My daughter Becky and I had a totally delightful weekend. This time we drove to Kingsport, Tennessee, for my show with Mike and Lisa Anne Milhorn at Up Against the Wall gallery. Mike and Lisa Anne and their staff are terrific, and they have a wonderful framer who has been with them for 23 years. We visited the Kingsport Farmer’s Market, which was featured in the special print we released for the show, and the carousel that I depicted last year. I got to ride the carousel on the animals that I painted. Several of the carvers of the animals were there, and it was a treat meeting them. We had such fun meeting the vendors at the Farmer’s Market and buying fresh vegetables and honey to take home for Thanksgiving.
What fun riding the Kingsport Carousel! The carousel is housed in a special building attached to the back of the Kingsport Farmer’s Market. Pictured with me, center and right, are volunteer carver Ted Helig and Up Against the Wall co-owner Mike Milhorn.
We were also very happy to visit with all our friends at the local TV stations. They invite us to come very year for interviews before the show, and we all get to catch up with one another. It’s like a little family reunion.
Interviewing with Amy Lynn of Johnson City’s WJHL TV.
On our way to Kingsport, we stopped to see The Lodge at Crooked River, which is near Hiltons, Virginia. One of my son John’s friends recommended that we see this, and I’m so glad I did. The property is used as a wedding venue, and its star attraction is an absolutely gorgeous circa 1823 redesigned and reconstructed Ohio grist mill that serves as the reception location. It is so beautifully designed and thought out. An 1899 renovated tobacco barn provides a place for the wedding party to relax and prepare for the wedding and also includes a honeymoon suite. The property is located in a little valley on the north fork of the Holston River on Virginia’s Crooked Road, which is also known as Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. The Templeton’s are the owners of the property, and they have asked me to paint it.
Owner Annette Templeton and I, standing at the front door of The Lodge.
The property is going to be featured in Martha Stewart’s spring wedding issue; and, while we were there, photographers from Martha Stewart arrived to take pictures. They took some pictures of us, too. We were all totally enthralled with this beautiful place.
The Lodge at Crooked River, near Hiltons, VA.
We returned home too late for Virginia Tech’s last football game with Head Coach Frank Beamer, but my children were there representing me. They told me that, even though we lost, it was a wonderful game with a great tribute to Coach Beamer. He is such a fine man. How will we ever replace him?
We are having 39 people for Thanksgiving—all the “misfits and orphans” (neighbors and friends not going anywhere else). This has become our tradition, and we are all looking forward to it. We have so much to be thankful for, and we are grateful for the blessings of family, friends, and health. We are also grateful to our servicemen and women who give up the comforts of home-cooked meals, family, and friends to keep us safe.