Every now and again I like to go check out the blog of our favorite War Between the States band. For the past 7 years or so, I ask when they are coming to Tennessee. Well, around February or March while looking at the events page, I saw they were going to be in Chattanooga!!! I ran out to tell Joe, who’s response was, “So.” Then when he looked at me he became concerned and said, “You’re not going to go, are you?” I replied, “It’s a lot closer than Virginia!” I marked it on my calendar and looked up the nearest state park for camping. When it got closer, we found out that the Tennessee Division Children of the Confederacy were having their annual convention the same weekend very near there. (We are still members of Virginia Division, long story!)
The Thursday before that weekend was the Graduation and Sacrament party for the homeschoolers in our area (sort of). So we could not leave before Friday morning. Then we had to be back home in time for 4:00 pm Mass on Sunday. It would be a tight weekend, but that’s OK.
We went to the Graduation and Sacrament party where Kevin officially “graduated” 8th grade. I don’t have a single picture! Ugh! Updated to add that some lovely young person read my blog and sent a few pictures of Kevin’s graduation. (Thank you, M.C.!)
Friday morning we packed up the best we could and headed out to a state park in Georgia. We set up camp the best we could when we got there. It started to sprinkle and we were trying to get to the convention on time. We got on our way, a little late, and were able to call and find out that they were waiting for us. We arrived at the hotel and got back on the road to a town called Ringgold, GA.
There is an old church there, built in the early 1800s, that has been turned into a museum. They held a memorial service there and then every one had time to explore the museum. After that, on the way back, we stopped at a beautiful Patrick Cleburne monument. There were many markers there explaining the history. Unfortunately, we were trying to beat the rain, and I could not find my camera at that stop. I know we have pictures somewhere of the kids with it.
Everyone went back to the hotel and we went to Walmart to get a Sunday shirt for one child and some socks for another. When we got back to the hotel (where the convention was being held) there was a pizza dinner and then swimming. It rained a lot while they were in the pool, but the children didn’t mind. It was nice to see some of the same faces that we met at the Tennessee convention we attended 2 years prior.
After all that, we headed back to the campsite. Things were a little wet as the big tent needs a good coat of water-proofing stuff. (Is that a word?) I was told the little tent had a hole, so before we left I purchased a patch kit. Let me tell you, it was a lot bigger than a patch kit could handle. The boys put a sleeping bag near the hole and did OK. It had stopped raining at that point. We headed to bed since we had to be at the convention in the morning.
Up came the sun and we got all dolled up to go to the convention. It is run like a formal business meeting. There are flag ceremonies, speeches, awards given, etc. There is also a “catechism quiz” for 3 different levels. My children did well. Veronica won the pre-junior and John won the senior. The boy who won the junior division knew the question after two or three words came out! He really studied! After the business meeting there was a luncheon. A good time was had by all.
Pre-Junior catechism quiz. Yes, she was the only one there, but they were very impressed with her knowledge, especially when she named General Lee’s horse!
Junior catechism quiz
Senior Catechism quiz
With Tennessee division United Daughters of the Confederacy President)
We changed into some “play clothes” and headed out to Lookout Mountain to see the band!!!
It was so exciting to be able to see them live. There was a little thunder at times, but the rain held off and they gave a long performance. Our friends from CofC were there when we arrived (we had told them about it). They left at intermission. Then some other friends joined us (a surprise for my kids!)
My boys brought out a couple of their puppets. (They make puppets.) Well, it turned out that one of the members of the band used to work for Jim Henson! He was an artist who illustrated Muppet books! He was really enjoying James and his puppet and wanted to get picture of them after the show! So, they did. We got autographed posters (as a matter of fact, one hangs in our den just over James’s desk.)
After speaking with the band members for a while, we enjoyed walking around Lookout Mountain park and being with good friends.
When we left Lookout Mountain, we went back to the campsite with our friends. The kids roasted hot dogs over the fire and there was peanut butter and jelly. They also went to the playground. Then, sadly, our friends left, but we had a good time camping.
The next morning we wanted to go to McKay’s Used Bookstore before we left. Just down the road we passed a Confederate Cemetery. We decided that we needed to go back there. McKays was not open yet when we arrived, so we went back to the cemetery to pay our respects.
We went back to McKay and found a book illustrated by the banjo player! After McKay’s we headed home, got changed for and went to Mass, and had a nice relaxing Sunday afternoon and evening.