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The Art of DeLand

Kathleen Walls

The town of DeLand, Florida began in 1876 when a New York businessman, Henry A. DeLand, visited and fell in love with the area. He remained there and built his home. The city was incorporated in 1882 and named in his honor. It has blossomed into a delightful place to visit. No hustle and bustle, no traffic and no parking problems create a wonderful background for dining, shopping, and relaxing. Since I visited near Halloween, it's only natural to include some ghostly fun spots. Read more

Florida Cracker Lifestyle
at Barberville Pioneer Settlement


There's a special place in West Volusia County where you can time travel. Barberville Pioneer Settlement transports you back to the turn of the century when Florida was the wild frontier. The buildings range from the late 1800s to early 1900s and present a way of life that is all but forgotten now. It's the perfect place to blend education with fun in a safe, mainly-outdoor environment. Read more.

Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center

Tom Straka

Back in 1966 a North Georgia English teacher needed a way to get his students more engaged. He gave them a chance to come up with a project that would make the course more interesting. The result was an idea for a magazine that focused on local (Southern Appalachian) folklore, tradition, and culture. The students could use their own families and the local community as a source of material. Read more.


Willie Amps it Up

Kathleen Walls

Two events happened in 1965. Country Willie – His Own Songs became Willie Nelson's first RCA Victor album leading to his success as a singer instead of just a songwriter. The same year, the Saint Augustine Amphitheater was built commemorating Saint Augustine's 400th birthday. Willie and Saint Augustine have another thing in common, being the oldest. Willie is the oldest, male, country star still performing; Saint Augustine is the oldest city in the United States and they are both still in great form. Read more.


Beaumont--Port Arthur where Music Lives

Kathleen Walls

The Beaumont, Port Arthur Metropolitan area in Texas is called the Golden Triangle in reference to the wealth that flowed in after the oil gusher at Spindletop in 1901. It includes other smaller cities such as Orange, Nederland, Groves, Port Neches, Vidor, and Lumberton, and smaller places within the area. It could also be called "Golden" in regard to the number of gold records local musicians have earned.  Read more.

Always Patsy Cline

Kathleen Walls

She was born Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932. In a life filled with much misfortune, she not only survived but became a role model for female singers and women everywhere. The words from the Helen Reddy song, I am Woman, "Yes, I've paid the price. But look how much I gained. If I have to, I can do anything." could have been written about Patsy Cline. It should not come as a surprise that one of Helen Reddy's early memories was of her grandmother singing Patsy Cline songs as she rocked little Helen in a rocking chair. Read more.

Tribute to Lum York

Kathleen Walls

On the 50th Anniversary of Hank Williams death, I had the honor to meet the man who slapped his bull fiddle for Hank's Drifting Cowboys in the 1940s.William Herbert "Lum" York, (November 16, 1918 – August 15, 2004) was a musician best known as the bass player in Hank Williams Drifting Cowboys from 1944–1949. After leaving the Drifting Cowboys, York played bass in Lefty Frizzell's band until 1953. Read more.

“The Impressionist’s Eye”
An important art exhibition in Philadelphia

By Eleanor Hendricks McDaniel

I recently visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art to view an exhibition of their extraordinary collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artworks. More than 80 important pieces by the masters of those avant-garde movements can be seen in the media of painting, sculpture and works on paper. Read more.

Legacy of The Man in Black: Johnny Cash Museum

Kathleen Walls

One of the greatest musicians of our time is memorialized in a museum in downtown Nashville. Only a handful of musicians have left as large a footprint on Country Music as Johnny Cash. The Johnny Cash Museum is rated number one music museum in the world and a must-see by Forbes, Conde'  Naste, and National Geographical Traveler. Read more.


Gallup, New Mexico’s Tangible Tourism (Part 2)

Renée S. Gordon

New Mexico’s current state flag was adopted in 1925 as the result of a contest won by an archeologist. His design interprets the state’s history, culture, artistic traditions and the currents of spirituality that permeate the state. A design, pictured in the flag’s center, was found on a clay pot crafted by a woman from Zia Pueblo, New Mexico and represents the sacred Sun. Read more.

The Other Side of Corinth

Kathleen Walls

We all recognize Corinth as a history center. Its Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center detailing the Battle of Corinth and its importance in the Civil War is the first thing most of us think when we hear Corinth mentioned. I do love visiting those spots but here is another side of Corinth that makes it a fun place to visit. Read more.

Hidden Gem in Middle Tennessee

Kathleen Walls

Did you know there are hidden treasures in Middle Tennessee? I discovered a few in Perry County recently. If you're driving across Tennessee from Memphis to Nashville, Perry County  is a gem. Stop over and explore. Read more.

Gallup, New Mexico’s Tangible Tourism

Renée S. Gordon

A postal clerk once told me that I needed to pay international postage to mail a letter to New Mexico. She was surprised, as many people are, to learn that it gained statehood in 1912, has a documented history that spans thousands of years and is literally a microcosm of southwestern history. It benefits from the unique characteristic of featuring tangible sites and offering immersive activities that bring the history, arts and events to life in fresh and exciting ways. Read more.

The Great New Mexico Green Chili Cheeseburger

Anne Jenkins

Travel with a purpose makes it more exciting, fun and interesting, whether you're on an antique junket, looking for art or exploring local food. If you ask a group of New Mexicans where to find the best green chile cheese burger, you better have time for a long discussion. Read more


Washington DC, America's Pulse

Renee S. Gordon

President George Washington surveyed and chose a location on the Potomac River to become the permanent site of the nation's capital and the 1790 Residence Act made his dream a reality. He commissioned Pierre L'Enfant to design the city. L'Enfant  tired for one-year then he abandoned the project taking his plans with him. Benjamin Banneker, a free African American, recreated those plans from memory so that the work could continue.
 Read more


Asbury Park, New Jersey Rocks On!

Renee S. Gordon

The thing about Icons is that we somehow expect them to be arrested in time and evoke our feelings In the same way forever.  They do not disappoint and they certainly do not succumb to the lure of changing times.  This can prove daunting for artists, structures and, most of all, cities. Asbury Park, New Jersey has managed to strike the perfect balance between memory and modernization, retro and revitalization and is a wonderful destination for families, group or solo getaways, beach lovers and music aficionados.Read more

Stories from OregonTrail

Anne Jenkins

Three covered wagons on Oregon TrailStories from the Oregon Trail enthrall, terrify or impress with their perserverance and strong sense of hope. People from all walks of life packed up their belongings, loaded wagons and walked thousands of miles over months in search of a better life. A great place to get an inkling of what it all entailed is at the National Oregon Trail Interpretive Center on the outskirts of Baker City in Easter Oregon. This is a truly impressive display in the form of a life size diorama depicting what life was like on the trail. They do a fabulous job of keeping this history alive with events and exhibits. You can even take part in a Ride the Ruts once a year – think of taking your bicycle along the wagon wheel ruts left behind after all these years. Read more

Detroit's Musical Heritage

by Kathleen Walls

Say "Detroit" and any music lover will think "Motown." Yes, Motown is a big part of Detroit's musical history but it's not the whole story. Not by a long shot.  Blues and Jazz were part of Detroit.  Rock and Roll is mixed in and even a touch of Country. I visited recently and explored Detroit's culturally diverse musical background. Read more 

Father of BeBop: Dizzy Gullispie 

By Kathleen Walls 
Cheraw, South Carolina is noted for many things but for music fans one stands out. It's the home of Dizzy Gillespie. John Birks Gillespie was born here on October 21, 1917. His childhood had a few bumps in the road. He father, who was a brick layer and part time musician, died when Gillespie was only ten. Read more


Road Tripping Georgia's I-75 Corridor

gas station with car and welcome to Georgia signA road trip down Georgia’s I-75 from Tennessee to Florida offers lots of fun stops along the way. Navigating I-75 through Georgia can be a nightmare. Or it can be fun. The difference is in finding good food and interesting attractions with convenient stops en-route. Read more

Shotskis, Winter Olympics and Art, oh my!

by Anne Jenkins

Early in October you're standing among hundreds on a historic Main Street watching two long lines of enthusiatic citizens, in groups of three. Each group is holding up a ski with three attached shot glasses topped up with whisky, all trying to drink it at the same time. Pinch yourself, you're in Utah. Park City, to be exact, and they're engaged in a friendly rivalry with Breckenridge, Colorado to see who can get in to the Guiness Book of Records in 2018 for the “Shotski Challenge”. Park City won. Breckenridge swears to rise to the challenge in 2019. Everyone has a grand time and lots of money is raised for local charities. Read more

Chuckwagon Roundup

Cajun Food: A Way of Life in Lafayette

by Kathleen Walls

Food is an intricate part of Cajun culture. Café Vermillionville, (circa 1835) was built as an inn for salesmen in Lafayette then named Vermillionville. During a Union occupation during the Civil war supposedly a Cajun shot a Union soldier for making advances at the man's wife. Rumors claim the old build is still haunted by the soldier as well a young female ghost. Read more

Art Trails

Oregon Trail

by Anne Jenkins  

Three covered wagons on Oregon TrailStories from the Oregon Trail enthrall, terrify or impress with their perserverance and strong sense of hope. People from all walks of life packed up their belongings, loaded wagons and walked thousands of miles over months in search of a better life. A great place to get an inkling of what it all entailed is at the National Oregon Trail Interpretive Center on the outskirts of Baker City in Easter Oregon.  Read more Museum Row

Detroit Institute of Arts

By Kathleen Walls
Detroit Institute of ArtsDetroit Institute of Arts is filled with more than 65,000 pieces of art from the earliest civilizations to the present day housed in over 100 galleries. A visitor from outer space could spend a day, or more, at the museum and come away with a pretty complete understanding of world history. Read more   

 Detroit's Musical Heritage                           

By Kathleen Walls

Say "Detroit" and any music lover will think "Motown." Yes, Motown is a big part of Detroit's musical history but it's not the whole story. Not by a long shot.  Blues and Jazz were part of Detroit.  Rock and Roll is mixed in and even a touch of Country. I visited recently and explored Detroit's culturally diverse musical background. Read more  

St. Simons: 
A Georgia Barrier Island Bursting With Charm

by Christine Tibbets

King and Prince Hotel on St. Simons Island Barrier islands distinguish Georgia’s coast.Their geography’s interesting to know, and to see up close. What’s happening on the one named St. Simons Island is robust, ever changing while holding on to historic charms. The tides here are distinctive; consider them metaphor for beachfront lodging, expansive culinary, bustling downtown and personal ways to delve into the history.
Read more          

Home is Where the Heart is

By Kathleen Walls

One of the most iconic names in country music history is Patsy Cline. She was the first female artist inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She was one of the first country music singers to have a big crossover hit. "Walkin' After Midnight" reached No. 2 on the country chart and No. 12 on the pop chart. When she was featured on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scout she topped out the applause meter.  Other songs that will always recall Patsy Cline, no matter who the cover artist is, are "I Fall to Pieces" and "Crazy."
Read more

A Fistful of Art

by Anne Jenkins  

Public art not only beautifies an area or town, it also draws visitors. And in the U.S. Western states public art is very much focused on it's identity and history. This makes a fascinating, interesting and fun way to discover more about places, big or small. Read More

Experience Philadelphia’s Aloft Hotel Music Scene

by Renee S. Gordon

On June 13th Aloft Hotels, Marriott International’s brand for music lovers and music makers, and Universal Music Group & Brands (UMGB), the world leader in music-based entertainment, partnered to craft an innovative approach to combining a trendy vacation and designer accommodations, with a unique “live” soundtrack. Blend in the 2018 edition of Aloft Hotels’ Artist Discovery Competition, Project Aloft Star, a five-city tour showcasing UMG’s rising artists and you have an experience to remember.Read more.
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