Twain’s world … life on the Mississippi
October 20, 2008 § 6 Comments
A week ago ( a week ago already?) Clarksville was celebrating its Apple Festival. (hmm…didn’t take pictures of any apples, though.)
HM and I cruised into town unsuspecting. It was a nice surprise though locals said attendance was down. Likely thanks to the flood, the economy (no, I’m not gonna go there!) and gas prices maybe. Still there was a fine little art gallery exhibit, some local foods, carnival stuff and lots of local mingling, talking, calling out to one another. Kind of a Norman Rockwell afternoon, sun out, dogs well behaving and skittering here and there, babies laughing, and “folks” gathering to chat.
And the river was behaving. HM and I are fascinated by the Big Muddy. We’ve traversed the river roads on both sides; east, in Illinois and west, north of St. Louis. We found an old farm road that ran to the river and a boat launch. Several small crafts were coming in.
Looking downriver, we noted a tug. “He’s bringing up a barge,” HM said.
“What? I thought that was an island out there in the middle of the river.”
Sure enough, pushing along at about 30 knots, there it was, the quintessential red and white tug, pushing a barge loaded with coal.
I pointed my camera and started snapping. The tug was in front of me in no time. The captain blew the tug’s horn and waved.
I waved back.
“Nice bit of Americana,” HM said, without sarcasm.
We’ve been in the MIdwest long enough; we are comfortable now; we own it.
A motorboat came zipping down the river, looking really close to the tug.
“Don’t worry. They see each other,” HM said, anticipating my whoa, look out!
All enamored of the river, we drove around along the edges, looking at property for sale. Why? Because it’s there. Because there is a natural inclination to live by water. Because it would be cool to have a river getaway when we wanted to get out of STL. One we could drive to.
Aha! Strolling around Clarksville, we spotted another household that was tricked into getting a beagle (like us. I mean, they’re just so darn cute!) This one ballyhooed at us, just like Huck does, and again, we felt right at home.
Clarksville got hit pretty hard by the floods about two months ago. There are a lot of For Sale signs around the area. And it looks like some of the artists may have moved out which is a shame. The area was on its way to becoming an artist stronghold – pottery, paintings, handmade furniture of all sorts, candles. No bookstore yet. While a good place to write, it might not be populated enough to support a bookshop.
We are still debating the annual pumpkin “issue.” Get one and carve it? In the meantime, I have my 2-foot inorganic commercially carved jack o’ lantern just in front of the porch, looking all natural and un-scary and it lights up. One would think twice about smashing it, or reducing it to pie.