A Cornishman in North Carolina

Discussion about what\'s going on outside of Cornwall
PengellyITA
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 1:06 pm

Post by PengellyITA » Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:26 pm

Hello, my Cornish comrades fro across the pond.

I am in North Carolina attending a five day Gathering of North American Cornish Cousins.

It's a great programme and the area is beautiful. However, it's in the Bible Belt so this is a dry county; you can't even buy a glass of wine to go with a meal.

I'm now off to a session on the Oral Tradition and Cultural Memory of Cornish Methodism.

Would you like me to write a kind of day-by-day blog or have I already told you enough?

Masterclass
Posts: 1005
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 8:18 am

Post by Masterclass » Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:02 pm

Marks thread *ignore*

Srule
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 1:21 pm

Post by Srule » Fri Jul 15, 2005 9:08 pm

blog away boy

PengellyITA
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 1:06 pm

Post by PengellyITA » Sat Jul 16, 2005 4:53 pm

Right, let's go...

I'm a guest speaker over here so yesterday. I gave a talk on the history of Cornwall.
Right from the Celtic tribes to the trade with the Romans, battles with the Saxons, the Normans, 1497, 1549, tin mining, emigration, farming, Objective One - the whole lot. I thought I was quite thorough, if slightly biased and political.

The North American Cornish were a very receptive lot and I thought they had taken it all in until, in the 'ask me a question' bit at the end of the talk, an American lady asked me if the reason why the Cornish had come over to America in the 1800s was because the 'scenery was the same'?

So I had to explain the economic hardships all over again and what it takes for someone to leave their family behind and go somewhere unknown in hope of a better life. Really, as if someone sent a postcard and said 'come over'.

The American speakers were very good - some of these guys know more about aspects of Cornish heritage many of our more seasoned Cornish academics.

In the evening I went to a conference and the local bluegrass musicians sat and played banjos, sang acapella (well, vocal harmonies anyway), played other obscure stringed instruments and told funny stories. There were great. I left halfway through the male voice choir as it was late and i was tired (10pm, their time; 2.45am my time).

PengellyITA
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 1:06 pm

Post by PengellyITA » Sat Jul 16, 2005 4:56 pm

Now, I still have not found a way of having a sneaky drink. The county line (they sell liquor in the next county) has pubs right on the border, it's where the priests go to drink apparently. This is around 10 miles away; how far will a Cornishman go/walk/hitch for a drink?

I'm doing this is short bursts as the machine may run out of credit any moment.

PengellyITA
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 1:06 pm

Post by PengellyITA » Sat Jul 16, 2005 4:58 pm

The locals in Asheville like my accent; many were originally Ulster Scots (that's one reason why it's a Baptist community) who say they are Celtic brothers. They like talking to me (it's that accent thing) but I have been a little naughty in telling a few fibs as, well, they like (and believe) a good story.

PengellyITA
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 1:06 pm

Post by PengellyITA » Sat Jul 16, 2005 5:03 pm

It's hilly, damn hilly. Imagine walking up Tregonning Hill every night - that's what I have to do to get to my accommodation.

I start at the bottom sprinting like a 20 year old and I'm like an 80 year old at the top. This local old lady tried to give me the kiss of life but I managed to fight her off.

I saw a goat today; it was at the farmer's market. I asked the farmer what it was there for and this 70-year-old man pulled out a guitar from the back of his truck and sang me a hillbilly song about his goat. I was like that, I swear. I'll post up the picture when I get back.

Enough, or am I boring you?

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