Getting Ready to Depart . . . Again

It was our goal to leave again on June 9th to begin summer travel.  We had three rallies scheduled, in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan from June 19th through July 7th.  Then we were off on another western swing.

I spent a week or more simply trying to find someone who would fix the RV.  Starting with our selling dealer, I went through a list of known names and referrals, but everyone was booked weeks ahead.  After all, it was the start of the normal season.  I finally found a shop north of us that promised to look at it on May 29.

I had a date on May 18 to meet with Anna to discuss this website.  I learned in advance, however, that Dot had a second 75th birthday surprise party scheduled that day.  So I dutifully spent two hours with Anna and drove home with feigned surprise.   Actually, there were wonderful surprises, in the form of friends and family who traveled from as far away as California to attend.  Bummed as I was, I still found enjoyment Dot’s special handiwork.

Bummer Trip Home

Dot left Murphy, NC in the car with the dogs on the day before my class began, so I batched it for a week.  On Saturday, May 11, I left before 7 am with the plan to make as much of the 600 mile trip on Saturday and finish it up on Sunday.  Approximately five hours into the drive, the left rear trailer tire exploded.  I waited for Road Service to replace it with the spare.  An hour later, the replacement exploded with equal vengeance.  After paying a significant price this time for Road Service to bring out a tire and mount it, I limped the rest of the way home, driving the Washington DC Beltway in the dark in the pouring rain at 40 miles an hour.  Needless to say, I arrived home, exhausted, near midnight.

John C. Campbell Folk School Class of 2013

We left Sandy Oaks for the season on April 29 and took three days to travel to Brasstown, NC so I could do my annual Nantucket Lightship Basketweaving teaching gig the following week.  The puppies rode with me in the truck, and Dot followed in the car.  Having the car with us in Florida was a boon; it gave the truck a much needed hiatus, and it was infinitely easier to park and get around in.  Interestingly, we hardly ever needed two vehicles for separate travel.

On the way, we stopped to visit with Bob and Pat Rotchford in Cumming, Georgia.  Bob and I were business associates in Boston as well as officers together in the New England Direct Marketing Association.  He and Pat came over to our unit in the county park and we treated them to a sumptuous five course dinner, anchored by individual Beef Wellingtons!

046My class at the Folk School this year numbered five, just as it did in 2012. The makeup of this class was quite different, however.  Two of the students were serious basket weavers, members of the N.C. Basketweavers Guild. They had both worked with Nantucket Lightships, but they were anxious to learn the process end to end – as I teach it. One brought a mold made by her husband, a 13 inch tall round behemoth that was solid through and through. I’d guess it weighed 30 pounds. Fortunate044ly, she brought a stand for it, along with a base and a set of wood staves.  Another student was a returnee from two years ago. She was ready to make a Reyes Friendship Basket, and she did a great job.  Another was director of operations for the Chautauqua Society, an organization of great interest to us.  We had a wonderful week, meeting everyone’s needs.  By request, a new trick was included: the creation of a spiral pattern in the weave. The picture at right shows how it develops. (P.S. my students liked it better than I did. I’m quite a purist about Lightships.)

JCCFS holds over 800 classes per year;  mostly week-long but some over a long weekend.  If you’re interested, peek at their website: