It’s been one of those weeks. I had to prepare for some meetings at the church. Helen (adorable wife) had been in Charleston with the grandchildren and left me with all the housework (just kidding). Other than that there wasn’t a lot happening and I needed some activity to report to the thousands of Easin’ Along readers eagerly anticipating this week’s post.
On Wednesday there was a report that a movie that is currently being filmed in Knoxville was planning to film a few scenes in Market Square downtown. The movie is titled “Dog Years” and stars Burt Reynolds, Ariel Winter, and Chevy Chase. As anyone could imagine our Scruffy Little City is all atwitter about this, so I thought I would drift up to Market Square to see if I could spot a few stars.
As a side note, there was a casting call for this movie several weeks ago and anyone interested in being an extra was invited to come to a shopping mall on a Sunday afternoon and apply. Well, I couldn’t resist an opportunity for my big show biz break so I went. I was certain that they would pick me out of the crowd as a perfect stand-in for Burt. The line was three hours long. When I got to the end of the line, the production crew took my picture and my phone number. They smiled and said “Don’t call us. We’ll call you.” They must have lost my number.
Back at Market Square, the movie crew had moved on and the stars were somewhere else doing star stuff. I was disappointed to be sure, but I was also hit with a blast of blogger’s good luck. Today was the day for the Farmer’s Market on Market Square and the vendors were setting up for a big day. It was a little early, but I thought I would hang around and see what would be in the offing. That decision produced a lot of fun.
There are three basic types of vendors at the Market. There are the produce farmers who bring in the fruits of their labor from the farms in the area. There are vendors who bring in food products to sell like baked goods, honey, sauces, and salsa are a few examples. Then there are the retail vendors (jewelry, clothing, art) who always have interesting wares. Each vendor has a space that is approximately 10’ by 10’ or multiples of that as one bakery there did on this day.
It was a bit early so I walked through the middle of the market to see what looked interesting. I made a note of the large cookies being offered by one of the bakeries, and some great looking bread by another. I also noticed some beautiful beets and onions on display by a vegetable farmer. Later, when I looked at the picture taken I noticed that “beets” was misspelled on his sign. Oh well, bloggers need to spell beets not farmers, and I can assure this farmer that growing them pays better.
I took a seat at an iron picnic table at one end of the market and waited for the crowd to gather. A couple of street musicians that went by the name “Outlaw Ritual” were warming up nearby. The tip jar was empty, but the music was good. The tall tattooed lady playing the bass was really getting into her art. I gave her the name Tallulah…
My seat gave me a front row view of all the action going on at the fountain between Tallulah and me. Things were slow at first, but not long after I sat down, two little boys walked cautiously up to the fountain. Their Mom was standing to the side in rapt attention and very quickly, with no prompting; one of the boys ran headlong through the fountain – clothes and all. His brother followed. It was such a joy. I took pictures as quickly as I could focus the camera and one of them is featured at the top of this post. The Mom was good enough to give me the boy’s names so, to Trip and Raylin, thanks for the show…I loved every minute.
By now the office workers and downtown residents were filling the market so I decided to walk through the crowd to see what was selling. Tallulah and her Outlaw were being splashed by a couple of energetic youngsters the fountain. They decided to go make music somewhere else.
I walked slowly back toward the other end of the market. Cookies seemed to be selling well and I decided that I better dive in before they were all gone. I bought two large chocolate chip and two chewy ginger cookies. The ginger cookies smelled great and I couldn’t resist. I got Bob the Baker to pose for the camera. He was kind enough to permit me, but he was being swamped.
Dogs aren’t allowed in the market unless they are marked as service animals or are small enough to be carried by their owners. Several service animals were around and well behaved but, there was one small Pomeranian that captivated everyone. I got his young owner to calm “Foxy” long enough to have his picture taken. It seemed that Foxy would have preferred an air conditioned kennel over the hubbub, but his owner wasn’t ready to forgo the attention.
I arrived at the other end of the market. Tallulah and company had set up there and brought in another Outlaw to play the fiddle. Casting a quick glance at the tip jar, I determined that it would be a while before they took a lunch break.
The crowd was getting large and I wanted to make one more pass before heading down to the Tourist Bureau and the WDVX Blue Plate Special (featured in an earlier post). Passing by the bread vendor, I was eager to learn about a variety named German Lager Bread. I asked the pretty lady about it and she explained that it was a combination of wheat and rye which gave it a little firmer texture than sandwich bread. She spoke with a European accent that sounded German though I couldn’t be sure. However, I was sure that she knew how to bake bread and picked up a loaf. She was a little reluctant to have her picture taken, but in the end she was a good sport. The bread was delicious.
Back at the fountain, the kids in bathing suits had taken over and were having a grand time, and I was sweating enough to consider joining them, but common sense prevailed. Besides, I wasn’t wearing my best boxers on this day.
On either side of the Square the pubs, cafes, taverns, and craft breweries were opening (if anyone knows the difference, please tell me in the comments section below) and beer and burgers were being consumed en masse. I love a good brew, but never before five o’clock and that was still five hours away. Nevertheless, I noticed at least one rather large gentleman who may be on a schedule different from mine. I grabbed a quick snap of his T-shirt. You can be the judge.
It was time to go. I hustled down to the Blue Plate Special in time to catch the second act and what a treat it was. Normally, the Blue Plate Special features what is called “roots” music, meaning the music that is so prevalent in our area…country, folk, bluegrass, and southern gospel. On this day we would be treated to a group named the Anderson String Quartet who would open with a classical piece by Haydn. It was beautiful. The group consisted of the Anderson Family. There was Mom (Lisa) who played violin. Mom was joined by violinists Lydia 15, Garren 14, and cellist Anna 11. Their music was outstanding and I captured a short video which I posted on the Easin’ Along Facebook page. Please take a minute and check it out.
Well, I didn’t get to meet Burt or Chevy, but hopefully they put on some dark glasses and came through the crowd at the Market. If so, their day would end up being as lucky as mine was.
I’ll be Easin’ Along.