I've really learned to listen to the little voice that sometimes whispers inside my head. This past Saturday, it screamed. Who would have ever thought I'd find so many links for my tale in Lynchburg? But there I was in the hilly city attending Paraquest. There were three events I wanted to attend, yet I didn't attend any of them. One speaker cancelled and a spontaneous distraction took up a couple of hours.
We registered on-site, attended three other sessions and then broke for lunch. Rather than eat the usual catered Holiday Inn cold-cut fare, we chose to explore Lynchburg's Main Street in search of a restaurant. A local advised us to walk a couple of blocks to the right. Except for some workers blocking part of the sidewalk, and the happy homeless, the streets were desolate. If there was a business, it was closed, but mostly there were empty storefronts.
I saw a sushi buffet for $5.99, but my fellow companions said they didn't eat bait. They probably did me a huge favor. Ahead was a bustling restaurant, Market At Main -- a warm, comfortable establishment that has a long counter with stools, booths, and tables. With such a huge and diversified menu it was hard to choose something. I went with their duo pick-two -- a trio of hummus with warm pita points and tuna salad on a bed of lettuce. It was only $5.99 and the portion was not a stripped down version. I will definitely go back if I find myself in Lynchburg again.
Lunch took a little longer than the hour. The next speaker would already be underway, and the following one we wanted to see wasn't showing up, so I asked if anyone wanted to come with me to check out the Legacy Museum. It's been on my research list for a couple of months now, and since we had already traveled to Lynchburg it would save me another trip. There's an exhibit going on now "Trouble Don't Las' Always." I was interested in seeing up close and personal remnants from African American Life in Central Virginia during and after the Civil War 1860-1890. Looking at pictures is one thing, reading words another, but seeing and handling three-dimensional artifacts is a whole other thing...a really good thing.
Although the museum is only 7 blocks away from the Holiday Inn, we were advised to take the car and not walk as I thought we would. There's a reason Lynchburg is called the hill city and those seven blocks were all uphill. We were the only car in the tiny parking lot of the small museum which is housed in a beautifully refurbished Victorian home. We rang and bell and was greeted with a smiling face and an "I was expecting you" after she asked if I had called earlier in the week. I had.
For me, what the museum lacked in size, was made up for in its exhibits. I read everything I saw and took plenty of pictures.
I also picked up a list of additional recommended books. You know, I keep thinking, "I'm almost done" researching, but clearly, the universe has other plans, one of which was to direct us to visit the Old City Cemetery. We had seen it after parking and wondered if we could walk in there through this gate.
The museum worker told us to drive up the block and into the cemetery. As we drove to the visitor's center we were surprised at how large and pretty it was. I had never heard of this cemetery before I printed out a Google map of the route from the hotel to the museum. It's a very popular place. We joked there were more live people in here than down Main Street. We even saw a bridal party and guests in one location.
While we were there I discovered what I never imagined would be, but what I needed. I cannot elaborate as it's going to play an important part in my book. I wish we had had more time to explore Old City Cemetery, but we had to get back to the conference. Here are just a couple of shots.
I didn't see as much as I would have liked, but what I did see was what I was meant to see, and I thank the little voice that nudged me there.
"Keep yo' eye on de sun
See how she run
Don't let her catch you
with your work undone
I'm a troubled,
I'm a troubled,
Trouble don't las'always."
Aint that the truth...