Summer in the South
I was down for a few days when my nephew and I headed for the hills to visit Adella at Brevard Music Institute. She has rehearsed and heard and performed with some amazing talent, including TheBoston Brass. She and I heard Sarah Chang play. She has been in concerts, been to concerts, and directed parking for concerts (as part of her work-study commitment). She has been learning under some great and kind teachers and directors and one grouchy, mean conductor. She has made some great friends and endured some lousy food and crude accommodations, and smiled the whole time. The kid is growing up.
Despite her schedule, we found time to go looking for the white squirrels of Brevard--critters that ran away from, rather than to, the circus in the 1940s and thought the place was pretty enough to call home. Here is a picture of the one spirit squirrel we set our eyes on:
Brevard College, founded by Methodists, is a liberal arts college with art on its lawns. Adella and Alex found this piece quiet comfortable:
We took a brief drive in the mountains and watched the sun set on the French Broad River.
Back in town, we joined the townies at the K-Mart parking lot for the July 4 fireworks. The supermarket and Starbucks were busy selling refreshments to us patriots gathered under that big, red glowing image of commercial success: the K-mart sign. There were noisy pick-ups with overlarge tires sporting both the US flag and the Confederate battle flag roaring up and down the lanes of the parking lot as if they were bearing news of some great battle.
They were, of course. We will look back on this year some day and wonder how conversations about why the dangerously mentally ill go about unsupervised and why guns are available on every street corner became a conversation about a battle flag. Perhaps in a few years we will be able to ask why we let the people who desecrate life itself with hyper-inflated, nonsensical rhetoric about the right to bear arms and the right to free speech--rhetoric that betrays a simplistic, outmoded interpretation of our Bill of Rights--overrun any thoughts of the greater good. We might understand then how the splendid, revolutionary statement full of promise, "We, the People," gave way to, "Me first, and to hell with the rest."