Thursday, June 26, 2008

Valery and the Giant Peach

It is a challenge to keep up with a travel journal on the road. Classes and driving leave us little down time and so most of these travel entries are written weeks after the classes happened.

Sometimes I jot ideas in a little notebook I keep in my bag, but when I go back to look at them they are woefully lacking in context. For example, before the classes at Dance Theater on Main in Fountain Inn, South Carolina I wrote "Gaffney giant peach."

Thanks to the magic of the Internet I was able to find a picture of the giant peach that first caught my eye and then promptly left my mind. Only problem with this story is that I don't remember where Gaffney was.

It is, my research tells me, on Interstate I-85 and locals call it "the peachoid water tower." When you spend a lot of time on the road, these little roadside distractions are a welcome relief.

Fountain Inn, as its name suggests, was once a stagecoach stop with only one notable landmark, an inn with a fountain. "It is a small town filled with historic landmarks, interesting anecdotes and historical figures," notes the official Fountain Inn web page.

The town's most famous resident was a dancer, Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates. "Bates, who lost his leg in a cotton gin accident at the age of 12, overcame his tragedy to become a famous dancer," the site's author writes.

"Famous" is, of course, a relative term. In case you've never heard of Peg Leg, you should know that he appeared more than 20 times on the Ed Sullivan show. His signature step was the Imitation American Jet Plane, in which he would jump five feet in the air and land on his peg leg, with his good leg sticking out straight behind him.

We didn't perform any stunts like that at Dance Theater on Main, a spacious studio where the word "Dance" is projected onto the walls by the sun shining through leading on the window. We simply had two enjoyable classes with some great kids. Thank you to Christie Leonard for inviting us.

(With all my internet problems, it took me about an hour to get this short entry posted! Pshew!)