It was an eight hour drive to Georgia and my next stop at Larry Drum's neighborhood in Cumming, right outside of Atlanta. I loved driving through Georgia...I'd been there before and so many of the exit signs brought back happy memories. If you are ever there you should definitely put it on your list to visit the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon. I brought the family there a few years back and we bought the CD that featured music from Georgia musicians. We played that CD to death on that trip. My daughter Emma, for some reason, fell in love with the song "Georgia" by Boz Scaggs. I'm really not sure why that song is on there...I mean, I think it's about a girl named Georgia and not about the state and Boz Scaggs was not born in Georgia, so that's a mystery. But I mean we listened to that song over and over and over and the kids and Philip would sing it at the top of their lungs.
So of course I had to dig out that CD and play it as I drove through the state.
When I got to the exit for Plains I took it, hoping to go find my old friend, the Jimmy Carter peanut, which I first found several years ago and made friends with. You can find out what I'm talking about here: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/10409
I added to the mythology of the Peanut in my song "Weird Things are Everywhere!".....
"I have seen a Georgia peanut with a presidential smile....."
BUT I digress......
It was warm and beautiful when I pulled into the driveway of the Drum household and met my #1 Panhead, Larry Drum. He's the one who coined that term..."Panhead." I like it! Larry and his neighbors Brian Todd, Chris Hoard and Jim Sutton collaborate to decorate four houses in their neighborhood and they actually synchronize the lights of four houses at the same time. More about that later...
Larry had cooked a delicious stir-fry dinner but he was running around so much he didn't even take time to eat it, so I had a quick dinner with Lorraine and she gave me one of her handmade ornaments (made by her!) off one of her trees which shall be treasured in the Pancoast household for years and years to come.
It was a beautiful night and I think just about the whole neighborhood came out for the concert and once again there was dancing in the street. Too much fun! But the highlight of that concert for me was singing "The House on Christmas Street" with their sequence. I was stationed at a wonderful vantage point at the end of Larry's driveway so that I could see all the houses from where I stood and it was mind-blowing to be right in the middle of it all. The lights on their mega trees were strung in such a way....I can't really describe it but it was sort of criss crossy and like nothing I had ever seen before. Maybe if Larry reads this he can write a comment explaining it. I almost stopped singing I was so enthralled. Just amazing and I can't imagine the brains that has to go into programming that whole thing.
I signed a lot of pictures after the show and received a lovely gift from one of the families which was delivered by the cutest little boy. It was a bag of Georgia goodies including peanuts, candy and such. They even included a bottle of Coke (because, in case you didn't know, you can visit the WORLD OF COCA-COLA in Atlanta!) Thank you!
There was still a ton of traffic after the concert as people drove through the cul-de-sac to see the show, and Larry and friends were out there directing it, so I had a chance to sit and chat with Lorraine for a bit in the cozy house and enjoy her little mini dachs (three of them....so cute!). These kinds of times on the tour really helped me connect with people and not feel so alone out there; I mean the times when I could really converse with folks. It was a lot of "rush here, rush there" along the way but the moments I spent having conversations with the hosts and their families were the times that made it in to something really special. I think I got to do that a little bit every where I went, and I'm grateful.
The next day it was on to Florida and the final house concert of the tour!