October 14 (Friday)was the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.
Observations of the day:
* Southern Country/Western stations have some music in Spanish.
* The "Welcome to Alabama" rest area was built in 1983 under Gov George C Wallace, a name that still makes me queasy. But it's a nice rest stop, with a row of very inviting wooden rocking chairs chained to the porch.
* The State Car of Alabama appears to be the Red Pickup.
* NPR stations are few and fragile in this part of the world. In fact, radio stations seem to come in two flavors: (1) NPR news & music with a small range and a lot of static; and (2) Stations that come in beautifully, but I don't really want to listen to. However, I found myself listening to a local talk show on which the two male hosts were interviewing a man who plays a villain in some soap opera. He was explaining how all other TV actors really respect those in the soaps because of the difficulty of their job: they shoot each episode in one day, getting the script in the morning, have one blocking rehearsal, and then get into costume and makeup and begin the day's shoot. "This is really hard for some actors to get used to," he said, "but I have an advantage -- I have a photogenic memory." I thought: Is that the next best thing to A Beautiful Mind?
Around 3:30 I made contact with Ariadne, the Chamberlain of Gleann Abhann (which means she takes care of the regalia), and we drove to her home and unloaded the Camel. She and her husband, Master Stephan (the Seneschal) took me to dinner along with their kids and a friend who put me up for the night. They were good people, and Master Stephan gave me the reason for the incipient Kingdom's name: Gleann Abhann is Gaelic for "river valley" -- Gleann like the Scottish "glen", and Abhann (pronounced ah-vann) meaning "river" -- a name chosen because the land is bisected by the Mississippi. (This past summer I learned that "avon" is the Celtic word for water or river, which is why there are so many rivers in England named Avon.)
The thrones were stowed somewhere, and the bags of garb etc. turned over to the woman (whose name, alas, I have forgotten) who was in charge of sorting the donations. Evidently there were MANY (I got the impression, almost too many). The garb is now being sorted as male, female, or children's clothing, and then sized (approximately). At the coronation on Nov 5 they intend to set up a tent with racks of garb and tables of other stuff. People can "shop" -- that is, take what they want or need -- and whatever is left will be donated to individual baronies or other kingdoms that still have need for it.
I stayed over in Brandon the next day (Saturday), because I was supposed to meet the Heirs. However, it turned out they and their baby had all come down with colds, so I declined the offer to meet them. I figured they needed to talk to their seneschal about coronation details and then go home. The didn't need to sit around making nice to me. So with a free afternoon at my disposal, I found a local laundromat and did laundry, found a grocery and did some shopping, found a motel and slept late Sunday morning.
More updates to follow.