Sunday, July 29, 2007

Something For Everyone, in the American Gothic Tradition

Dear Grant Wood,

When you fall in love with a region, a house, a style of cozy living, you just want to express it. Your painting captured something priceless. (Was that really your dentist? Didn't he want to smile?)

My oldest daughter and her husband have fallen in love with a little region south of Nashville, Tennessee, right near Santa Fe. (That is Santa like the northern jolly elf and Fe rhyming with flea and like the amount you pay to renew your fishing license.) And you can renew your license right there at the crossroads in the little corner store, Netts, where you also can check your game before and check and tag it after the hunt. Before the hunt you go, chew tobacco and refer to the game catalog, checking the size and shape of turkey feathers which will clue you in to how old that bird must be to qualify for slaughter, or verify when doe season actually starts. "Is that a Friday or a Thursday?" You are reminded that "Until checked, the head of the deer must remain attached and turkey must have the head and plumage intact."

Now Sunday, don't you be going down to Netts at noon, lest you put your Sunday duds on. The place is hopping after morning service, as congregants from all the demoninations, Baptist, Baptist, Nazarene, Baptist, and Missionary Baptist, crowd in for the buffet. Who says we don't share a common cup? We surely do break bread together down at Netts.

Not that Netts is off-putting as a classy joint, not at all. But the folk there know what to respect and how to respect. And they do know how to cook, not just the standard meatloaf, fried chicken, and catfish, though you'll find none better. But Friday and Saturday the offerings include frogs legs (5 pair per order) and fresh from Leiper's Creek, I'll reckon. The last time I had frogs legs was at a French restaurant in Philadelphia. I want to guess that the shriveled specimen from the swamps of southern Jersey were shamed, (I picture those little legless froggies hanging their tiny amphibious heads in pitiable disgrace) at the comparison with the healthy, fresh, lower limbs of robust rural varieties found near Santa Fe, Tennessee.

It is the third Saturday night that is the acme of the month for this little community as they gather at the community center for the Pickin' and Grinnin' fellowship. Average age one estimate says is 72 years, though the performers are much younger, round about 64. My daughter and her husband have become the darlings of the regular attendees, if not because they still have enough energy to clap accompaniment to every song, then at least because they are willing helpers for clean-up, passing drinks, and supporting folks with walkers who need to leave mid-evening because it's getting late and the chickens still need tending.

There are chickens in the community, sure, but also a goodly number of other country critters. It is one of those areas that are a boon for children playing Cow Poker, with points racking up for white horses and pigs wallowing in mud. Our minivan came to a complete stop in front of these fellows and accompanying farm whose sign could have said, "Kodak Country Photo Op," but actually read, "Fresh Bacon."



Nett's Revisited--2008


cadh 8 said...

This was very wonderful and I wish we could share it with all the regular attendees at Nett's Sunday lunch and the 3rd Saturday night. Sadly, if I started talking to them about a "blog", they may have thought I was referring to said bog where you found the pigs. If I mentioned the internet, some of the younger may say, "Oh, yes, I have a computer at home, but I am waiting for my grandaughter to come set it up."

I may just have to print this out for distribution.

Anyway, I was so happy that the fam got to come and see some of the things we love about where we live. The picture looks great, but why do our faces look a bit monstrous?

Anyway, love this post!

brd said...

I added that "paint" filter to make you two look like a modern version of American gothic. I thought it was clever! I suppose I just made myself look like a very bad photographer, which I am (except for wildlife) and it does hide your beauty. I'll work up a new post with more pictures!