checked a vegetable recipe as "very good" in January 1976.

My husband had a subscription to Brown's Guide to Georgia.  I checked the Net to see if this magazine was still being published but it had stopped publication years ago.  Now old copies sold on eBay for $14 each and more!  So I checked the old issue of Paris Match - same thing.  As I tried taking pictures of them on my kitchen table it was a fight with Mitsouko my cat as she was watching her mouse game on my iPad and did not want to move.

Gourmet magazine was no longer being published either - I had placed many old copies in the recycling bags.  I had also placed all my copies of George magazine in a box to give away - I had about all of them from the first issue to the last published issue.  George (relating to George Washington) had been a glossy magazine published monthly by John F. Kennedy, Jr. from 1999 to 2001.  On a hunch, I just went to check it on eBay before making my collage and my jaws literally dropped - you can see my copy of Donald Trump on the cover in my box, and please check how much is requested for it on eBay in collage below!  So I checked my copy of Family Circle with Mary Tyler Moore, it's expensive as well.  I had intended to place all these magazines in my recycling bags ... I asked my daughters, and they both said "keep them" - but I am trying to clear out the house?

All right, I won't move the magazines for now.  Before leaving the garage I thought I'd check that little box on top of the shelf.  Again, it was full of very old receipts, cancelled checks from the 1960s and 1970s.  I left it there and just took a small package that contained some postcards.  I brought the package to the kitchen table to have a look, and then ... and then ... something came out with the postcards - three old letters and a postcard from Berkeley, California, sent by my first husband, Patrick.  I mentioned him in my post of June 21, 2013 "Recollection: being in San Francisco in the 1960s - part 2" (click here if you did not read it.)  He had sent these letters and postcard to me in the summer of 1966 while I was back in France.  They had sat in that box, undisturbed, for 53 years?  Good gracious.  It was like receiving a message in a bottle.  I certainly was surprised they were still there - they brought a few old memories.

It reminded me of the song "A Few Old Memories" -

Just a few old memories 
Slipped in through my door
Though I thought I had closed it
So tightly before
I can't understand it
Why it should bother my mind
For it all belongs to another place and time


Just a few old memories
Going way back in time
I can hardly remember...

...I can't understand it
Well I'm surprised at myself
First think tomorrow morning 
I'll clean off that shelf

OK, first thing tomorrow morning I'll clean all of this ...well...maybe later... I'm planning to leave early for the North Carolina and North Georgia mountains and take several days off to go and smell the fresh air, watch nature and the leaves turning gold.  I'm looking forward also to visit a Swiss friend from Lausanne who now lives in Hiawassee, GA., by beautiful Lake Chatuge.  I'll think about these letters another day...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...