Saturday, May 19, 2007

we wear spandex; we are powerful

yesterday, after three long days of dealing--not without an untold number of grunts and strains and unharnessable leaden curses--with the starkly steep hills and mountains of Appalachia, dave and i arrived yesterday in berea, KY, a small college town squirming with life, a place blessed with a small but committed community of environmental activists and artistically minded bringers of change. we were taken in by a community co-op affiliated with the college, a house full of girls, all smiles and open arms and hands stretched forth with offerings of food and friendship and frozen treats.

which is to say: Virginia, the first state of this crazy-balls-ass journey of ours, has officially been VANQUISHED! Annihilated! A small worm for squelching. We progress, then, from that land of beginnings, the land in which, many years ago, the word "destiny" was spoken between bonneted and starched settlers (the word "manifest" would not be added for another two centuries), to the land of fried chicken and derbies and sluggers birthed from the loins of louisville. kentucky, though, has not given us the warmest of welcomes. daily: impossible hills and bored unleashed dogs and the mangled and lobotomized remains of once-functioning cars resting forgotten on lawnfront cinderblocks or sinking slowly into soil. this state has been kicking our sore spandexed asses. and we've been loving it....

i am writing now from the living room of our new friends; we have taken another day off and are spanning the hours watching African drumming and sewing flags and cooking communal meals with lovely people.

and i have a home-made dixie burger to eat....

3 comments:

Amos said...

I went to a genealogical seminar today (hmmm, who would write that other than your librarian-sister-in-law?) in which much was made of the migration many Americans' ancestors made as they traveled west across the many-ridged Appalachian mountains. I thought of you two conquering ridge after ridge just to see another after another in the distance. At least you aren't walking with pack horses along a foot path encountering no one but hostile natives. Lucky you and that house full of girls.

patty said...

i contend that kentucky is the asshole of the united states. that place is awful. good luck, nicholas.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Patty! Your discontent with Kentucky hurts my heart! For 'tis my home and I love it so. It's really not like everyone makes it out to be...I promise! It does have its bad side, but so does every other place, and in fact I would say the majority of Kentucky's woes are a direct result of the exploitation and ostracizing it (along with the rest of central Appalachia) has been a victim of for so long...
I do hope you change your mind!

-Jessica
Berea, KY