It’s my last week in Cortona, Italy; and, although I wish I could
stay longer, I love being in Virginia, too. I’ll arrive
just in time for my show with The Framer’s Daughter in Galax,
Virginia, June 13-14. Galax is the home of the Blue Ridge Music
Center as well as the Rex Theater and Old Fiddler’s Convention
and part of the “The Crooked
Road-Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail”.
The Crooked Road is Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, a driving
route through the Appalachian Mountains from the Blue Ridge to the Coalfields
Region, following U.S. Route 58. The trail connects major heritage
music venues in the region such as the Ralph Stanley Museum in Clintwood,
the Country Cabin in Norton, the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, the
Birthplace of Country Music Alliance in Bristol, the Floyd Country Store
in Floyd, and the Blue Ridge Institute in Ferrum, in addition to the
venues in Galax.
This poster, The Crooked Road-Virginia’s Heritage Music
Trail, will be released during The Framer’s Daughter’s
show this weekend in Galax, Virginia. For more information, please
contact the gallery at 276-236-4920.
The traditional gospel, bluegrass, and mountain music
heard today was passed down from the generations and lives on through
a wealth of musicians and instrument makers along the trail. Annual
festivals, weekly concerts, live radio shows, and informal jam sessions
abound throughout the region. A variety of handcrafted woodwork,
weaving, and pottery can be found in country stores and small workshops.
I’ll be in my element this weekend!
Mountain Harmony-Along the Crooked Road will also be released this
weekend during The Framer’s Daughter’s show. The band
members in the print are based on actual people, and there’s a
good chance they’ll be at the show this weekend. So, come
to Galax and meet the boys!
This past week I attended my granddaughter Michela Ghezzi’s
piano recital. I was so proud to hear her play! The recital
was held in a wonderful building that used to be a greenhouse for lemon
and orange trees. The name of it is even neat and sounds a little
like “lemonade.” It’s called the Limonaia and
is located at the Melone, which is a hotel, restaurant, and resort.
Look at how focused she is!
My granddaughter Kate Donnelly graduated from Radford
High School last year and just finished her first year studying art
at the University of Georgia. Her graduation-from-high-school
present was this trip to Italy, which she claimed when she found out
I was going. I’m pretty sure she’s enjoyed her trip,
based on the pictures below.
Kate leaping for joy in the Piazza del Campo in Siena, Italy.
The Piazza del Campo is one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares
and the principal public space of Siena. It is where the famous
Palio horse race is held in July and August.
Kate and me in front of the Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia,
a campanile or bell tower, in Siena. The Palazzo Pubblico was
originally a palace to house the republican government in Siena but
is now the Town Hall and houses the frescoes collectively known as
Allegory and Effects of Good and Bad Government, by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.
When in Cortona, we do our “exotic” shopping in Camucia,
which has the most wonderful marketplace with beautiful fruit, vegetables,
and flowers. I couldn’t resist the bougainvillea and blue
Check out my daughter Becky’s and my cool new Italian shades!
It hasn’t been all play here in Italy. I’ve
I plan to release this etching of the olive tree in my garden in
two states; this black and white one and one that will have aquatint.
This is a sketch I did of the steps leading to my garden.
I’ve had a grand time in Cortona embracing my Italian
heritage, and now I’ll return to Virginia to help celebrate the
Commonwealth’s country music heritage.
My thoughts and prayers go out to my friends in the Midwest as they
cope with the terrible storms, with their flooding and tornadoes.
I am especially saddened by the tragedy at the Boy Scout camp in Iowa
and ask you to join me in prayer for the survivors and the families
of the victims.