Growing up in North Alabama, the biggest influence in my childhood was storytelling. My Dad is a great storyteller and he has kept the family oral history alive. There are stories from bootlegging to preaching and war to love. He also told us ghost stories. And I don't know anyone I grew up with that didn't have a copy of 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey. The author, Kathryn Tucker Windham, died a couple of weeks ago at the age of 93, born the same year my grandmother was born. She is the quintessential Southern ghost storyteller. She wrote many books and stories and is best known for 13 Alabama Ghosts, as well as 13 Georgia ghosts and 13 Mississippi Ghosts. There are some great interviews with her by AlabamasGhostTrail.
Each story is a perfect Roadside attraction. Anytime we were driving near one of the Alabama towns, we stopped to see the place of the story, the face in the courthouse window in Carrollton, the unfilled hole in Camden, among others.
Go grab a copy of 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey at your favorite local bookseller, read it to your kids, take it on a roadtrip. Keep the stories alive.
To Kathryn Tucker Windham, thanks for all you have given us. The stories will live on.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
For the last 2 weeks, my 13 yr old niece, Leesa, has been visiting. I convinced her to come to Louisiana by telling her she'd be coming to "blackbird camp". Besides packaging cards, gluing notebooks, she also carved some linoleum and made some very cool prints. (we also went to a pottery class, I'll post more later). Here are some pics of the printing in process. She wanted many colors so we decided to hand ink the blocks and print with the Vandy. Leesa is a natural printer, she blew me away at how fast she picked it up, even treadle driving the C&P.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Today, I start the roadside attraction project. And though this one is best described as a "boatside" attraction, it fits my definition.
A roadside attraction is described as a stop along the road with something of interest. To give you a break on a roadtrip, or offer something visually unusual or inspiring. That's my definition anyway. But to go further, so many things can provide these moments, breaks from the roadtrip of life, from architecture to nature, technology to cultural customs, and especially art.
The first Roadside Attraction I offer is a lone oak tree in the middle of the south Louisiana marsh/coast. There is an amazing area of the marsh called Pointe aux Chenes, (one translation means "oak point"). There are no oaks left here, but this one sweet little tree, on a small island, growing next to an old hurricane ravaged fishing camp. As you have heard, we lose precious marshland, one hundred acres everyday. The trees are mostly gone and now there is more and more water, ocean coming into what once was more fresh water than saltwater. It is still an amazing place for bird watching, boat riding, kayaking, and fishing. It's a bit muddy, with beautiful tall bright green grass. The birds range from sleek black to snow white to hot pink. There is beauty here that is none like I have ever seen. Since the oil spill last year, we've been watching, anxious about what they will discover tomorrow or next year. The invisible threat has not finished it's course. The oil may have dissipated, but it has not disappeared.
postscript: this little tree was the inspiration for the oak tree paper cut I made for David as a wedding present in 2010.
postpostscript: I'd like to say this little project will be a regular post. But I will admit that I am unsure how people find time to do this. ;) Running a business seems to consume all time. But I will promise to try. Have a great weekend!