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Monday, November 22, 2010

THE ROAD TO CLINTWOOD

white light



Another accidental picture. This one seemed to take itself. If I remember correctly, probably don't, the camera was in my lap and I picked it up to focus on some still shots of the band. As I was lifting it, finger touched the button and the camera clicked. I thought: good. And wondered what accidental image it caught this time. It looks like it could be a minimalist canvas from New York the 60s at the same time as Pop art, maybe 10 feet by 20 feet, big like they did them then. Got a second accidental picture. Evidently pushed the button twice. I only remember the once. Will put up the other one some time in near future.



Today I don't have much in mind but the drive to Clintwood, Virginia, tomorrow, and back. It's a good drive. From here to Marion is a beautiful drive every time of year. The Interstate to Abingdon has nice landscape, Mt. Rogers and Whitetop on the left for quite a ways. From Abingdon to Coeburn on alt58, then right on 72, the windingest road I remember ever driving, no white or yellow lines, not as wide as our roads, straight up on the left and straight down on the right. It's a keep-it-in-the-road road. It winds back on itself all the way along. Gigantic coal dumptrucks coming the other way, in the tight, narrow curves. The road is only curves. And it's about the most beautiful scenic road I've ever been on. It's slow going, no hurry, no worry, just keep it in the road. 72 all the way to Clintwood, which is about like Sparta with different signs.



Going into Clinch Mountain country, the Clinch Mountains made legendary by the Carter Family, the Stanley Brothers and Ralph Stanley. Clinch Mountain Backstep. My Old Clinch Mountain Home. The Clinch Mountains have a mystique for me like the Lake Country in England has for my friend Lucas Carpenter, English professor, that Wordsworth and Coleridge made legend in their poetry. Their music is an art form the same as poetry is an art form. TS Eliot, Dylan Thomas and ee cummings read poems beautifully, but nowhere near what Carter Stanley could do with a song. So nowhere near there's not even a scale to measure it. Ralph too, and Sara and AP Carter. Last time I was there the trees were in full green. This time the trees will be bare and I'll see the shapes of the mountains more.



Back in May I went up 72 to Clintwood, but on the way back took 4-lane out around Pound and Norton, a very long way, the way everybody goes. I regretted it as soon as I got on the highway. Could have turned around, but didn't, wanting to see that landscape too. This time I'm going up 72 and coming back 72. I love that road. For my likings in landscape to drive through, the trip all the way from home to Clintwood is beautiful. Southwest Virginia has some beautiful country to drive through. It's about 2 and a half hours from here to there. Last time, it took 3 hours, but I had to stop for quite awhile 5 times. Every county I went through was doing road work, the perfect time for paving.



At Selma's earlier today I left with my coffee and brought home the cup. It's a thermal throw-away cup about twice the size of a styrofoam coffee cup and has a cap on top. That will accompany me and the Catfish on the road. The car feels like it's running good. The drive will be a good run for its round feet. Went by Crystal's studio and she photographed the Stanley painting and put it on a disk for me to have a copy of it. I'm looking forward to the drive there, the destination and the return. I'm looking forward to hearing the FM station out of Whitesburg, Kentucky, again. They play bluegrass.

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