We returned from our trip to Kentucky about a week ago but it has taken this much time to catch up and write this blog. Why did we go to Kentucky? The World’s Longest Yard Sale of course.
On the first weekend of August every year thousands of people descend on Highway 127 between Alabama and Michigan. That’s 690 miles of baby furniture, antique ironing boards, rusted bird cages and grandma’s old jewelry. Sound enticing? It really was. Getting caught up walking through old barns and fields, talking with the local folks was the priceless part.
What did we get? There were many candidates for the trunk and back seat of our rented car, but each selection had to be weighed against, can I find a box to ship this thing and how much will it cost? I ended up with some things that would fit in my suitcase. Two Cosmopolitan magazines from the 1930′s, one which had an article by Frank Lloyd Wright about the future of housing. I couldn’t pass up a 1906 book “The Christy Girl” with wonderful illustrations by Randolph Christy. A folding yard stick circa 1920 and some other do dads rounded out our purchases.
The highlight of the trip was a toss up between visiting the city of Berea Kentucky and the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill.
Berea contains the Berea College where many of the local Appalachian craft artists either attended or taught. Lining the quant streets were many small shops where broom makers, weavers, jewelry makers and dulcimer creators demonstrated their talents. John and I felt right at home here, the thought that their were many more folks out there who were passionate about what they did and spend most of there time doing it, even if for a very modest income was somehow comforting.
The Shaker Village was inspiring. The simple but powerful and very popular furniture they developed was fascinating placed in their natural surroundings of the huge old brick dormitories where the men, women and children were separated to achieve purity and harmony. But how where there children if everyone was celibate? They took in orphans and converted families who already had them. But they couldn’t sustain the flock, so it ended.
We were lucky to visit on a day on which they were holding a Appalachian craft fair, pottery, Shaker boxes, wooden spoons and woven baskets galore! This was the place to stuff our carry on luggage with goodies!
Three days after returning home we picked a new puppy- time consuming and adorable- more about him later!