Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Oldest Town in Tennessee

I recently took a two-day "girl's" trip to Jonesborough Tennessee.  The weather couldn't have been more perfect. Temperatures were in the mid 80's accompanied by a lovely breeze.

It’s funny.  I’ve made many treks to this little historical town over the years.  Most trips take place during the National Storytelling Festival when the town is filled with hundreds of people, including well-known storytelling professionals who are invited to be featured tellers during the festival.  Many additional storytellers (and listeners) learn from the masters and enjoy a delightful three-day weekend filled with stories.

This trip was different.  It was a friend’s first visit to this lovely historical town.  We planned to enjoy a storyteller-in-residence concert and take in some of the essence of historical Jonesborough. 

It’s easy to become engrossed in the town’s history minus several thousand people gathered for a storytelling festival.  I didn’t need to worry about rushing off to one of many storytelling tents around town, afraid I would miss out on a good story or favorite storyteller.  Instead I concentrated solely on appreciating a few of Jonesborough’s own stories and significant architecture preserved from the past.   

We took in the 'storyteller-in-residence' concert with Liz Weir, a great storyteller from Ireland.  She was delightful, as I knew she would be.  It wasn’t her first trip here.  I enjoyed her a few years ago when she was featured during the National Storytelling Festival.   

We enjoyed a free music concert (held each Friday evening) on the square, in front of the old courthouse.  It was amazing the number of people who turned out to hear the music of Blue Mother Tupelo.  I can only imagine the crowds this concert must draw before summer vacation ends.  
Thanks to the kind ladies at the Visitor’s Center, we took a self-guided walking tour of historical buildings in the main part of town, followed by a personalized tour led by local storyteller, Jules, as she told us local stories from the past.  

I look  forward to returning next year.  I yearn to absorb another weekend of small town culture and history.