Friday, August 25, 2006

Friends and family

Road trips are partly about visiting friends and family. My family is far from my path, but I have a few friends along the way. Among them are Tom Adkinson, who tells the world about Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and his wife Lois.

I’m staying at their suburban home, a friendly house filled with photos of their family. The kids are now grown, and Tom has graciously taken a few hours to show me around Nashville.

We start at Hog Heaven – tied with Gruhn Guitars as one of the reader voting choices for the day. Hog Heaven is a shack of a place – walk-up window, two picnic tables and some fly screening – known for its barbecue. I go for the pork, which has been my habit on this trip, and end up with the juiciest, tastiest meat I’ve had since I last had N.C. Eastern-style pork barbecue in Raleigh. (Barbecue styles are a raging and constant debate in barbecue circles, but I’m telling you that N.C. Eastern-style is THE BEST.) Hog Heaven’s is pretty fab, though.

Next door is Centennial Park, home to a full-scale replica of the Parthenon (“only ours has a roof,’’ Tom tells me.)

The story goes like this: In the 1800s, Nashville was known as the Athens of the West -- and as the country grew, , the Athens of the South -- for it's prominence in education. (Vanderbilt University is here, in case you’ve forgotten.) At the Centennial Celebration held in Nashville in 1896, the city erected a full-scale replica of the Parthenon. The original wood version was later replaced with masonry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Talk about education! We, here at St. Agnes Academy in Key Biscayne, Florida, are learning quite a bit with your trip. We are incorporating this trip with Social Studies and Math. Thanks!

Mrs. Prellezo
4th grade Teacher