Tomorrow I leave Gettysburg, ending another summer. The research was excellent, the friends true blue, and I don’t want to go….ever. Yet, there’s this little drumbeat in my heart, that pounds for my porch-less house, and my fat, curmudgeon of a cat (think Chesire with a ‘tude). So a small ode to Tennessee is in order, by former Knoxville resident Nikki Giovanni.

Knoxville, Tennessee by Nikki Giovanni
I always like summer
you can eat fresh corn
From daddy’s garden
And okra
And greens
And cabbage
And lots of
And buttermilk
And homemade ice-cream
At the church picnic
And listen to
Gospel music
At the church
And go to the mountains with
Your grandmother
And go barefooted
And be warm
All the time
Not only when you go to bed
And sleep

TN music: Chattanooga Choo Choo (Glenn Miller orchestra); Tennessee Jed (the Grateful Dead); Tennessee Stud (Little Willies, a band with Norah Jones that’s just fun!!); Daddy’s Gone to Knoxville (Mark Knopfler); Are You from Dixie (Jerry Reed); Tennessee (None of the Above); Tennessee (Sugarland); Tennessee Flat-Top Box (Johnny Cash); At the Bluebird (Fred Gillen, Jr); Tennessee Waltz (Patti Page); Mountain Heir (AJ Roach); Ballad of Davy Crockett (the Wellingtons); Blue Horizon (Sidney Bechet); Misty Moonlight Waltz (Yo-Yo Ma & Mark O’Connor); and I’d be evicted from the state if I didn’t include Rocky Top (choose a version — my favorites are the Osborne brothers and Dolly Parton). I have this craving to include NC songs in this little tribute to home — so I’ll do a couple: Carolina in the Morning (try the Dean Martin version) and Carolina on My Mind (James Taylor).

To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul. –> Simone Weil

Take care,

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