Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Meeting friends in DC, Museum of the American Indian

Saturday & Sunday was spent with friends in the DC area!
First, we went to the Museum of the American Indian. It is well done, a lot of information and, surprisingly, you see tribes you never heard of and then some of the ones you have are glaringly void in the museum.
A depiction of the Cherokee story of creation:
Some very cool interactive computer programs, finding out about projectile points and arrowheads:
This was my favorite part of the exhibit:
Some things in there that made me think because I hadn't considered them.

Now to tell you about this artist means I have to get up from the computer. He used recycled materials - here, baseball mitts. It was awesome!
This is the one where the kids had to act silly. Here with my high school friend Ramon, who was kind enough to meet us both days:
Our last dinner together and I got crabcakes and, yes, they are much better than the ones I've had in South Carolina. Now, truthfully, here is the biggest hit of our entire trip: the Metro!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Side field trip: Rough River Dam

Earlier this week the kids and I had an American Indian education performance in western Kentucky. First, we went into a nursing home to do our thing - a first in 10 years of my performing this kind of show - then we had a few hours to kill before the library performance.
So we hit Rough River Dam and The Daisy exclaimed it was one of the most beautiful places she'd ever seen. There were a few people fishing near us and The Daisy and The Boo threw rocks into the river. I'm sure those guys appreciated that. The Daisy found discarded fishing line and decided to fashion herself a fishing pole. The Boo followed suit, here tying it around a rock for a weight. Alas, no fish were caught and we headed out soon after to make our show. This is part of what I look like for show time:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The rattlesnake story

While in South Carolina a couple of weeks ago, looky what parked itself under an ottoman on Charleen's porch?
And Charleen wanted to find out "what kind of rattlesnake it is." Hey! It's the kind that will MESS YOU UP.
So I was standing way over to the left in this picture, lifting the ottoman flap with an oar so Charleen could get this picture. Contrary to the story, I was NOT poking at it with the oar!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Keeneland racing

Last year by happenstance I met Charlie Pigg at Old Friends retirement farm in Lexington and Charlie happens to be a partner in several Dogwood Stable horses, Dogwood being based out of Aiken, S.C.. Charlie announced to everyone that his own horse, Spoon River Lew, would be racing at Keeneland. Well, how could I be this close and not go and scream my head off for Lew to race his heart out and break his maiden? Off I went.

Here's Lew getting saddled: Here's Charlie making my bet for me. Lew to win, of course! We watched the race from the Dogwood box - Lew had a bad break and got in traffic in his first turn and it was all over. Phooey.

Then I had to do the "Shannon pose" right there in the Keeneland paddock.
This is a Jonathan Sheppard horse I liked and bet on and he paid off!
I interviewed Sheppard a million years ago when I was a reporter in Camden, S.C.

Me and Charlie (Charlie says this is the most smile anyone gets out of him). It was a little windy and cold but any day is a good day for racing!

Best zoo visit EVER

Of all the times I've visited the Riverbanks Zoo, this has been the only time we saw animals up close and really, really active.
Now, the kids had to have their pics made with all the animal statues ...
The grizzly was pacing the fence and my grandmother lifted The Boo up for a closer look. Now we get to the gorilla exhibit and both were planted right up on the glass.
Being this close actually made The Boo a little nervous. He approached this silverback with a whole lotta caution.

Look at that pouty lip! That's way better than mine!

The Daisy and I fed a giraffe some years ago on a wild animal safari exhibit in Georgia, but this one was pretty cool too.
This may be one of my new favorite pictures of The Daisy:
Here is my least favorite part of any zoo exhibit: feeding the birds. Of course, The Daisy just luuuuvvvvs this part.

Now I'm going to tell you the story of Happy the tiger. This is a statue of her and she is how Riverbanks Zoo got started, but I'm actually getting ahead of myself.
Happy was caged at the Exxon car wash in Columbia, S.C., and everytime I visited my grandmother, she'd get her car washed just so we could go see Happy. If you read Pat Conroy's "The Prince of Tides," the gas station tiger is based on Happy. I guess somewhere along the way, people got up in arms that Happy was in a cage at the car wash and so she was moved to a new home - the zoo. There she paced back and forth behind a glass wall in a smaller enclosure than what she'd had previously and, eventually, so the story goes, she died of loneliness.

The lions roared for us. I wished I'd gotten in on video but then I was talking for the lionesses here: "Hey, what about that one? He looks meaty" "Maybe for a snack. I'm particular to that kid over there." Yeah, well, it made the kids laugh.

Not sure why there's a dinosaur statue at the zoo, but there is and The Boo had to get on it. That whole "there's an animal statue and I have to sit on it" thing.
The Daisy made sure I got her checking out this flamingo up close and personal.
If there's a train, The Boo has to be involved. He said this was his favorite part of the zoo. Go figure.
I know I'm not going to see this much longer - both kids crashed out together in the same bed.