Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its sixth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

April 6, 2015

'BAMA TO NORTH OF THE MASON/DIXON LINE

... after departing selma we somehow managed to confuse the g.p.s., so we ended up wandering rural highways for awhile ... in the quiet landscape of mississippi we caught a glimpse of a days long ago when the term "dirt poor" was a nonjudgmental description of a simple way of life, now our journey brought us through the fading remains of those forgotten times ...

... after losing a day along the way, we were forced to make a quick dip into arkansas ... no place to stop, adrien recorded the event though the front window ... #49 for her, next will be a little wanderabout of "the last frontier," alaska ... !!! ...

... in nashville we visited the full-scale replica of the parthenon ... built in 1897, it is the only building surviving from the tennessee centennial exposition ...

... the 42 foot high stature of athena parthenos is gilt with eight pounds of gold leaf ... it is estimated that 2,500 years ago the original was similarly plated, but the total weight of gold on that ancient figure was over 2,500 pounds ... adrien tried to sneak out the front doors, but they were locked ...
  

... out front of the parthenon we saw a troupe of young children dancing in unison ... i asked, and the woman on the left informed me that they were with the group ... i got the impression it was some sort of a church outing designed for young people to engage in positive experiences ... she asked if i was "a believer," which, if you know me, is usually the precursor to a conversation of which i'm not going to find much pleasure ... however, in this case, these two were very friendly, upbeat, and remarkably nonjudgmental ... i enjoyed talking with them, and, as a perfectly rational agnostic, walked away feeling good that this mother and daughter cared about me ... the little baby, by the way, even i thought was seriously cute ...

... we also g.p.s.'d our way to the former home of the marathon automobile company ...

... where a most fascinating array of antiques and old junk awaited our inspection ...

... in the home of "american pickers" i was immediately reminded of several of my "collector" friends who clearly must have served as inspiration for this show ... 

... outside of frankfort, kentucky, we stopped to visit the "buffalo trace" bourbon company, the oldest continuously operated distillery in the united states ...

... it was a fascinating tour of a world of which i knew absolutely nothing ... for kentucky bourbon, these fire charred oak barrels can used only once, they are then sold to less discriminating beverage producers ...

... naturally aged, the location of a barrel within the building has a dramatic influence upon the value of its contents ... some of these, after sitting for as long as twenty-three years, will be worth tens of thousands of dollars ...

... buffalo trace is famous for its "single barrel" whiskey, in this room one at a time workers fill, seal, and label each bottle by hand ...

... this is how the "clear corn liquor" used to be made ... it was purely by accident that when the kentucky distillers shipped such "moonshine" in oak barrels, fire charred on the inside to remove any taste of the fish they had once contained, that bourbon was born ...

... buffalo trace ships over 2,600,000 gallons of whiskey every year ...

... at the end of the tour we were offered samples of their products ...

... according to adrien, this was her very first sip of hard liquor ... after over ten minutes of coughing, wheezing, and repeated bouts of almost up-chucking, it was quite clear that most likely this was also her last taste of such ...

... driving north on a back road which cried out for me to return on my motorcycle, we stopped to witness the result of the torrential rain we had experienced the night before ...

... arriving at jon's house in what to us was most pleasurable spring weather, jon took adrien for her first ever ride on a motorcycle ...

... today we had a wonderful prison experience—but, alas, in this late hour and with a long drive planned for tomorrow, for that i'll ask you afford me a bit of patience ...