Tuesday, March 16, 2010

2010 USA Tour : March 14th, Abingdon VA

AbingdonchurchGood Morning From Lake Greenwood Park

It is a good morning here. Sunny, calm, still and the water looks lovely here at Lake Greenwood Park. Not many campers here this year and one camper said this was the first beautiful morning here for awhile. The morning before was fierce winds and cold and two days before that flooded and muddy. We are lucky!

Time for a stroll around, watch the ducks and squirrels, then on the way to Abingdon VA. We do not seem to have suffered from losing an hour’s sleep from the time change into summer time last night.

to Abingdon VA

The beautiful sunny weather became smothered with cloud and some wind as we started to approach the North Carolina mountains. Even so, the freeway drive through them on I26 was spectacular, though I’ve never seen so many law enforcement cars pulling over drivers for speeding. The Highway Patrol, State Police and local sheriff departments were earning a fortune every few minutes. I assume there is no other crime to “protect and serve” the people from in North Carolina.

On the way to the church venue, popped in to look into our camp site in Bristol for the night and see if we can reserve. Plain campsite, just a row of concrete parking spaces and no office to pre-pay, but our only choice of what if currently open in the area. Soon we were onto Abingdon.

St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Abingdon.

This is a beautiful church in beautiful downtown Abingdon, VA. Claire and I were warmly welcomed by Caroline a wonderful harpists, we were to discover, a vetinarian and a very passionate member of the church.

The special moment for me was meeting Sandra Parker, a singer harpist who arranged all of this for us. A wonderful lady with such passion for the music as well as being a warm and very helpful host. My main regret was not hearing Sandra sing live during this evening’s performance. I have listened to her as a musician and online friend for 13 years now. First time of meeting her live.

Sandra is director and co-ordinator of a summer Celtic Festival, the Virginia Highlands Festival http://www.vahighlandsfestival.org/ that is held in Abingdon each July.

The church was perfect for Claire’s voice which served a passionate performance. Again, lots of songs from her new “Songs from The Harp Room” CD plus a beautiful “To A Child Dancing In The Wind”.

Over 70 people turned up, very good for a place where Claire is unknown, and a standing ovation.

After the show we were treated to some beautiful tunes on the harp by Caroline.

After the show blether

After the concert, Claire and I along with Sandra and Caroline headed for Bristol and shared a meal in Perkins, a chain restaurant and the only decent place open. Caroline in conversation was very funny including tales of a poor dog who had a strained tail that it found hard to wag, and an iguana who would not settle down to have an enema unless Caroline relaxed it by playing her harp.

As usual, the worst part of this tour is the partings after brief times with good friends, and then off to the barebones campsite for one night only, but it was easy to get cozy as they did have all of the essential facilities.

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