After leaving Memphis and getting to the Knoxville area, I took a day to recover from dehydration and a long drive. Normally the long drive wouldn’t be a problem, but this time it was. I was able to stay with my brother in Dandridge, as I usually do when I am in that part of Tennessee. My second day there, my nephew took me over to Gatlinburg. I like it there and it is kind of a fun place. I played for about an hour and twenty minutes and then they started to pressure wash the Convention Center. Since that is the only place in Gatlinburg to really play, that was the end of the day there. The best part of that day, was a butterfly had hung out the entire time I was playing there. When I was done, I put my finger on the leaf and she just crawled onto it as if to say “Hello”. Later, as the day went on, I thought it might be my sister Jackie, telling me “everything is going to be just fine” Gatlinburg was good to me while I was there. It made me feel better about the previous few days.
I got over to Knoxville the next day. I spent the entire day there, playing from 1-3, 5-7:30 and then from 9:30-10:15. I saw Harley Chapeau there doing his magic tricks again, he is really good. I hung out with him during my first break. It was good to see him again. During the 5 o’clock time frame, there ended up being 8 performers in Market Square at one time. If you have ever been there, you know this is just ridiculous! Everything from a contortionist putting himself through a tennis racket to a yodeler, to 4 guitar players and Spider-Man. Who can compete with Spider-Man? Especially when he is only 20 feet away! As crowded as the Square was, it was just impossible to really do anything with all those entertainers there, most of whom have no understanding of busking etiquette. On my second break I saw my good friend Jeff, who lives there, but used to live in Savannah. It was great to catch up with him. He hung around for a little bit when I started at 9:30 and then he had to go. I took my nephew there on Saturday. It was a cool day. In addition to the Farmer’s Market, they were having a Tennessee History Fair. It was pretty cool. Again, up in Market Square, there were a few other entertainers. About 30 minutes into my set, the members from the “Union Army” started playing in the middle of the Square. So we moved to Gay St. Finally, I had a location, where there was traffic and no one else around to interfere. It went well for a while. I took a break after a couple of hours and my nephew and I walked around for a bit. Seeing they were going to start some live music in a little while, we just left. I thought there was going to be some kind of Festival in Dandridge, but either we got there too early, or people only came out to see the fireworks. My brother’s family and I went out on the lake and watched them from the boat. That was pretty cool except for the rain on the way there and on the way back. I had never seen fireworks from the water, so that was something new to me. On Sunday, my brother and I went on the lake as it has become tradition to go fishing. He caught 3, I caught 0. It didn’t really matter though, we had a great time! I left Sunday afternoon and went to Cincinnati.
My friend, Chris told me when I got there to got to the Waterfront. I was hoping to meet up with my friends George and Vicki when I got there, but they went on vacation. I went there and it is a beautiful park outside the ballpark. I wish I had got there sooner. About 30 minutes into my playing, a man, Mr Cardin, who is the Director of the Parks (or something like that) happened to be walking through with some friends. He came up to me told me I needed a permit and asked if I had one. To which I said “No.” He was very cool. Since he was entertaining friends, and he liked what I was doing, he told me to “Have a good night and if an officer comes to you, tell him I talked to you, and you should be fine. You play good music!” I was very grateful because I was doing pretty well there. Unfortunately. I was only there for an hour before it got dark. I started packing it up at twilight. It was a gorgeous tone too. The orange and pink glow from the sun on the buildings across the river, the moon hanging in the sky and a clear night- it was a perfect end to the day!