A snippet of the piece I wrote about the Love Valley Rock Festival for The Believer’s music issue is online—right here—and of course I’m unreasonably excited about it. The full story is in the magazine, which should be out soon, or I guess is out now if your local bookmonger restocks magazines on a Sunday. The image above (which I first saw here while researching) is from the festival’s program and no one I talked to for the story could remember who drew it or printed it or where it came from, which seemed pretty apt. Here are photos a UPI stringer shot at the festival and posted online a couple years ago; this one, where the crowd recedes all the way up the hill until they’re just tiny bits against the sky and the treeline, is my favorite. It was such an enormous, beautiful mess and it was so fun to write about.
Love this. Want to eat it all!
Fun fact: I wrote most of this while sitting on Joe’s bed in his apartment in North Carolina while he packed up books and clothes to send back to Atlanta because HE IS COMING TO LIVE WITH ME BEGINNING NEXT WEEK.
I wrote this (and also this) while sitting in a ginormous, mountain-view room at The Grove Park Inn in Asheville late last week. Things like this happen, apparently, when you agree to be a panelist/mentor at Hatch Fest.
Other things happen: You go to mandatory networking events and meet college students filming totally self-funded documentaries about Haiti, and friends of your friends in Atlanta who work on Frontline; you ride giant, purple-painted converted schoolbusses around the city at midnight with drunk creative-types; you eat at least five pastries at catered breakfasts and sit at a big table with college kids and talk so much you miss your previously-scheduled Moog Factory tour; you get roped into drinking champagne out of coffee mugs and getting a massage at the hospitality suite in a yoga studio half an hour before your panel; you sit up in your tall director chair on stage with people you can’t believe you only just met the night before, all of them so smart and so ridiculously passionate about what they do, and you can’t stop dropping your damn water bottle because your shoulders are so loose and everything feels weirdly right in a way it hasn’t in a while.
I had to leave the festival early—I moved this weekend—and when I opened my door on Saturday morning at 7:30 the front page of the local paper proclaimed that the President and Michelle Obama would be vacationing in Asheville in a week and staying at Grove Park. Down in the lobby, I turned over my keys and the woman behind the desk asked how my stay was; “Wonderful,” I told her. “I’m sure the Obamas will enjoy it too!” She had no idea what I was talking about. I had to show her the paper. She’s going to have a busy week, I imagine.
Tomorrow in Asheville, N.C. I will be speaking on my first-ever “panel” (my first, at least, not organized by the Office of Admissions at Oglethorpe University and not involving lots of overeager high-school seniors and nervous parents). It’s part of Hatch Fest, which promises to be very very fun, and it’s about the role of niche media in the digital age. Hopefully I will have decided whether I want to pronounce that word as “neech” or “neesh” by then.
Eng and Chang earned money by giving lectures and demonstrations throughout the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe. In fact, entries in their travel-expense journal, documents that they visited the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in October, 1834. In their far-flung travels, Eng and Chang became such popular celebrities during the 1830s that their promotion as “Siamese twins” were terms that were universally employed to describe connected or conjoined twins.
By the late 1830s, Eng and Chang tired of all their traveling, opting then to settle in North Carolina. There the brothers married two sisters, Adelaide and Sarah Yates of Wilkes County. The sisters were of European ancestry and were neither twins nor connected themselves. The couples were married in 1843 and would ultimately produce 21 children between the two families. Eng and Chang died in January, 1874, at the age of 63. Chang preceded Eng in death by about two and a half hours.
I just watched the episode of Antiques Roadshow where the granddaughter of Chang Bunker brings in the double-width chair that had been in her grandparents’ home for her grandfather and his brother to sit on. There was one at Eng’s house, also. The brothers would split their time between their two homes, the two sisters—a few day’s with one’s wife, a few days with the other. They lived in Wilkesboro, N.C. and are buried in Mt. Airy, and WIkipedia says they owned slaves which I didn’t believe at first but seems to be true.
I’ve just had a quarter-glass of red wine and this is absolutely blowing my mind. We live in this world!