Day Two: We were sad to be leaving Cross Lanes, WV - just when we were making new friends and discovering new fun (greyhound and dachshund racing!). Marin and Preet recounted the chatter from the breakfast table, where they joined their hosts, the Nesbitts, and Walt and Peggy. The adults were discussing how they had first met, and the Nesbitts confided their first encounter was a game of Spin the Bottle in 7th grade. Walt, being Walt, wanted to incorporate the girls into the conversation and asked if they had ever played Spin the Bottle or another favorite of his generation, Post Office. As he went on to describe how the games were played, the girls squirmed with discomfort and, well, disgust of the images now embedded in their brains. As Marin put it, “Thanks, Walt for the totally awkward memories!”
Following gourmet breakfasts (egg casserole, fresh fruit, Belgian waffles, homemade cinnamon rolls, breads and muffins), we boarded the buses and wound our way through the mountains. Mile after mile of untouched natural beauty, under a cloudless blue sky. After an hour of enjoying the scenery, most opted for a snooze. Some snoozed through the rest of West Virginia, our short breeze through Virginia and on through the eastern tip of Tennessee (the Volunteer State). Those awake (thankfully including the drivers) noted signs for Hatfield and McCoy, Thoroughbred Steakhouse, and Damascus, Tennessee. Peggy Edmonds saw a custom motorcycle, with a beer keg on the gas cap and a kitchen chair for the drivers’ seat. You gotta love it! Soon enough we were pulling in to Wetlands Water Park in Jonesborough, TN. As the temperatures soared well into the 90’s there were only two places to be - the shade or the pool. Fortunately they had both. We enjoyed burgers on the shaded deck then cooled off in the fountains, pools and water slide. Just the ticket to relax and revive for a couple hours.
We then made the short drive to Johnson City, Tennessee where once again we were met with overwhelming graciousness and kindness. This is the home church of Linda Motter’s sister, Pam. It is a large, elegant church with stunning stained glass, high ceilings and intricate moulding. After a bit of rehearsal, we enjoyed what Rachel Wilson described as the most fabulous meal ever on tour. Table after table of delicious entrees, side dishes and desserts. Do the Methodists know how to throw a pot luck dinner or what? Especially in the South! Some on tour have family connections in these here hills. Of course, the Motters’ extended family lives here. Ken Koeritzer was joined by his sister’s family, who were delighted to hear Lauren’s solo performance of Mozart’s Laudate Dominum. And Rebecca and Shannon’s father, Sid Perry, grew up here, so their cousins gave them the grand tour of the holler where his misspent youth occurred - the quaint town of Elizabethton, the Doe River and beautiful Wassauga Lake. The sight of these glorious mountains and scenic views gives thrills and chills!
What a joy it was to perform in this lovely church, with its tremendous acoustics. Day two and they are already sounding quite polished. Again, we were so pleased to sing and play to a full house. They enjoyed the orchestra, the puppets and of course the soulful, heartfelt anthems. We went our separate ways for the night, excited to be making new friends and new memories.
Click here for Pictures of Day Two