-The following is a selection of photos that first appeared in The Floyd Press on December 1, 2016.
-The following is a selection of photos that first appeared in The Floyd Press on December 1, 2016.
-Look for more Festival of Trees photos in an upcoming issue of The Floyd Press and pictures of Winterfest in this week’s paper.
At the close of 22nd annual Winterfest Arts and Crafts Festival, attendees gathered in the Festival of Trees room to see if their silent auction bids won them a tree. The trees were created and donated by local businesses and organizations to benefit the Floyd Center for the Arts (formerly the Jacksonville Center). Many were decorated with homemade ornaments and themes. Some were stocked with gift certificates for dinners, gourmet cupcakes, a cabin stay, free festival entry and more.
The tree on the left was decorated with hand-knitted ornaments from Wooly Jumper Yarn Store (2015 story HERE). The one on right is the Floydfest/Across the Way tree and came with passes to this year’s Floydfest, our local, renowned music festival.
Rose of the Winds Travel Company decorated this tree with a travel adventure theme. Check out a story about this locally-owned company that plans tour adventures around the world HERE.
“The Meaning of Life Is To Find Your Gift. The Purpose Of Life Is To Give it Away,” was the message that topped the Springhouse Community School’s tree.
Confectious Shenanigans makes gourmet cupcakes ( I can attest) that were sold at the event. Their beautifully baking themed tree came with gift certificates for dozens of cupcakes. The Floyd Center for the Arts tree (right) was whimsically creative and came with hanging ornament paintbrushes and a gift certificate for a free art class.
The Bell Garden and Gallery topped their tree off with a traffic light ornament, signaling Floyd’s signature one traffic light town.
The Jessie Peterman Library tree was decorated with printed page and origami ornaments, and miniature books that were hand-made by the library staff.
Oddf3llows restaurant was decked with bird ornaments. Some of the birds perched on gift certificates for delicious dinners. The Poor Farmers Market tree featured stuffed toys and sock puppets.
The Republic of Floyd decorations made me think of happy hour and Tom Ryan’s (store founder) iconic Hawaiian shirts.
Local artist/designer and downtown shop owner, Jeannie O’Neill made one of a-kind ornaments for her tree.
Tree toppers were especially eye-catching. This one is from The Floyd Country Store.
And look what I got!
You cried wolf
Now you got one
can’t be re-locked
There is no hiding
in sheep’s clothing
The little pig’s house
is coming down
Red Riding Hood
is left in the woods
The blood of democracy
has been drawn
The bite is always
worse than the bark
and wolves scenting power
travel in packs
-The following first appeared in The Floyd Press on December 1, 2016.
Jody Rose and Tom Franko recently exchanged rings for their 30th wedding anniversary at the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Considered an architectural wonder, the shimmering white marble “crown palace” is the embodiment of a love story. It was built in the mid 1600’s by a Mughal Shah in memory of his wife and is highlighted by gemstone inlay ornamentation, formal gardens and pools.
“What could be more romantic?” asked Jody Rose Franko, owner of Rose of the Winds Travel Company. She was speaking to a crowd of more than 50 who attended a recent Indian Night at Tuggles Gap Restaurant. The evening consisted of traditional Indian food that was prepared by the restaurant’s chef, who comes from the Mumbai region of India, and a slide show presentation of the couple’s 15-day trip. The travel adventure included the Golden Triangle of India – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur – as well as Nepal.
Franko spoke of Indian antiquities, religion, cuisine, arts and crafts, “But it was the people that really made the trip for us,” she said. Throughout their travels, the Frankos made friends and connections that will help make upcoming Rose of the Winds packages to India and Nepal more personal and in depth.
The slides showed the musical instruments, customs, colorful clothing, local markets, sacred sites and landscape of the region. A trip to Galtaji, a Hindu pilgrimage site revered for its natural springs and inhabited by tribes of monkeys, was part of the presentation. Other sites and scenes that the Frankos documented included Gandhi’s memorial, a Muslim Mosque where more than 25,000 people pray on Fridays, holy men that had given up worldly possessions, giant bamboo swings, and rickshaw transportation.
The Frankos were impressed with a Sikh house of worship, where more than 10,000 people a day were fed for free. The Sikhs were originally a warrior caste but now focus on volunteerism, Franko said. She added that tour-goers will have an opportunity to volunteer for two hours in the kitchen on the next Rose of the Winds India trip.
In the bustling city of Delhi, Tom got a street haircut for 50 rupees, or 75 cents. He described oxen carts going by as he sat in a barber’s wooden chair. “It’s the best haircut he ever had,” said Jody Franko, who got a henna design on her hand, also for 50 rupees. Although the city is overcrowded, she said, “I handled it better than New York City.” As an alternative to giving money to young beggars, the couple passed out over 1,500 pencils.
In Nepal the Frankos stayed at the Peaceful Cottage Hotel, overlooking the Himalaya Mountains. They were among the first guests who stayed there since the April 2015 earthquake, and repairs were still being made. “You know the Best Marigold Hotel?” Franko asked, referring to a popular movie, “It was like that.”
They met young monks at a Buddhist monastery, watched a hand-labor rice harvest and attended the Dashain Festival, a 15-day-long celebration in which all businesses and schools close down and each day is devoted to different ceremonies. Tom hiked while Jody went paragliding. They met up with Floyd friend Toby Gralla when they discovered through Facebook that he was traveling nearby. Franko described that meet-up as checking off a dream-come-true bucket list wish.
At the close of the presentation, Franko introduced two new trips her travel company is offering for the fall of 2017: a 7-day, 5-star all-inclusive trip to Golden Triangle for 15 – 20 people and a 14 day Nepal adventure for 8 called “Our Heads Above the Clouds.” “After visiting both countries, we’ve taken the best, added what we missed and woven trips that will be packed with culture, antiquities, the majestic Himalayas, wildlife, delicious cuisines and off-the-beaten-track connections with locals,” she said.
Photo #3: Jody and Tom Franko pose in front of a table of handmade wares they brought home from their trip to India and Nepal. They took orders via Facebook for some of the very affordable items, such as yak wool shawls and wool dolls. Photo #4 . Joyti Minnich is pleased with her purchase of a handmade wool doll that was adorned with bead work. Photo #8. Chef Kailash Patel (right) from the Mumbai region of India enjoyed sharing her country’s cuisine. She is pictured with Chef Maria Vargas. Photo #9 Slide shot of Jody and Tom’s anniversary pose at the Taj Mahal.
– For more information on customized small group adventures go to roseofthewindstravel.com or visit Rose of the Winds on Facebook.
1. Last week I wrote that, because of Facebook, it felt like I had 100 people in my house. Over the 16 Hands long weekend Studio Tour that was actually true.
2. I realized just how small our house is when, during the Saturday 16 Hands Tour, our two downstairs rooms-turned-galleries were as full as a crowded dance floor that I couldn’t turn or spin on… – More Pots and Lots of People HERE.
3. I’m working on a playlist memoir of the most memorable songs that changed and marked my life. So far I have Don’t Worry Baby by the Beach Boys, When a Man Loves a Woman by Percy Sledge, Get Together by the Youngbloods, Suzanne by Leonard Cohen and Higher Love by Steve Winwood.
4. When it’s 16 Hands time, it’s like when I travel and all my writing, photos and blog posting not related to that ceases until the trip is over.
5. As a somewhat anti-social homebody, I woke up Monday morning after 3 days of tour traffic through my house and said to Joe, “I think I did pretty well, since I sometimes can’t even handle you being in the house.” He laughed, which is one of the reasons I love him.
6. “I’m sittin’ here on the Group W bench ’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough to join the Army—burn women, kids, houses and villages—after bein’ a litterbug.” Listen to a clip of the Alice’s Restaurant performance at the Floyd Country Store HERE.
7. The world has changed since Donald Trump was elected, and I feel sort of like I did after 9/11 when I had to eventually carry on with my life because if I didn’t it would have meant that the terrorists won.
8. “It’s all in God’s hands, conveniently located at the end of our arms.” – My Dharmacratic poet friend Will
9. Status quo or Stability? Confident or Conceited? Change or Upheaval?
10. “Post-truth’ was just named 2016 word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries: “Post-truth politics is a political culture in which debate is framed largely by appeals to emotion disconnected from the details of policy, and by the repeated assertion of talking points to which factual rebuttals are ignored. Post-truth differs from traditional contesting and falsifying of truth by rendering it of “secondary” importance … A defining trait of post-truth politics is that campaigners continue to repeat their talking points, even if these are found to be untrue by the media or independent experts …” – From the wikipedia
11. And the word of the year at dictionary.com is, sadly, xenophobia: “The word xenophobia is actually relatively new, and only entered English in the late 1800s. It finds its roots in two Greek words, xénos meaning “stranger, guest,” and phóbos meaning “fear, panic. Dictionary.com defines xenophobia as “fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures, or strangers.” It can also refer to fear or dislike of customs, dress, and cultures of people with backgrounds different from our own.”
12. When we were kids we believed that we were angels in training / and the wing bones on our backs were proof / We propelled ourselves in dreams about flying but let no leg hang over the bed / Now we have insurance to scare off those bogeymen and paper money promises that can’t buy time / The monarchs are pretty but so short lived and we don’t have those flying dreams anymore … Read my poem Flying Dreams in its entirety HERE.
13. “…I have my doubts. You grow up to be skeptical of the hormone treatment that eliminates wrinkles, the metal detector that will locate buried treasure, the school that will teach you the secrets of getting rich, the great leader who will make the country great again ..” – More from “Maybe a Trump presidency is what God intended” by Garrison Keillor, HERE.
Since our house has been emptied of furniture and turned into a gallery for the Sixteen Hands Studio Tour that my son is a part of, we set up a backstage after-hours cafe for the visiting grandchildren’s Sunday dinner.
A 16 Hands Throwdown.
Enter at your own risk.
Carl, the Five Nights at Freddie’s cupcake, meets Karl the Floyd 16 Hander who always gets a backstage pass.
“I’m sittin’ here on the Group W bench ’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough to join the Army—burn women, kids, houses and villages—after bein’ a litterbug.” The final part of the song is an encouragement for the listeners to sing along, to resist the draft, and to end war. -from Alice’s Restaurant, performed at The Floyd Country Store by Emily, Sophie and Jeff Liverman on November 26, 2016
I realized just how small our house is when during the Saturday 16 Hands Studio Tour our two downstairs rooms-turned-galleries were as full as a crowded dance floor that I couldn’t turn or spin on.
I also noticed that people and pots look good together.
The day was filled with visits from friends and collectors and with a mixing and meeting of interesting people.
The ones who I asked said they came from, North Carolina, Richmond, Blacksburg, Roanoke, Salem, Stuart, and of course Floyd.
I overheard my Asheville Potter son Josh say to a friend, “All the new work comes from looking at rocks, studying their shapes and being interested in the influence of the natural world.”
“This new body of work is about stones but it’s also about gesture. I like that the pieces have a stance and are animated that way.”
I got a chance to study some of the work made by Josh’s guest artist, Catherine White. She incorporates Asemic writing into her work, which is a mix of something like pictograph-like markings and letters than only suggest meaning. As a lover of alphabets, anthropology and archaeology, I find the wordless scrawl draws me in, like old typewriter font that’s become too old to decipher but still holds a story.
Catherine writes, “Seeking a poetic language of material, curve and surface, my work abstractly refers to the landscape.”
We were happy to spend time with Josh’s girlfriend Emily, pictured (right) with Catherine and admiring one of her pots. Emily, Joe and I slipped out in the afternoon to catch a performance of Alice’s Restaurant at the Floyd Country Store. We showed Emily some downtown spots, strolled around thinking ‘what a great place to live.”
For the past 18 years, art lovers have been touring the countryside of Floyd County two weekends a year, visiting the studios of the 16 Hands potters and artists.
My son Josh Copus has been a member of the collective for the past six years, showing his new work from his childhood home off the Blue Ridge Parkway, where my husband and I live. HERE is a blog post of his first year as a 16 Hands member.
Every 1st weekend in May and 4th weekend in November, our porch is filled with pots, our house is emptied of furniture and transformed into an art gallery. Hundreds of people file in and out over the weekend to meet the artists, enjoy refreshments, conversation and personalized shopping.
Every tour Josh hosts a guest artist. This year’s guest artist is Catherine White who, like Josh, wood-fires wild clay.
Catherine is also a multi-media artist who paints and does collage. Check out her webpage HERE.
Catherine’s pots reflect surprising forms and the shapes of nature. Some pieces look like wood. This one (center) reminds me of a shell.
One of the first sales of the day on Friday came from North Carolina Museum of Art docent (guide) and art collector Rhonda Wilkerson. Rhonda already has several of Josh’s pieces. She bought this piece (the one I called sexy when Josh put it up) for her son Brian (pictured to the left).
The tour is an Old Home Week for Josh because many of the Floyd family and friends he grew up with come around.
Day one of the three day tour saw a steady stream of visitors. I don’t remember it ever being quite as warm as it was today for a fall studio tour.
I like to say that Josh paints with fire because the surface effects on his pots are created while they’re firing in the kiln, but Josh describes it better when he says, “The pots record the firing.”
Come check us out, Saturday 10 – 5 or Sunday 12-5. Look for the pot along the side of the road in- between milepost 163 and 164. You can search “16 Hands” in my sidebar search box for more past 16 Hands Tours, or click on Asheville Potter Son. Josh’s webpage is HERE. That’s the sexy pot before it got sold on the far left. / Sunday Shadow Shot
It’s the only time of year I eat gravy and I usually eat too much.
I called these plates orange, but my friend Katherine says they’re terra cotta. I asked her if she had red ones for Christmas
A terra cotta candle?
We used to play Taboo after dinner but now there are babies to play with.
We’ve been celebrating Thanksgivings with our friends at Zephyr Farm for decades. At home, our house has been turned into a pottery gallery for the 16 Hands Studio Tour, of which my son is a part. No room to cook a turkey there if I wanted to.
Every year, Josh brings a couple of new guests to add to the Zephyr Farm pot luck feast mix. This year his guest artist potter Katherine White (right) and her husband Warren joined us for the. Come by and visit and check out the new work Friday and Saturday 10 – 5 or Sunday 12 to 5.
1. “You’re always in a box, and you’re an escape artist if you do what I do – or if you’re a creative person, period. You build your box and then you escape from it. You build another one and you escape from it. That’s ongoing. And you may at some point escape enough boxes where you find yourself back around to the first one again and you go, ‘Oh, I didn’t think I had any more to say about these things. Wait, a minute, yes, I do. I’ve got a lot more to say about these things.”’ – Bruce Springsteen
2. “I do not think much of burning flags or pledging allegiance to them either one. Just let them flap and do their thing.” – My Dharmacratic poet friend Will
3. Will also said, in regards to Trump, “Just because someone can grab hold of the steering wheel does not mean they can drive the vehicle.”
4. A reader commented: “After a lifetime of being chauffeured around, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know how to drive at all.”
5. Law and Order is very different than the Rule of Law. The first one feels authoritarian and imposed, while the other feels more like a collective agreement of self- responsibility.
6. Life is real / But not forever / This day is a gift / One like no other – A morning poem that Joe and I recently co-wrote. See HERE.
7. Praying or Preying? HERE.
8. Some presidents start wars and conflicts and some inherit them. Some engage in military interventions in an effort to stop human genocides. Some for plunder and conquest.
9. “We, sir, are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights. But we truly hope, that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.” – Brandon Victor Dixon, the actor who portrays Aaron Burr, addressing Mike Pence at the close of a performance of Hamilton
10. THIS made me smile.
11. Read the poem about how the knife went in but didn’t come out and the pain tracked in a dream after my mother’s death that is carried and passed like a sealed letter of Dear John Complaints that no one has the heart to read HERE.
12. What would Santa do? 80,000 Reindeer Have Starved To Death In Siberia Because Of Melting Sea Ice: Add them to the growing list of animals directly threatened by climate change. More HERE.
13. I call the photo above “Deers from my Dears.” Happy Thanks Giving.
The knife went in
but didn’t come out
I tracked the pain
and point of entry
while half asleep
and half awake
While you were dreaming
of her body in the casket
and draining her blood
behind the funeral parlor
because no one else would do it
No one twisted it
No one cried
No one was stabbed in the back
The memory barely exists
but exacts a secret cost
like a baby’s wail
between the in and out breath
hangs silent in the air
It’s carried and passed on
sealed like a letter
just one in a stack
of Dear John complaints
that no one has the heart to read
Life is real
But not forever
This day is a gift
One like no other
_________Colleen and Joe /Shadow Shot Sunday
1. “In memoir the heart is in the brain. It’s the Geiger counter you run over memory’s landscape looking for precious metals to light up. A psychological self-awareness and faith in the power of truth gives you the courage to reveal whatever you unearth, whether you come out looking vain or conniving or hateful or not.” – Mary Karr, The Art of Memoir
2. “Leonard, we know you’re great, but we don’t know if you’re any good.” – Head of CBS records to singer songwriter Leonard Cohen, who passed away last week.
3. “I did my best. It wasn’t much. I couldn’t feel so I tried to touch. I told the truth. I didn’t come to fool ya. And even though it all went wrong, I’ll stand before the lord of song with nothing on my tongue but a broken hallelujah. …” – words by Leonard Cohen, and recently sung by Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton in a poignant opening of Saturday Night Live HERE.
4. “It is not intolerance to be intolerant of intolerance. Don’t let the bigots and bullies tell you otherwise. Opinions that may lead to harm of others are not worthy of respect.” – My Facebook friend Russell
5. I feel like Dredman rather than Redman today.
6. Sometimes it feels like I’ve had 100 people in my house because of Facebook.
7. My driving is getting to be like my handwriting, kind of wobbly and all over the place.
8. Someone is always left out / in the game of musical chairs / and we are as exposed as the naked emperor / who thought he was dressed in the fine clothes – From Flying Dreams, a poem I wrote in 2013. Read it in its entirety HERE.
9. I was working at a boutique in Boston in 1969 and listening to the very hip WBCN radio station when I first heard Leonard Cohen sing Suzanne. It’s the song that made me want to be a poet (that and my Donovan album). I wrote more about those times in Hippie Flashback HERE.
10. When I lost two brothers a month apart in 2001, the grief was complicated because of the double loss. This year we lost our older sister and mother four months apart, and so the grief, once again, is compounded. It’s been a slower and harder process, which is why when my knee went out, the pain gave me a very real metaphor for some poem therapy and some delayed concrete empathy for my sister and mother, who both had bad knees.
11. The poem, called Survivors Guilt, starts “My knee went out / bringing bone to bone pain / with no cushion to soften the friction / My mother and sister / both had bad knees / invisible irritations / they quietly carried …” and ends with “Why aren’t more people limping?” Read the whole poem HERE.
12. Hear what kids say about Donald Trump as president HERE.
13. Check out some very cool woodpile stacking art HERE.
Everybody wanted to get their picture taken with two week old Pearl.
Or touch Cara’s pregnant belly.
Throughout the ‘90s many Floyd women gathered each summer at the Indian Valley Retreat Center for Women’s Wellness Week – a woman’s retreat focused on ceremony, making art, the healing arts and self discovery. WWW was founded by our dear friend Ise Williams, who died in a car crash in late 1999.
And now we were coming together to bless Ise’s daughter Cara, who will be giving birth to a son in two weeks.
Lineage was spoken of as we passed around our aged woman’s talking stick, anointed ourselves and addressed Cara heart to heart.
We blessed her with foot rubs, wishes and gifts. The kleenex box got passed around as stories were told and memories were remembered. We showered Cara with love as women who watched her grow up and on behalf of her mother, whose presence we all felt.