Sunday, July 4, 2010

Burnsville Stroll

The mountain philosopher resting from his labors. Brother in Law Bob holds the western North Carolina record for silent rocking.Which is all well and good, but when you are a restless soul like me and on vacation you have places to go and things to see.The last time I was in downtown Burnsville was in the freezing winter of 2008 and I have to say this time of year the place is much nicer. I found another of those notions stores that I photographed not so long ago in Key West.This little town calls itself the Heart of the Blue Ridge mountains and promotes itself as a healthy and cheerful place to live. My family tells me a lot of this Mayberry-like cheerfulness was son the line recently when the city, the seat of Yancey County voted on whether or not to go wet. The supporters of alcohol sales won by a sliver of votes and in addition to all the other blessings the Creator has endowed this town with, alcohol has been added to the list. I think it was Benjamin Franklin who suggested that beer was proof that God wanted us to be happy.Cheyenne and I were at a loose end while the wife was smashing up a treadmill near by so we took a short walk around the town square, pride and joy of this little town. They have managed to retain the Old Town with its government buildings but across Highway 19 one can see the visions of unloveliness inflicted on us all by Big Box Stores.
Yancey County, all 300 square miles, of it is named for Bartlett Yancey a North Carolina politician promoted posthumously to the rank of "statesman." They were happier, more trusting days back in 1828. The city is named for Captain Otway Burns who served in the Navy in 1812 and got the state legislature to create the western counties of the tobacco obsessed state. Nowadays tobacco has lost it's cachet, and it's federal subsidies incidentally, and the good clean air of the mountains is all the rage.
They had a habit back then of building nice buildings that looked good and were planned to last.
I am reliably informed there are a hundred churches within a stone's throw of where this picture was taken but clearly the concept of ecumenism is still a million miles away. As hard as I searched I found no trace of quotations from the Bhagavad Gita, Quran or the musings of Confucius. What exactly this piece of Psalmistry means in this earthy context I am not completely clear.
According to my King James edition the next verse reads thusly: Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. Though what this has to do with public flowerbeds I'm sure I don't know. All to the greater glory no doubt. However every Paradise has it's serpent and it turns out they are prejudiced against certain classes of society in their precious formal garden.Overall it is quite refreshing how dog tolerant this part of the world is, far more so than even Key West ironically. Banking and law making all crowded into one prominent part of the city. It says something doesn't it even though this isn't actually a direct arm of Goldman Sachs.Scooter alert!Big sky country. I saw these contraptions on many roofs and I forgot to ask what they were. Something to do with snow no doubt. Nasty cold stuff.I really quite like Burnsville on a hot June afternoon.More precisely at 2:45pm.Cheyenne pooped out on me at this shady point.

92 in the shade is really more of a Key West type of temperature. She cooled off on the 20 minute drive back to the remote fastness of Celo.Where I put some Burnsville bought beer in the fridge for later. Wet cities, what a blessing!