Thursday, October 20, 2011

Syrup Soppin'

I am heading out to the Syrup Soppin' Festival in Loachapoka, Alabama. This will be my first time to go, and I know it will be a "taste" of the south! Photos to follow, but check out Fred Lord's banjo in my photo. I met him a few weeks ago as I traveled South.  He was on his Loachapoka storefront porch with a student and took time to show me his collection of musical instruments.

 Hopefully I will meet the Loachapoka locals early in the morning at the biscuit/syrup breakfast! (I'll have blankets in my trunk in case I hear of someone who might need one!) Ya'll come on down if you can!

The festival was fun and countless people were there, parking on the side of the road for miles. Vendors sold their goods, and watching the syrup being made was certainly a sight to behold. The fire was stoked, syrup measured and a team of men gathered the sugar cane that was used. Steam filled the air as the liquid boiled and the delicious syrup was sold out this year.  The day was so educational and I will be having syrup on my toast in the morning! I connected with a great man, Nathaniel, who was a local, dressed in Liberty overalls. I did a mini photo shoot with him and I promised to come back to see him as well as mail his photo to him. I'll take a blanket when I go.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Living part time on the edge of the Black Belt region of Alabama provides so many opportunities for me, such as picking cotton. I had never seen cotton growing in stages, from the exquisite flower which closes and later pops wide open to display what we know as simple soft white fibers. The harvest for cotton is now and the time to take blankets is now since the cool nights have taken the place of the sweltering heat of the summer. The back seat of my car is filled with wonderful cotton blend blankets to take to those who need them. Thanks to my friend Marjean, who found a way for 9 of our girlfriends to provide the blankets to give this winter to take on my back road adventures. Before I got back to the urban congestion of Atlanta, I had already given 2 away: one went to a guy who heats with kerosene and lives in the oldest house (passed down to him from family sharecroppers) in his county. The 2nd blanket was given to a family of 4 (whose property was passed down from generations of cotton farm hands), who took time to roam the cotton fields with me, educate me on cotton's growth and harvest, and send me home with my own plant.  As I give these blankets to those who will be cold this winter, I am so excited that I know just a bit about where each blanket started. Thank you, Girlfriends, for providing warmth for many you will never meet, but whose story will be part of my journal.  Each lady will have an account of the recipient of her blanket.