Enough about her. I'm still posting and that's why you're here.
The lady and I had one of those rare "damn Knoxville can be an interesting place" afternoons. This usually occurs when we decide to actually get out and do stuff, which is the rare part. I'm sure Knoxville on the weekends is normally interesting, just not from the inside of our apartment.
Reading the paper this morning, I read that a Civil War "roundtable" had been going on since Friday at Fort Dickerson, an earthworks fort on the hill opposite the one we live on. That explains the several concussive blasts I hear midday Friday that had me a little freaked out. It was still going on today, with a battle reenactment scheduled for 2:00, so we put on our walking shoes and headed over.
Despite the steep terrain and in the face of small arms fire and at least one cannon volley (I'm actually not kidding about this), we made it to the top of the hill where we found a bunch of soldiers, Union and Confederate both, encamped for the duration of the fake siege. Civil War buffs are weird, which probably goes without saying. Then again, when you live somewhere surrounded by the battlefields from one of your nation's pivotal crises, which is basically everywhere south of Gettysburg, I suppose taking part in events that preserve this history and help to educate others about it isn't the worst way to spend a Sunday. And it's not like they all insisted on dressing in gray, which is good considering much of east Tennessee was sympathetic to the Union.
It was still kind of funny, though, because amidst the people giving interpretive talks to interested groups of civilians (like us) were other soldiers staying in character even when no one else was around. Courtney and I overheard a couple of Yanks who crossed paths discussing their state of readiness for the skirmish to come. These people are into it. I'll let Courtney tell you about the one she caught with a cell phone.
I think they should have added the word "Reenactment" between Civil War and Event. Ya know, just to avoid any confusion. And because some folks around here would probably welcome another shot at the real thing.
This guy, a surgeon, was a little too proud of his period speculum, seen at front right, next to the baby forceps. The thing on top of the brown box on the left side of the table is a display of an arm bone shattered by a musket ball. Nice.
Johnny Reb in camp, preparing for the assault.
We bailed before the start of the actual reenactment, neither one of us fond of fake (or real) gunfire and already having survived our share on the approach. Besides, art awaited. We hoofed it up Chapman Highway to the Knoxville Museum of Art for one of their no admission fee days. Nothing like free art. Oh sure, I support the arts, but I prefer to do so more with my presence than with my dollars. I have far more time than I have money, after all. They had some really cool exhibits, too, mainly consisting of works by regional artists, which is what a museum like KMA should do. Leave it to the High in Atlanta to worry about Picasso.
The Knoxville Museum of Art is watching you.
After getting our art on we took a trip up to the observation deck of the Sunsphere just because we were there and it's always fun to look down on things, literally and figuratively. There's a bar up there now, but it's unfortunately closed on Sundays, so we trekked another several blocks over to Coffee and Chocolate, where we had some of both. Delicious.
Hypercolor tree next to the Candy Factory Lofts, Sunsphere in the background. We checked out the open house they were having to see what a $350,000 one-bedroom loft looked like. Not too shabby.
View from inside gold-tinted windows of the wig shop, aka the Sunsphere.
Good stuff. We'd been meaning to try this place.
Heavily sugared and caffeinated we traipsed on down to the library to pick up some media. My lady friend found herself a book and we each also picked up three CDs apiece, now comfortably loaded into iTunes. More free art, I suppose. I mentioned I support the arts, right? I probably wasn't going to get around to actually paying for anything by Husker Du (I don't know how to type umlauts), Les Savy Fav or Mission of Burma anytime soon. Like Courtney pointed out, though, our taxes have it covered in this case.To those of you in Knoxville: Do you remember just a few years ago when Gay Street on a Sunday looked like the day after the Rapture? Look at us now!
And that was our afternoon: the war between the states, a little oil on canvas, cappuccino and midwestern punk rock. In other words a typical Sunday in a midsize city in the American south. We came back over the bridge, the lady fixed her Caribbean Jerk Grouper and now we're both typing away in front of the TV, probably covering remarkably similar events in our posts, although I left some things out to give you guys a little different taste.