52 week's of Marie's Life

52 weeks captured through photos


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44. Speed (Week 12)

“Direction is more important than speed. We are so busy looking at our speedometers that we forget the milestone….”

This replica of one of the 1969 Harley-Davidson Captain America choppers used in the movie “Easy Rider” is on display at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum.

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Earlier this month my husband and I took a short vacation to Birmingham, Alabama.  The purpose was to go to the Annual Barber Vintage Festival at the Barber Motorsports Park.  In years past, my husband has ridden his motorcycle up with friends to enjoy the motorcycle races and vendors, as well as spending hours wandering five floors of the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum.  This year I opted to join him and we made it a car trip.

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While we waited on races to begin, I watched  antique Indian and Harley-Davidson motorcycles speed around in this “wall of death.”  The Wall of Death is a vintage live action thrill show within a silo-shaped wooden cylinder 30 feet in diameter that motorcycle daredevils perform acrobatic and trick riding in.  Onlookers could watch from the top of a 14 foot board wall.  As they sped around in circles and reached the top rim of the motor drome, I couldn’t help but step back from the wall as I felt the wind of the motorcycles passing inches away from us.

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We knew we would meet up with friends who also rode up for the weekend to watch as vintage motorcycles from all over the world came to race.  It was especially fun to watch as Denny Poneleit, from Sarasota, raced around the track and captured 3rd place.  The next day we left for home, but we heard he took 1st place in his race that day.

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8. Differences (Week 35)

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things” ~Henry Miller ~

As we were pulled off in a rest area on the Natchez Trace Parkway, we watched as a group of vintage cars pulled in.  I was struck by the differences of their mode of recreational travel and ours.

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21. It Happens Over Time (Week 32)

“Life is short – eat dessert first.”  IMG_5778

Finally, our first scheduled “Maids on the Trace” meet up was for lunch at Mammy’s Cupboard.  We were to look for a 28-foot high structure on Highway 61, south of Natchez, Mississippi, that was of a smiling mammy wearing a red kerchief, white blouse, horseshoe earrings, and red skirt, holding a tray.

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Mammy’s Cupboard dates from 1940 when it was constructed for Mr. and Mrs. Henry Gaude.  A mammy character had been portrayed in the 1939 film “Gone With the Wind”, about the same time plans for the restaurant were being made.  Along with now being the embodiment of political incorrectness,  the building is also unusual in that its architect was a female, which was not the norm in 1940.  Mrs. Gaude operated the restaurant, which was built as a compliment to an existing service station.  Many tourists were drawn to the bright red skirt, as they came through the Natchez area for the antebellum mansion tours.

This roadside structure has been many things over time – a gas station, restaurant, gift shop, and craft center. It had gone through quite a bit of decay over the years, but it has had its periods of renovation and restoration.   The exterior bricks, which form the skirt, have been repaired many times and the red skirt is given a fresh coat of paint periodically.  During the Civil Rights period of the 1960’s, Mammy’s “skin” was repainted a lighter shade.

Currently the restaurant operates Tuesday through Saturdays, offering a lunch menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, and made-from-scratch desserts.  As you enter the restaurant through a door in her skirt, you will step into a gift shop and dining room.

~ Good friends.  Good food.  Good times. ~

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There was a feeling of nostalgia, as we were seated at one of the old fashion tables of varying sizes throughout the room.  Then we watched arrivals to see who was going to be doing this ride with us.  It was fun to see faces we knew and also to introduce ourselves to new friends.

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As more would come in, we’d finish eating so we could give up our tables and then congregate outside around our parked motorcycles and a picnic table.

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And of course pictures needed to be taken!

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(That’s me to the right, and Clara to the left, of Schelley from MS who put this all together.)

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