June 18, 2012
Our guests are always interesting...but this week the mix was incredible. Best Selling author, Laurence Shatkins writes about the "250 Best Paying Jobs"....(Innkeeper was not included). Barbara Peacock sent us her published book, "A Tainted Dawn", The Great War l792-1815 inscribed with "Best wishes to our favorite innkeepers"!...oh yea, this is book # 1 Dr. Andrea McCrady plays the Peace Tower Carillion every weekday and on request...she is on her way to a Bell Ringers Convention in Clemson. She shared with us the history of the Peace Tower Carillon in Ottawa, Canada. It was installed by the authority of Parliament to commemorate the peace of 1918 and to keep in remembrance the service and sacrifice of Canada in the Great War. It consists of 53 bronze bells, as cast and tuned in England. The largest bell weighs 10,090 kg and sounds the note E Did you know this is a recognized instrument?
April 14, 2012
In the cellar of the old Trinty Methodist Church on 3rd St, a troop of boy scouts covered the interior walls with pine logs they felled from a nearby park. Before they attached the plywood for the ceiling, they painted it white and walked on it with barefeet painted black. The boy scouts signed their names and dated the feet....over 100 years ago. This little meeting space was discovered many years later, locked, in disrepair and neglect.. It was brought back to life in 1987 and turned into a coffee house...a meeting place with log-cabin ambiance, and rustic cosy, charm..with foot prints on the ceiling.
Since 1987 this 3rd Street Coffee house has served as a spiritual home and venue for accoustic guitar players, singers, song writers, poets, and stand up comics . Many of the performers are offsprings of the musicians from the mountains; those old bluegrass , pickers that played and sang the old songs which sprang from front porches and churches long ago.
This Friday the 13, 2012 was declared "Third Street Coffee House Day". After many whereas, therefores, herebys and I decares, the Mayor presented to the long haired , pony tailed, bifocaled grey haired and balding old rockers a certificate of acheivement that will hang with the Southwest Virginia Songwriters Association here in the basement of the old Trinity Church on 3rd Street.
Buy a cup of coffee, settle in , listen to the best darn original songs you've ever heard while someone hands out the home baked pieces of cake and someone else...passes the hat every Friday night at the 3rd Street Coffee House in the basement of the old Trinty Church on 3rd St.
April 11, 2012
Tall, young, smiling, pretty. She came in with her backpack, suitcase and guitar...on her way to Nashville, she said. "My names Skye, I'm a country singer". Won't you play for us?
She settled into an easy chair , checked the neck of her guitar and read the tuning reading, electronic tuning. When all the red buttons lined up to her satisfaction, she began to play and to sing...her new song.I l looked at Jim and he had tears in his eyes, "Leaving shouldn't be so easy", she crooned. We love Skye! We wish her all the success that can be heaped on a rising young singer, soon I hope , to be a star.
March 25, 2012
Young Stacy and Aaron were sitting in the Great Room and we were getting to know them. Stacy's eye went to a corner of the room where a guitar case and Uke case were propped against the wall. I had been meaning to return the instuments to the upstairs but just hadn't gotten around to it. "Is that a ukulele", she said. "Yes", I replied, "do you play?". She crossed the room, picked up the ancient, black case and slid the button release to open. There is all its ancient glory was my Mother's Martin Uke...mahogany with pearl trim. Stacy held the instrument to her chest and begin to tune those old strings. "Can you sing?", I asked. One can't really play a ukulele without singing. "Yes", she said as she began strumming a familiar chord. "Do you know "Ain't she sweet". "Good Heavens", I thought, "is that still the classic Uke song". "Yes, sure" . And Stacy and I began to sing this old song; we both knew all the words...the song that was handed down to me from my Mother 60 years ago. I asked her if she know the next segue..."Sweet Georgia Brown". "How did you know that", she said. "I just did".
Then she and Aaron went upstairs and when Stacy came down she had a gleam in her eye. Stacy is from Knoxville. " Do you know my Aunt in Virginia Beach?". "She's and artist . Her name is Francis Cobb". Good Heavens, Francis Cobb "Yes", I went to her eightieth birthday party about five years ago. How is she"? "We're getting ready to celebrate her 85th birthday party in August. "Yes , I remember , it was August".
October 9, 2011
Truly the most wonderful thing about being Innkeepers is the connecting with so many interesting people. This morning a retired Pastor asked everyone to take the hand of the person next and he said Grace and closed with a blessing. It was a touching moment and a special meaning to those around the table.
This week our guests were from Wales, Australia and China. Jung and Li brought gifts for us from China; somehow they knew it would be a special time for them....and it was.
October 9, 2011
The mountains of the Blue Ridge are slowing turning from green to gold. I drove over the mountain to Hot Springs, WVA to the wonderful Greenbrier Hotel. While driving to the peak of the mountain and surrounded by morning mist words for song titles ran through my head. I have the song titles now I just have to fill in the lyrics to "The seasons are a changing in the Valley of my Heart" and I'm riding the double line of Life. Just taking secondary roads and out of the fast lane. It feels so good to just enjoy the quiet and peacefulness of the roads less travelled.
I met my sister for lunch and we dined in spendor midst the wonderful colors of yesterday with old familiar tunes playing in the background and memories of Dorothy Draper's touches everywhere. Carlton Varney is the in-house decorator, quite famous and quite taken with himself. He represents his bedding line on the Home Shopping Network. He also creates musical background for each room for a complete Greenbrier experience.
May 31, 2011
We have just received a certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor as well as a copy suitable for framing and display of our achievement. Thanks to all our guests for their wonderful reviews and comments to make this award possible.
Certificate of Excellence
King George Inn
A 5 star rating from Trip Advisor for the year 2011.
April 29, 2011
Today, Jim and I visited this historic battlesite on Dutch Oven Road in Salem. "On June 21, 1864, following two days of fighting at Lynchburg, Confederate Gen. Robert Ransom's cavalry pursuing Union forces , engaged in a conflict known at the Battle of Hanging Rock. There are hundreds of names on the markers, indicating killed in battle or just killing....It saddens me to be in these tragic places as the current world conflicts involving so many young man and women from our country are killing and still being killed. Will these awful wars ever end.
Its now peaceful, and a beautiful walk along Mason Creek in Salem.
We then had lunch at the Blue Apron. Truly a gourmet preparation. This is the third time this week I've eaten at this restaurant. You can select your portion amount and pay accordingly. I also discovered "Blue Moon Beer". Its like ice tea beer. Crab cakes are divine and the soups are unimaginable!
April 16, 2011
Have you been in the presence of genius lately...felt chills running up and down your arm and wondered , "where have I been" , "how have I missed this until now"...thats what I experienced upon visiting the O.Winston Link Museum in downtown Roanoke this week.. I recently experienced some of these photographs at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk...it was a limited showing, but a moving experience. Trains. Really. Photos of Trains...how exciting can that be. But, Mr. Link had a vision...he wanted to photograph steam engines at night. He wanted to document "life along the tracks". Roanoke is the recipient of O. Winston Link's fascination with steam engines and his photographic technique which records a history of the American Steam railroads and the good life in the United States which it supported. Beginning in 1956, Link concentrated on recording the splendid J. class streamlined passenger engines before they were withdrawn from service.
Link was also willing to wait until we were ready for his work. it was not until 1983 that these photographs received their first museum exhibition. Since that time they have been widely exhibited and enjoyed, like myself, by people who were not necessarily fascinated by trains but by the genius of the man who recorded this period in history, this photographic media and the image created by this thundering mass of steel that served as trasportation and provided a lifestyle of another time and place for those that lived and worked travelled and operated the Norfolk & Western Railway ...the last of the American steam powered locomotives.
The museum is open 7 days a week.
March 25, 2011
The ornamental pear tree has just bloomed and the blossoms are floating away revealing a morning dove nest. The mother dove stays very close even when we approach her. From our high point the blooming trees dot the landscape looking like fallen clouds everywhere.
The winter pansies are in bloom along with the daffadils. The peonies and the tulips are pushing the soil away making way for their arrival and the delicate dogwood is just peeking around the corner...all announcing the arrival of Spring!