And the only president, too, with a dance named after him! Polka! (joke)
I also visited the atomic bomb research site in Oak Ridge, TN. (I had previously visited the construction place in Los Alamos, NM.) From Los Alamos, I got a T-shirt about being radioactive and VERY sour candy in a barrel that looked like a toxic waste container. This time, I got only a book about the Manhattan Project. If they'd had a t-shirt with a glow-in-the-dark skeleton with a corny statement about being radioactive, I would have bought that. I spent a LOT of time in their museum—the subject of how they bought the land (giving local farmers about 2 1/2 weeks' notice to relocate), built a small city and kept its purpose secret until after Hiroshima, and meanwhile the interaction between people who lived onsite and their surrounding neighbors in, for instance, Knoxville, and their daily life onsite, is fascinating.
The land was purchased in late 1942. Construction began immediately, workers started pouring in early 1943, almost entirely young men and women, resulting in, by early and mid-1945, a baby boom—a population explosion was the first explosion there.
After the museum, I went down the street to Chick Fil A and Baskin-Robbins, which are across the street from each other—I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven. And right behind Baskin-Robbins is Books-a-Million. 'Surely the presence of the LORD is in this place and I did not know it.' (A friend says, ‘I have oft times found myself in the Halfprice bookstore or Barnes and Noble on my day off. And I work in a library!)
I have fascinating experiences conversing with pastors who have varying bivocations: one is licensed with the state in electricity AND plumbing AND other construction skills, one works with the federal government, one develops software and has a brilliant five-year-old son who knows how the dinosaurs died (a meteor—check out the crater impact outline from the Florida coast to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico). I pointed out that this impact probably clouded the atmosphere over a large area, resulting in darkened skies, lower temperatures over much of North America, ending the tropical swamp-like climate that previously prevailed over the Midwest, in turn changing the vegetation. The dinosaurs, being cold-blooded, couldn't adapt as easily to such great changes in temperature, climate, atmosphere, food supply. They slowed down and were more easily hunted by smaller, faster, warm-blooded predators. Other theories I've seen of the dinosaurs' demise:
1. hunted for food by aliens (picture a huge spaceship over earth, with a hook descended, and a dinosaur reaching for the hook, and one alien saying to the other, 'Not now. I'll tell you when')
2. cataracts. And a T-rex's arms were too short to put on his glasses! And he had no ears to speak of!
3. allergies--the plant change and atmosphere change resulted in dinosaurs sneezing themselves to death
4. boredom--someone introduced cricket to them.
I talked with a choir director. She's very expressive in her style, also sometimes has a very frizzed-out BIG hairstyle. I mentioned to her three musicals I really like--you might like them, too:
1. 'Your Arms Are Too Short to Box with God'--the title song is Pilate's mother telling him she had a dream and he's not to mess with Jesus. Great songs include 'Beatitude' ('Blessed'), 'Good Time', 'There's a Stranger in Town', 'We Are the Priests and the Elders', 'Come On Down', 'As Long As I Live'
2. 'Jonah-Man Jazz'. Great songs include 'Nineveh City', 'Listen to Me, Jonah', 'I Need a Boat, Man', 'Go Down, Jonah', 'Dancing'
3. 'Cool in the Furnace'. Great songs are the title song, also, 'Yes, We Know'. More dialogue in this one.
(A friend suggests ‘Gods Trombones.’—she’s right; it is great.)
At a fish restaurant last night, I told the maitre de: 'I know how to pronounce mahi-mahi—I just don't know when to stop. Mahi-mahi-mahi-mahi....' (A friend advises, ‘Just say it twice: “mahi-mahi”’)
And a great time with a pastor who has a rapidly growing church, and it's clear why it's growing. He has such a humble attitude that he'll probably continue to see this growth.