Blue Mountain - Tishomingo March 27, 2009

We got up early and walked around Blue Mountain’s pretty campus and, oddly enough, we caught ourselves whispering instead of talking in a normal tone of voice. Don’t know why, it was just the sort of place that inspired respect, I guess.
Then, we went to the library to begin researching our relatives by looking through old yearbooks and such. We were still whispering, and although it was more appropriate in the library, it turned out to be unnecessary because the librarian was deaf. Seriously. She had a dog and everything. Still, we whispered, and so did the students. Everyone whispered except the librarian. 

We put on little white gloves and began sorting through their archives. It was very interesting, but we learned that neither of our grandmothers went to Blue Mountain College. Well, that’s not really true, both of them had, quite literally, “gone to Blue Mountain.” Marian’s grandmother had gone up there, taken a test to qualify her to teach in Mississippi, and then gone home. My grandmother had gone there to visit her four sisters who really did go to school there. We both found paperwork indicating that other relatives had attended school there as well, but no grandmas. Believe it or not, it’s fairly common to find out that your family history is…how shall I put this?...a lie. Happens all the time.

We ate lunch with our new friends at Blue Mountain College: the people from the Alumni Department, the gym teacher, even the president of the college came over to our table! Every single person we met there was so nice, so incredibly friendly and helpful. Most of them had been students there, and these people seriously LOVE their alma mater. It’s a small school, and only recently began accepting men; the students all know each other, and they’re devoted to their school. It’s a Baptist college, and I’m sure it’s quite committed, but it’s a fairly relaxed atmosphere. 

After lunch, we headed to Tishomingo. There was little of interest to us in downtown Tishomingo (which, by the way, is Chickasaw for “Warrior Chief” or “Medicine Leader”), but we did buy some “made in Tishomingo” candles. We try to buy something local, especially in areas that are obviously hurting, but we had really come to Tishomingo for the outdoor sights. Our main objective was the swinging bridge in Tishomingo State Park, and it was fun. It dates to the 1930s, and it seems like I read somewhere that it was a WPA project. There are pretty stone arches at either end, and steel cables supporting the wooden bridge. Once you cross the bridge there are all sorts of hiking trails and the only real canyon in Mississippi. It’s the one place in Mississippi that offers rock climbing. 

We also visited a pioneer log cabin that sits on the bank of a stream. It had rained a good bit the day before, making the stream full and really beautiful with its waterfalls and rushing waters. There was a lot more to see in the park – that whole area of Mississippi has beautiful lakes and hills – but Marian and I weren’t really dressed for trekking. 

We took off for a fabric/quilt store near Booneville (Claude Wilemon’s Quilt Gallery), but we had trouble finding the place so we called the lady at the apron museum (who had told us about it) and got her to direct us! (We had her number on a bill of sale because I had purchased a pot holder shaped like Mississippi, with IUKA embroidered at the appropriate place. This goes with my cutting board shaped like MS that I bought in Oxford, my chip’n dip bowl shaped like MS that I bought at the Canton flea market, and my cookie cutter shaped like MS that I bought in Columbus.) Anyway, we finally found the quilt place (with the apron lady’s help), and I’ve never seen so many quilts in my life. 

At that point, Marian and I had had a full two days of traveling and it was almost dark, so we headed back to Tupelo, where Marian's husband was waiting to hear all about that apron museum.

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