Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Dec. 11th Continued....

Enjoying a lovely day in Mayberry (Mt. Airy) before heading up to NC.  I'm sitting in the same booth in McDs that I sat in last year when I was here.  In a while I'm heading up to Pilot Mountain to the home of Larry and Rachel Charpiat, who have the most extensive display I've's a walk-through that might as well be an amusement park!  They are wonderful people who hosted me last year and I just adore them.  In fact, I'm staying with them tonight since I now know that they are not ax murderers.  HA HA!  (at least I don't think never know what might be buried on those five acres!)
Anyhow, they have entered their display in a contest and it would be really cool if you would vote for them.  Here's the link:

So...I intend to get caught up on the blog right now with my update on the concert in Ennice last night. I started my day in Gloucester and drove down to Ennice, NC took about six hours....including the stop for a little van-nap in the parking lot of a shopping center.  
Sydney (my Garmin) tried to take me up the Blue Ridge Parkway again but it was CLOSED so I kept on going and he had to recalculate.  He did NOT like that!
When I got to Ennice I drove right past the fire department because I was looking at the school across the street where I am scheduled to do an assembly on Monday.  So I went about two miles down the road before I realized I must have passed it.  But it was BEAUTIFUL scenery up in the high country....nothing but rolling fields and trees and hilltops as far as the eye could see, and every once in a while a little white farmhouse.  The only reason I missed the display was because it wasn't dark yet, because if I'd gotten there when the lights were on I would never have missed it!

William has added a lot more to his display this year, including "Santa's Castle" which he trucked up from the home of Robin Stublen in Punta Gorda, FL.  and a life sized sleigh.

It was pretty chilly out and they were serving a hot supper which I enjoyed (chicken stew and cornbread).  The biggest radio station around was  doing a radio remote inside, and the deejay (who is also the Program Director) interviewed me on the air and asked for a copy of the song so he could see if he wanted to add it to the station. That's pretty cool because they reach three or four states...100,000 watts!
Anyway,  there were a lot of cars parked in the fire station lot, in the school lot across the street and along the street, but there were only maybe 25 people outside in front of the stage.  It didn't match the number of cars so I  just figured everyone else was inside eating and enjoying the warmth.  I was a little disappointed but I didn't want to tell William that.  I went in to the station after and signed pictures and there were a lot more people in line for autographs than there had been standing in the audience.  It was about this time that William told me that all of the cars I saw parked out there actually had PEOPLE in them during the concert (it was dark and I couldn't see inside them)...and that he had hooked up a transmitter to my sound system so that they could hear the concert in their cars! So I actually had a WAY bigger audience than I thought I did!
After the show and packing up, I went up and parked across the street at the school and watched William's animated light show for about 40 minutes. Amazing! He is a talented programmer and his lights really dance with the music PERFECTLY.  "Christmas Vacation" was my favorite until I saw what he had done with "The House on Christmas Street."  Not because of the song, but because of how his sequence fit the song perfectly.   I especially loved how his Santa on the roof lit up during that lyric, and how he had each element of the display light up one by one during the lyric "The family puts up its display" was like seeing my song brought to life. I was smiling really big the whole time!
So that brings us up to date.  If I think of anything I've missed along the way I'll fill you in.  Like this, for example, from the open air market in Wells, UK:
That's just the mega trees!

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