Weaving Family Ties

Thursday, March 22, 2012 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Charlotte, NC to Greensboro, NC

As we love to do when traveling, we grabbed the opportunity to visit family members for the last couple of days.  In Charlotte, we spent an interesting day and a half with Ken's mother, Erika.

Though we know better than to publish a lady's age, suffice it to say, she has observed many changes in her lifetime.  She was born ten weeks after the 19th Amendment won approval, guaranteeing women's suffrage, and two months after the National Football League was founded.  Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, died when Erika was two years old, and now she communicates via e-mail.
We mustered up the courage to play a game of Rummikub with her, even though we can usually anticipate the outcome.  She calculates and maneuvers and strategizes until suddenly she has laid her last tile and the game is over, just when we thought we might have a chance.  And, as happens so often, this time she won again.
Hard to win against the Rummikub master
Leaving Charlotte, we drove to Greensboro to interrupt the weekly routine of Ken's sister Marion, her daughter Heather, and granddaughter Emma.  While our car went through a routine service at the local Acura dealer, Marion graciously swept us up and took us to lunch at a legendary North Carolina Triad restaurant.  Returning us to the service department just as our car was released,  she was off to pick up Emma from school and drive her to a piano lesson. Later we all met at Marion's for some tasty Thai take-out and a tad of talking time together.  Tomorrow we'll move on to Lynchburg, Virginia, on our way to Richmond.
On the way from Charlotte to Greensboro, we stopped in the charming town of Salisbury to search for some brilliant letterboxes by North Carolina boxer, Mama Wolf.  Salisbury (population 33,663) has established a fine record of historic preservation, and the downtown area appears to be thriving.

Part of downtown Salisbury mural
Covering the side of a downtown bank building is a 130 x 50 foot mural depicting life in Salisbury around 1900.  Commissioned by a local art guild, the painting, Crossroads:  Past Into Present, features more than 150 Salisbury residents from the past and present dressed in period costume.  In fact, one of the primary means of raising funds for the mural's upkeep is offering locals a dash of immortality by having themselves added to the scene— for just a small fee, of course.  What a way to preserve your place in history!