On this day, we had no plans.  As I mentioned earlier, my niece Melanie is in the process of packing her house up for sale and moving and so she was having a garage sale on this day to avoid having to move certain things.  We went over to her house to supervise or at least stay out of the way.  It turned off pretty hot and so I stayed out of sight in the shade or inside the house but she managed to make a few hundred dollars and offload some large things.  Al was preparing to head back to Jonesboro, AR to start a new job and so we filled a small trailer with some things for him to use in the new house and then we were off to lunch. 

I’m lucky that Melanie doesn’t hate me; I was mean to her when we were kids and it’s probably mostly due to the forgiveness of Jesus Christ that she is OK with me now.  Otherwise I’m sure there would be grudges.  Thankfully, we’re beyond all that.

I learned something interesting about North Carolina (and perhaps the entire southeast): they like their hotdogs.  We ate at a place called “Jones Lunch” which is an old diner from the 1950s that is still in business where Tom’s cowboy music group occasionally plays in the evenings.  They are alleged to have the best hotdogs in town and rather than simply put a wienie in a bun, they have these special wieners they buy that are bright red.  Then they put all sorts of stuff on them including coleslaw.  They were indeed good but I have never before gone to a restaurant that sold hotdogs to anybody but little kids who won’t eat anything else.  Even then I’ve never seen anybody put anything on a hotdog other than mustard or ketchup and occasionally chili.

We mainly just hung around that day; I only have enough shorts and T-shirts for a few days so rather than go buy new ones we did a bit of laundry. 

That evening we went to a picnic with Tom and Darla hosted by Tom’s cowboy music group.  I think they all attend the cowboy church but I’m not sure.  At any rate these are several people who like the old-time cowboy music.  Kind of like country and western but without the country.  In other words without the modern rock overtones.  These are all acoustic songs about cowboys, cattle, roping, riding, the open range, and a good deal of common sense. 

These people are about the most friendly I have ever met.  Within moments of arriving, I genuinely felt like I was one of the family.  They’re all “horsey” people; they all ride horses daily and live their lives around them.  The host lived in a small house on a large piece of beautiful property where they could all meet and ride.  His house was very cowboy-like with his saddle on a sawhorse right by the front door where it was convenient, horseshoes to hang his hat on, and everything else appropriately western in style. 

They played a few songs outside under the trees until the heat drove us inside, and then they sang some more.  The host had uncovered an old, almost-forgotten Disney cartoon called “Pecos Bill” on VHS and so this was shown and enjoyed by all.  Most everybody in the room could remember seeing it as kids and were delighted to see it again.  Somehow I missed out on all the cowboy stuff as a kid and so this was actually the first time I had ever seen Roy Rogers on the TV.  But then I never was much of a TV kid and I was always into the space program and that sort of thing.

After dinner and returning home, we packed up to head for the coast.