Leaving Rotary Recycle, we continued north through Tennessee’s rolling hills and cotton fields, through Nashville and into Kentucky. We had debated (very briefly) stopping in Nashville to see a few of the sights, but neither of us is even slightly interested in country music or country singers. Consequently the level of enthusiasm for stopping was rather less than it would have been for hitting one’s thumb with a hammer – in others words, not very high at all ! Our Kentucky target was the town of Paducah located at the juncture of the Ohio and Tennessee rivers, and it is as close to being the quilting capital of the USA as one is likely to get as it is the home of the National Quilt Museum ! A friend of mine in Toronto has expressed surprise that such a place actually exists, or that anyone (me for example) would actually want to go to such a place – he probably won’t eat Quiche either ! Putting aside the fact that I generally go where ever SWMBO’d tells me, the fact is modern-day quilting at the higher levels is an art form, rather than being a means to make something to keep you warm at night. Some of the examples produced within the past 20 years or so are really quite amazing to look at, and in many cases may have taken years to complete. The museum has about 200 quilts on display, made by women – and a few men – from around the world, and they have been indexed in an on-line format here.
At the moment, the museum is featuring a special exhibit of WWII quilts. These include many quilts that were made to be auctioned off as a part of fund-raising efforts in communities during the war, as well as quilts made to be distributed by agencies such as the Red Cross either to civilians or to service people overseas. There was actually a Canadian made Red Cross quilt, suitable for a child, which had been originally distributed in England and was now a part of the collection, which has been pulled together by Sue Reich who also researches and gives lectures about quilt making history. It is quite a moving, as well as interesting display. If you like art – and especially if you like quilts – recommended !
Continuing north through Illinois, Missouri and Iowa the ground levels out, the cotton fields give way to fields of corn, and grain, and the trees start to disappear as you enter the central plains and prairies. Along the way, we made a small detour into Nebraska and the city of Omaha to drop in and see the folks at Dillon Brothers Motorsports which is whom I normally order my Suzuki parts from. As I’ve commented previously a few times here, the prices for parts from Suzuki Canada are often (not always – you do have to check) double what the exact same parts are sold for by Suzuki in America. I think Suzuki Canada’s behaviour is borderline criminal, but that’s life – I just don’t feel obliged to support them, and so have purchased several thousand dollars worth of parts, mainly from Dillon Brothers, in the US over the past couple of years. Even after adding in the costs of shipping and brokerage fees I have saved a bundle over what it would have cost me to deal with Suzuki Canada resellers.
Of course, when buying items over the internet, you always have a nagging thought at the back of your mind, as to whether the outfit is just a couple of unshaven guys sitting there in their underwear amid piles of empty beer cans and operating out of their basement, or whether it is actually a ‘reputable’ company, hence the slight detour to just take a quick look ! I’m pleased to say, Dillon Brothers has quite a nice facility so hopefully they will weather the current economic squeeze and continue in business for as long as I need parts !
We are starting to get close to home – just a few more stops !