Hello everyone! It's been another quiet week at home here in Washington D.C., trying to get caught up on my work and spending time with my friends and family. The cicadas are out here and the lightning bugs are in full force giving our backyard its own summer sound and light show. Despite being in the city, we have a wonderful array of birds, rabbits, squirrels and other wonderful critters running around the backyard. The weather has been significantly cooler than it was down south, and overall it has been very good to be home.
Last Thursday I got together with a lot of my old friends from around town and around the country over at my friend James' house. It was wonderful to catch up with so many good people in one place at one time, but was a little overwhelming after being basically by myself for much of the last 6 months. It was definitely a good evening though.
Friday I spent finishing up my long overdue second Tennessee podcast. It's a little long, but came out really well. This episode tells stories from West Tennessee. It starts with Wilma Rudolph's ten year climb from leg braces to Olympic Gold. Next comes the true story of Casey Jones, the legendary train engineer who died trying to save his passengers. Then I tell you about Richard Halliburton who was one of the most famous and celebrated travel journalists of his time. The next story is a tragic but important one discussing the horrible lynching of Ell Persons in Memphis in 1917. The stories of Sun Records and Nutbush, Tennessee native Tina Turner round out the episode which also features some great blues music by Jackson native Linzie Butler. You can find the episode HERE or by searching for "American Anthology" on your favorite podcast provider. New for this episode, I have created a companion playlist on Spotify so that you can hear the music I am referring to. You can find that HERE.
I've also been busy writing this week, finishing off posts about the Tennessee Barbecue Rib Trail (HERE), the amazing Tennessee Trails and Byways system (HERE) and the wonderful museums and venues dedicated to the music of Tennessee (HERE). I'm also working on some longer pieces about my 6 months in the south which I hope to get out soon.
Saturday, we celebrated getting my podcast published by going for a few beers out at wonderful Jailbreak Brewing Company in Laurel, Maryland followed by dinner at the Ram's Head Tavern at Savage Mill. It was nice to hang out with my folks a bit and enjoy some beers and conversation.
Sunday we went down to one of Washington D.C.'s best live music venues, The Hamilton, to hear the wonderful sounds of Dixieland Jazz performed by the New Orleans Swamp Donkeys. I lived in New Orleans for two years in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and the music and culture of that great city will always be a part of me. It was great to hear so much of it, done so well, in such a great and relaxed venue. It was a fun night.
Monday was a beautiful day here in Washington, and we enjoyed it in the backyard with our annual Crab Feast. Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs are so good, and at least once a year we head down to Captain White's at the Maine Avenue Fish Market and pick up a mess of them to eat at home. We like the big ones because they're easier to eat. A dozen were going for $45 this time around, which is significantly cheaper than most restaurants will give them to you for, and they steamed and seasoned them perfectly. We washed it down with some cold beer and enjoyed some good music and company to go along with them.
Tuesday was a library day, trying to catch up on a few things, and today I am going to write this and then head downtown to meet my old college friend Chris and catch up with him. We always have good conversations and it should be a good time as usual.
This coming week will be my last here at home and then I'll be back on the road. I'm headed out to West Virginia to scoop up my dad and then we're off to New Hampshire to visit my brother and his kids. From there, I'll be headed into Ohio - so get those Ohio recommendations ready. I've been doing some reading about it, and I'm excited to see what it's all about. My maternal grandfather was from Ohio, and I've been through a few times, but I really have very little knowledge of or about the state. It will be great to go somewhere completely different though, and I'm looking forward to it.
Until next week then, I hope you all are enjoying your summers and getting out and doing some cool stuff. I'd love to hear all about it. Have a great week and we'll see you right here at this time next week. Stay cool out there.