This must be the place: But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay

By the time you read this, my folks will be motoring through Southwestern Virginia, probably deciding whether to just keep driving back to their native Upstate New York via Interstate 81 or maybe east onto I-64 and Charlottesville to visit Monticello again. 

This must be the place: Some new light may be passin’, but it may never pass again

It was mid-afternoon Sunday and I couldn’t stand to be in my apartment another minute. I was done with all my writing for the day. I’d already eaten a hasty breakfast and had two iced coffees. It was time to disappear into the depths of Mother Nature. 

This must be the place: Ode to the bluegrass awards, ode to a sea change

Finishing my beer and burger, I emerged from the depths of Jimmy V’s bar in the lobby of the Sheraton hotel in downtown Raleigh last Thursday evening. In a sport coat, dress shirt and bolo tie, I headed for the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. 

This must be the place: Ode to Jorma Kaukonen, ode to the spirit of rock

At the core of iconic rock guitarists, Jorma Kaukonen resides in the same company of his 1960s peers, which includes Jimi Hendrix, Terry Kath and Jerry Garcia. And though that trio of his contemporaries are long gone from this earth, Kaukonen remains — this cosmic soul of sonic power and melodic passion. 

This must be the place: ‘Tall building shake, voices escape singing sad, sad songs’

Sitting in a camping chair next to the small fire, I sipped a nightcap and reached for my phone to check what time it was. The screen said, “12:24 a.m. Saturday, September 11.” 

This must be the place: Ode to Sylva Pride, ode to all the colors of the rainbow

Kudos to the town of Sylva for hosting its inaugural Pride celebration this past Saturday in downtown. A day filled with activities, a parade and drag shows all in the name of showcasing and uplifting the LGBTQ+ community that lives and works (and thrives) in our mountain communities. 

This must be the place: ‘And the drummer, he’s so shattered, trying to keep on time’

Oh, Charlie, Charlie, Charlie. 

Charlie Watts. Drummer of The Rolling Stones. The backbone of rock-n-roll. Gone last Tuesday at age 80. The engine in the muscle car that is (or was, sadly) the Stones. Teddy Roosevelt famously said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick — you will go far.” And I think that sums up Charlie Watts. 

This must be the place: Ode to the green peppers, ode to the people of Haywood

The green peppers. All of those damn green peppers. Throughout the coverage of this devastating flood from Tropical Storm Fred last Tuesday here in Western North Carolina, I keep seeing green peppers. Everywhere. 

This must be the place: I don’t want to look at the past and be sad, there were plenty of good times and more to be had

Like clockwork, the garbage truck shook me awake at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday. Picking up the dumpster from the pizza joint next door and flipping it up and over the roof of the massive vehicle.

I’m floating in the blimp a lot, I feel the feeling I forgot

I knew it was going to happen. But, I just didn’t know when it would.

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