Friday, April 17, 2009

Decided late yesterday, that if we were in fact going to do so, today was the day to visit the tourist attraction formerly known as Confederama.

So- headed out a little before 11, stopped by the post office, started driving toward Chattanooga. As we neared Monteagle, L. expressed a desire for food. Tried to find some in Monteagle, finally spotted a bbq place behind a gas station, went in, sat down, started perusing the menu. Some minutes passed. More people arrived, sat at counter, table, still no sign of waitstaff. Some minutes passed. Eventually a middle aged lady emerged from the back & started chatting with the guy at the counter. Then she did some organizational things by the register for a couple of minutes. When she started taking the drink orders of the other people who had arrived after us, we left.

Tried to find another bbq place in South Pittsburgh, home of the Pirates. Couldn't find it, L. called, number disconnected. Returned to downtown South Pittsburgh, observed Mexican place, Italian place, people sprucing up the old movie theater for the coming cornbread festival. L. asked, "Do you live around here?" Man painting trim said, "Nope." L asked, "Do you know of anywhere good to eat in this town?" MPT said, "What are you in the mood for? You like Mexican, Italian?" L. said, "We saw those, we want something else." Other man painting said, "The are a couple bbq places up around the corner." L. said "Walking distance?" OMP said. "Yep."

We quite liked the Dixie Freeze, waitstaff friendly & attentive.

Before leaving South Pittsburgh, we acquired a couple knickknacks & learned that 60-80000 people were expected at next weekend's cornbread festival.

From there, a short trip to Lookout Mountain, L. had learned of the existence of the Incline Railway yesterday & as it would deposit us within easy walking distance of the former Confederama, I had no objection. In the front of the car, very loud Indian family, phones, cameras, a lot of loud friendly talk.

On the way up, someone dropped a camera & the people below kindly recovered it & its battery & passed them back up. "Still working?" "Yes, thank you."

OK, so, Confederama: went into the gift shop, no one behind the counter to sell tickets to the spectacle. Walked over by the theater, staff lady poked out of the utility closet. "Show's about to start!" L: "Could you sell us tickets?" Lady: "No!" & disappeared into the utility closet.

After a while, she emerged & sold us tickets & we went into the very dark auditorium, the show not yet having started. Occasional speaker pops, eyes slowly adjusted to the dark, could vaguely make out a profile of a much scaled down Lookout Mountain.

Older southern man behind us suddenly asked, "Where you folks from?" Wondered if he was talking to us until some lady, also behind us, responded. She had a young boy with her, who when asked if he knew what this was about by the older gentleman promptly answered, "The Civil War." "The Late Unpleasantness, can't see that there was much civil about it." & on & on. More speaker pops. The house lights came up revealing the large battlefield diorama, which, with the addition of sound, light & narrative, constitutes the attraction as such, then suddenly went out again.

Voice from the utility closet, "I've already tried resetting it eleven times!" "I don't even know if these breakers are on or off!" And so forth. Lights on and just as suddenly off again, speaker pops, hum from a different speaker.

Older gentleman to family, "If you're going through Atlanta, you ought to see..."

Young boy, interrupting, "I know, the Golden King, I've already been, you don't get to actually see his body, just his stuff..."

Older gentleman, "That's not what I was going to suggest. I was going to suggest seeing Cyclorama, much better than this, life size figurines of Civil War soldiers, there's one scene where a Union soldier is holding a dying Confederate, you see, they found out, it was his brother..."

Lady, "That happened a lot."

Older gentleman, "Yes, and you know if a soldier from one side wounded another & then found that he was a fellow Freemason, he would rush & tend to him, there's a lot to be said for Freemasonry..."

Lights on, off, pops & hiss, dim light on the profile of Lookout Mountain.

Staff's voices from without, "Yes, I've already tried turning it off & leaving it off for a few minutes." "Couldn't some of this stuff be moved to the back?" Lights on, off. Etc., etc.

Eventually the cost of our tickets was refunded & we took a walk around the nearby park, taking in the scenic views.

Back in Nashville, we went & saw a band do pretty competent renditions of some nice Burt Bacharach, then had some extremely fancy & delicious sushi. Good times.

1 comment:

No Stand In Will Do said...

In the dark theatre, I had a different vibe. The smart kid who spoke about the Tutankhamun museum exhibit was with the southern gentleman and the lady was just with some man. That is what I perceived and then later the kid was wandering around by himself buying a toy cannon and going to the bathroom while craggy dad sat in the truck.
damn. I miss the confederama show.
I also would be more enthusiastic about the Bacharach performance but I know how you are King Understatement. Viva!