Day Three of the 2002 Great Mohican Gathering
... Dupont State Forest, Skyland Arts Cinema ...
DUPONT STATE FOREST
In 2001, we had what has been affectionately referred to, ever since, as "The Death March." Don't know, really, what all the fuss was about ... I mean a little hike of 2 miles was extended ... a bit ... what's the big deal? And whose cockamamie idea of 2 miles was that, anyway?!? Well, this year, after our Nolichucky advent'cha, even two miles might have felt like a "Death March" ... we did it anyway. Due to a little land dispute between the State & AGFA Corporation, we were forced to re-route our tour of the Falls, fording the Little River in the process, via the Corn Mill Shoals trail. We were able to break things up a bit better this year, though, doing the first three Falls in the AM - breaking for lunch - and then doing "The Death March" - mini-version - in the afternoon.
FORDING THE LITTLE RIVER
It was along this
trail, though I believe it was on the return trip, that I learned of the
criminal activity going on within our group! Shocking as this was, it came as no
surprise, really. After all, the culprit was a New Yorker! Here's what occurred
... Seems, on the day previous, one of these Gatherers celebrated a birthday.
Out on a little joyride - during down time! - the vehicle passed a little
rundown, and apparently closed, produce stand. Growing amongst the weeds
overrunning the place, were some beautiful blue flowers - the name of which
escapes me now. Screeching to a halt, the lady of the vehicle bounded out and
delightfully picked a few, in recognition of her celebration. Can you believe
the audacity? PICKING FLOWERS, of all things! From out in front of a ramshackle
old shack, no less! What's a Mohican Gathering organizer to do? Luckily, we
won't have to make that call, as the North Carolina State Flower Patrol was
quick to react to this threat! A big old, late model, Cadillac pulled up. A
well-dressed elderly woman emerged stoically. "You ought to be ashamed of
yourself," she sternly scolded. "Don't you know any better? Harrumph!"
Sheepishly, the embarrassed - though hardly remorseful - Gatherer peeped,
"But it's my birthday!' The flowers flitted to the ground. "YOU OUGHT
TO KNOW BETTER, BY GOD!" And the Flower Patrol official wrote down the
license plate number of this criminal's vehicle and proceed to turn it over to the police. Now, this is
important! In a time of terrorist plots - when a plane flying overhead can now
be considered trouble - one must carefully keep an eye on
flower-pickers! The police need this sort of thing. The mood within the vehicle
took a turn for the worse. As they sped off with reckless abandon, wheels
screeching, they wondered, "Should we flee? The County? Maybe the State,
even? Or, the COUNTRY?" "Omigod!" They sped along, not able to
come to grips with the atrocity they had committed, when, all of a sudden, they
saw it. A police car! "Omigod!!" There was but one thing to do! Out
race it!!! "Catch me, dead or alive!" No, only kidding. This Gatherer
did what any other self-respecting Gatherer would do ... She turned herself in.
Pulling up to the patrol car, she feebly admitted, "I picked some
BRIDAL VEIL FALLS
SKYLAND ARTS CINEMA: The MOVIE
Way back at the First Gathering, in 1998, we ran the movie at the McDowell Twin Cinema in Marion. Some of the locals joined us for the screening, and among them were Barbara & Scottie Willis. These two are listed in the credits of The Last of the Mohicans under "Hair." Accompanying them to the theater were 4 or 5 photo albums chock full of photographs they had taken, off the set, during their months working with the production company. This remains the best collection of Mohicans photos I have ever seen, and the 1998 Gatherers relished every one of them as they stood, for hours, in the parking lot perusing the albums.
That was the last Mohican Gatherings saw of those photos ... till this year. Scottie showed up, albums AND framed prints, in tow. He appeared at the movie theater and then accompanied us for most of the next day at Linville Gorge.
Sadly, Barbara had passed away suddenly during this past year. One of her last requests, Scottie told me, was for Scottie to bring the photos back to the Mohican Gathering this year. Can you believe that?!? And, he did, distributing some to gleeful Gatherers at the movie theater, and promising to show up at the Post Office to lend me the photos for scanning & inclusion on this web site! Photo at left, of DDL, is but one of this extraordinary collection!
FOR MORE OF THESE SPECTACULAR PHOTOS, SEE: HAIR DRESSERS' PHOTO GALLERY
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