Trip Start Apr 17, 2006
15Trip End Jun 26, 2006
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Hope every thing is fine and well on the other side of the planet.
We're into our third week and everythang continues at a hectic pace. Since my last entry the following has happened..
On Saturday, Audrey Roberts and David Harrison took us to Reelfoot lake (caused by a subsidence after an earthqauke in 1813) where we first met Rob who showed his hunting lodge full of guns and trophies (bears, deer and birds galore). If it moves shoot it!!
Following this shocking account (million dollar lodge, huge muscle ute, etc) we drove to the Reelfoot museum where we met up with Russel (Rob's dad) and were given a guided tour of the museum (plus a complimentary copy of the local history by Russell ... local legend), Met Mr Calhoun (local legend boat builder)who showed up his 'best boats' for the lake and his patented rowing system! Following this after lunch at the real mccoy catfish restarant (fish (catfish), chips, hush puppies, beans, and bacon!) we were taken to the mighty Mississippi river. We took the ferry across (in the pouring rain) to Missouri, turnd around and came straight back. The Mississippi? ... wide, wild, muddy, swirling and bloody dangerous to swim in! let alone sail on! Great experience.
Arrived in Martin, just in time to freshen up before going to an 'exchange club' fundraiser for child abuse victimes. I was successful in paying for this (against all the protestations of our hosts). It was a sort of food fair at ex-governor Ned's Budweiser distribution factory in Martin, where you could sample the foods from many different food joints in the district plus taste Bud (of course). Everyone made a big fuss of us and the girls ran out of business cards to hand out to their admirers. Had long chat to John Warner, local distinguished lawyer and wife about lots of things (maybe coming to Oz soon)
Yesterday, Audrey and David drove us down to Dyersburg where we said our farewells before being handed over to Ripley/Covington clubs after lunch. Think I lost my camera there?!!
Becky (President of Ripley RC) and George (President of Browsville RC) drove on to Covington where I am staying with Judge Beth Ziarko (very fast talking attorney .. sits on the bench and dishes out penalties for local misdemaenaors including speeding). Ripley and Covington hosts combine to take out to Marlo's restaurant in Covington for a best meal so far. Delightfully light, fresh and non-fried tucker.
Today, at 7.45 am I was taken by Beth to the Crestview Middle School where we were given a tour by ?? and Crestview Elementary school by principal Betty. Both were schools with 50:50 white:black mix, but with 80% of students qualifying for a free lunch, and we had a kid's free lunch (ham & salad) at the elementary school. AT 12 noon, Tim Sloan collected us and took us to the Covington Altermnative School and the Court school. These are amazing places which accommodate those students who disrupt classes in normal schools (can you imagine that?) The alternative school is where disruptive kids are sent (without parent giving the ok) and the court school is for anyone who mucks up at the alternative school. Principal Adrian (a very big black man) kindly showed us around and we saw very strong discipline in both places .. tough love. Top stuff .. if only we were as committed as the Tennesseans to doing the job properly. I spoke to worst kids (about 30) in the gym of the Court school, gave them a pep-talk and showed them how to play cricket!!! Much food for thought!
We walked to the Covington Integrated Arts Academy (another magnet school) and seeking to attract tudents from all over Tipton county (including whites who may be thinking private). Principal Miss Bonnie was our host. This school is in competetion with the other middle school (Crestview) for its patch in the sun.
Tonight I am off to a over 55's club held at the local church where I am going to judge cakes (can you believe that?)
We'all having an incredible time with the ongoing hospitality a stunning feature of the trip.