Some front yards have simple flower beds. But this particular Nashville lawn had been taken over by a 40 person brass orchestra. That's how they celebrate the 4th in some Southern towns.
Band Leader Jay Dawson
Jeanne and I had driven to Nashville to spend the recent holiday with our youngest daughter and new husband. We were also meeting friends at a dinner theater where one of them was the star. Her name is Betty Davis - seriously. She changed it to "Davis" a couple of years ago when she married our friend G.R. Davis.
G.R. and Betty Davis
G.R. is a professional musician and man of many talents. His expertise includes the tuba, string bass and electric bass. He plays with a couple of bands and also teaches music at Vanderbilt University.
G.R. Davis - Computer programmer by day, teacher by evening, musician at night.
He had invited us to this block party which is now in its 33rd year. Pat Burton is the gracious host who volunteers her front yard and other resources for the event.
The block party is not advertised or actively promoted. In spite of that several hundred people attended, something which happens each year.
Singer Nan Gurley
Adolpho Birch - Former Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, speaking to the guests.
The first activity is the 4th of July Parade which lasts about 15 minutes. Decorated bicycles, children and their parents first march one way down the street in front of the band, make a U-turn and return a few blocks later.
Mom pointing out what happens to children who misbehave.
After the parade, residents enjoyed cold drinks from ice filled canoes as well as a large hospitality tent containing fried chicken, fruit, pastries, and other regional food.
By three that afternoon residents were returning to their homes and we started making our evening plans. G.R. and Betty have a three bedroom cabin on five acres just outside of Nashville. There is also a pasture and small barn on their property for the two horses.
That evening we grilled burgers and whipped together some homemade peach icecream. G.R. has the old fashioned hand churn for this purpose.
You first add the following to the churn: ice, rock salt, cream, several raw eggs, a bit of sugar and some frozen peaches. Then you have new son-in-law Drew vigorously crank the mechanism for a little while. The end result was delicious and unlike anything I have had in a restaurant.
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Late afternoon it began raining, with a brief break for a few quick photos of the pasture and barn as the mist was rising. Thunder had spooked the horses so they weren't coming out of their shelter.
Soon after these were taken the rain restarted in earnest. Any plans of going downtown to see fireworks ended when tornado watches and warnings began scrolling across the TV. We settled for watching the the celebrations from D.C and Boston on G.R's 47" flat panel. That was very satisfying and much drier.