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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Roger comes to New England.

Roger came for a visit after Dollywood.  Roger is from Minnesota. We went off to see our New England Roots in Plimoth Massachusetts.

It was a cold and bleak day the beginning of November.
Very few tourists. So after visiting with the potters shop
for me and the wood joiner for Roger, we went down into the village to talk to the locals.

It is fun to talk to and listen to the people from 1627. The reenactors there are in first person, so you cannot get them to break out of their roles. This is fun and yet frustrating if you want to know something about what they are doing, you may not get an answer you will understand. 

We got over to the Mayflower just before closing to get a tour above and below decks. Roger is decended from Thomas Rogers I believe who was on the original Mayflower.  His family wandered out west to Minnesota, and mine from Boston, stayed here in New England.

We saw the big trees in Connectciut. Cathedral in the Pines was an old strip of forest in Cornwall CT not too far from me. Most people don't realize our old trees were all torn down for firewood and houses. The "old" trees you see are a mere hundred year old or so. The Pines in Cornwall are only 200 years old but some stand 140' tall.  In 1989, a rare tornado blew through and took down most of the tall pines. Before the Plimoth settlers, most of our land was primeval forests. Think of it, dense forests of trees as large as these last two really old trees still standing in Connecticut, Granby Oak and Pinchot Sycamore in Simsbury. While the Pinchot Sycamore is the biggest at 300+ years, the Granby Oak is older by 100 years.

Cathedral in the Pines
Pinchot Sycamore

Granby Oak

But then, read about the oldest tree found in Sweden...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Off to Dollywood, Tennessee!

My first year demonstrating at Dollywood!  Some of my good friends got me in at the last minute to Dollywoods Harvest

 Month.  For years, the month of October has been the month to celebrate tradesmen and women and their crafts.  My good friends Roger, John, AK, Cindie, Bob and Nick have been down there every October for years.  They put me up in a cabin with Rosie the weaver as my room mate for the month. A really nice place to stay. With my friends nearby to share good times on our off hours, and the nice folks and immaculate grounds of Dollywood, I had a very nice time.

No, I did not meet Dolly, although I heard she had stopped by the week before.  I had my own "workshop" in the park, and a new friend Donna, a Dollywood employee, helped me out with my booth and I taught her how to pot.  I met some new tradesmen that I now keep in touch with, expanding my large circle of friends. Besides Rosie, I met painters,
dulcimer makers, fiddler makers, wood carvers, rug hookers, chair caners and a lot of other old time and expert tradespeople.

We all had lots of time off. Besides the many wild roller coasters ( I only went on one that scared me to death), the great places to eat, and the interesting Gospel shows and music, we were free to explore Pigeon Forge, Smokey Mountain National Park, and the surrounding country side and its' people.

Alwine pottery where I met the owner and got a behind the scenes tour,

The strip that runs through Pigeon Forge TN, is a cross between a theme park and Las Vegas. Mini golf, hair raising rides, theme restaurants and exhibits, the Titanic, gift shops, breweries, outlets and the Dixie Stampede.... just among a few of dozens of things to see and do.

We stuck to the out of the way eateries, the Smokies, antique and fellow craftsmen.

Cades Cove in the Smokies was a favorite, but there are too many photos of friends having fun.

It is a wonderful life!