This blog is dedicated and directed to my mother, Judy Howard, who I know is very worried about me and the alligators and the weather ahead, which, if you take the predictions as they are now, does not look good. I’ve learned though, that you cannot live by these predictions. The weather shifts, it could be worse, it could be better. You really do have to take one day at a time. And generally speaking, as Emily Rothman’s late father once told me, “It’s not going to be as bad as you expect.”
You remember Emily Rothman, right, Mom? She was the chase-car driver for Miami to Maine, that National Environmental Trust hired to drive for me. She came on to duty toward the end of the Georgia section, after I’d been riding solely on the backs of strangers from Miami up until Skidaway Island, I think it was, just shy of Savannah proper. Her token statement, for those bumps in the road was “embrace it.”
Well, here I am now in the very quaint town of Thomasville, at the absolutely positively lovely home of Linda Vice. You would really like her, Mom. She reminds me of Karen H, with whom we stayed multiple days on the Lake Michigan leg last year.
Linda Vice, to me, embodies what she told me Southern Living means – gracious living. I know, Mom, that you have me on the prayer list at our church, Medford United Methodist Church, and I’m hoping Nicole Rowe has me on her’s as well – I might just reach out to her right after posting this! Linda Vice is also a Methodist, and an English Major, just like you! She’s also working on a book. She writes a column in her local paper, a “Southern Lady’s Journal,” and I will see if I can get you a link or a pdf.
Linda also works with the ASRT- that’s Alabama’s Scenic River Trail- http://www.alabamascenicrivertrail.com/pages/?pageID=13 . She fully understands the recreational aspect of these rivers is a completely untapped economic resource. These rivers are more than just a conduit for goods moving up and down, they are beautiful wild spaces and places for exploring and fishing and nature watching. The bird life alone is amazing, as are the variety of plant life. I know personally I could stare for hours at the knobby knees and tangled masses of the cypress tree roots. They are my all time favorite trees. They grow standing in water.
Linda has a beautiful home built in 1879, 48 years before Carl’s and mine! Her’s will probably still be here after ours has tumbled into a pile of sticks, too. She is a collector of art, quilts, rocking chairs, and sofas. One of her sofas is 200 years old!
She also arranged to have my boat spend a couple of days at Bobby’s Fish Camp, where I will rent a cabin for the night when I get back from Natchez, Mississippi for a meeting of the Mississippi Mayors of River Towns and Cities Initiative. Linda has been going out of her way to help me, so I do hope Mom, she can either come visit us or come back here and treat her to multiple dinners at the very least.
We should stay, when we come back to visit – yet another place that my family REALLY DOES have to come back to and stay at the adorably quaint little cottages of Bobby’s Fish Camp. Maybe we can bring some inflatable SUP boards and paddle around this gorgeous little stretch. I’ve seen lots of wild boars paddling down from Ezell’s Fish Camp (yes-we gotta go back there, too!!). I also saw two alligators-one little baby one about two foot and one about 4-5 foot.
Well, I better wrap it up as I’m sure Linda is up already with the coffee and breakfast and then she’ll take me to the place where I’ll rent a car and be off as she heads out on her adventures for the day-she and a friend are touring other small town’s libraries so they can come up with more ideas and plans for their own library here in Thomasville. You’d so like her, Mom! Last night we hung out on her second floor porch and had the best salmon I’ve ever had-she uses a special grill that now we’ve got to find and get-and had some wine and talked about many things. Truly gracious living!
Anyway, I love you, Mom, and I’m looking forward to the rest of this journey. We are still working on a host for the Jackson stop but it sounds like I’ll have another wonderful host at the Mt. Vernon stop. Brent Taylor (hoping I’m spelling his name correctly) will meet me on the water in his pontoon boat with his rat terriers.