Saturday, September 20, 2008

"Rhythm & Roots" festival, Bristol TN

Daughter(12) and I just came back from a pleasant morning in Bristol TN at the annual "Rhythm & Roots" festival held in celebration of country music. Her choir, the East TN Children's Choir, sang at 9:30 am, and after they were finished she and I traipsed up and down State Street looking into all the little booths selling musical instruments, jewelry, handbags, toys, clothing, food and other goods. (Well, we tried to stay away from the food as much as we could, and concentrate on the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches we had brought with us; but in the end we did buy a stick of teriyaki chicken from an Asian vendor.)

Did you know that State Street in Bristol goes right down the state line between Virginia and Tennessee? We had been to Bristol, and on State Street, any number of times, but because we were driving and not walking, we had never noticed the little stamped metal plates fixed along the double yellow line every few yards designating "VIRGINIA/TENNESSEE" so you knew which state you were in at that moment. Since State Street was closed to motorized traffic for the festival, we--and several thousand other people--could stroll right down the line if we chose, saying, "Now I'm in Virginia and you're a whole state away from me..."

We got to play some beautiful handmade mandolins manufactured by a company called Eastman. There was one similar to mine that I thought I could live with and enjoy playing, if it were mine. I wrote down the model and serial number just in case I ever have that much $$ on hand, and nowhere else to spend it. (And it wasn't even one of the more expensive ones!)

We also admired, and played with, wooden puzzle boxes at another booth, and in another place we talked to an artist who creates handmade one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces from recycled vintage fabrics and papers. You can see the work of this artist, Betsy Carr, at her Etsy store, It was delightful to talk to someone else who agrees with me about the unique pleasure of creating original art from old or previously used materials.

Speaking of can view MY shop, too! Here's where:

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