This morning we went to church at
Calvary Chapel Beckley
in Beckley, West Virginia. I counted only about 14 people in the
church including us. I didn't see any kids, but they may have been
off in another room. We met the pastor, Ed, his assistant, Gary,
and several ladies, including Cindy, who gave us lots of advice
about things to see in the area.
After lunch, we visited
a gift shop, conference center, restaurant, and theater that
showcases handmade West Virginia art. We saw lots of wood,
glass, quilts, paintings, and photographs. We didn't buy anything.
We were glad we'd eaten elsewhere, because although the food looked
wonderful, all of it violated our food allergies.
The highlight of our visit to Tamarack was a live big band concert. The
Smoot Theater House Band from Parkersburg was holding a free concert
in Tamarack's auditorium. The band consisted of about five each
saxes, trombones, and trumpets, plus a small rhythm section.
They ranged in age from under 30 to old enough to have played with
the Glenn Miller orchestra! They were mostly band instructors and
other music teachers from the local school systems. I don't have
the flier with me right now, but they played an hour's worth of
standards including When I Fall In Love, In The Mood, The Nearness
Of You, and One Note Samba. They also played a couple of more
modern swing pieces written by big band arrangers. They ended with
a "patriotic" medley (which, to our consternation, included both
Dixie and Yankee Doodle) and a sing-along of America the Beautiful.
Later in the afternoon, we visited the
Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine.
This is a real mine that was in use until about 100 years ago,
and you can ride a real mine car into it. They talk about what
kind of light the miners used, and they demonstrate different
kinds of candle and fire light. They also talk about how the
mining is actually done, and various tools that have been used
over the years, from quite primitive ones to more modern ones
that look like large chainsaws. In addition to the mine, the
site includes real houses, shanties, churches, and other buildings
moved here from mining camps around the state.
Early in the evening, we tried to find our way to the New River
Gorge, billed as the "grand canyon of the east." We found the
New River and a bridge over it, but I think we missed the best
of it somehow. We had been advised to visit a place called
Grandview, but that was the wrong direction so we tried to see
the gorge from a different place. Oh, well. We were very tired
and we turned in early at the little town of Burnsville in a
very worn-down and overpriced motel. It was a bad night because
the A/C did not work and neither of us could sleep.