Reading at Root Wise Reunion

So, yesterday, I gave a reading at the Root Wise Reunion in East Nashville. It was a perfect day for ghost stories–cool and rainy. And yet, I still had back sweat like you wouldn’t believe. I know this is a somewhat gross topic, but I’m still going to broach it. I, in general, don’t have a lot of back sweat.  If I’m exercising and sweating all over? Sure. But just specifically sweating down my back and no place else? That is ALWAYS nerves. So, even though I didn’t feel myself to be particularly nervous, there was that one bead of ticklish sweat rolling down my back.

Anyway, the reading went really well, I think. A number of people came up and complimented me and I sold a book. I think they really liked the Project X excerpt I read and I really liked it, too. I met a rootworker who’s moved here from Chicago and I told her a little about Jack Macon and how I thought he was the most overlooked rootworker in Nashville’s history that we know about. I’d also love to know who was actually in Mrs. Overton’s garden out at Traveller’s Rest. On the one hand, I’m willing to believe that she was practicing her own magical-medicinal plant cultivating. On the other hand, that kind of assumption could be erasing the woman actually doing the work. But, I think, whoever set up that garden and worked with it has to be Nashville’s earliest semi-known rootworker.

So, that was cool. The people, Leah and Joel, over at High Garden Tea are who were organizing and running the Root Wise Reunion, so I was glad to be able to publicly thank them for their help concocting a werewolf tea.

Meanwhile, at home, the black, gray, and white afghan continues. I just have three colors left–white, charcoal gray, and the black. I have 160 squares. I think–think–I have enough yarn to get me to 240, possibly 250. Friday, when I’m outside in a booth at the Southern Festival of Books all day and can be working on the black squares will tell a lot.

My goal, which may be way optimistic, is to be putting this together by November.


2 thoughts on “Reading at Root Wise Reunion

  1. Exactly! Dude is screwed out of his rightful place in history.

    But there’s a good discussion of him in In Search of the Promised Land.

    And Bobby Lovett discusses him in one of his histories of Nashville.

    I rank him among our greatest rootworkers even though he only lived in Nashville for a short time at the end of his life because we know he was able to travel alone from his owner’s house to his patients–which means he was well-known in his own time for his work, otherwise such travel for a lone slave would have been very dangerous. We know his white patients petitioned the legislature so that he could continue to practice medicine and we don’t have any evidence of that happening for any other Tennessee root doctors. We also know that he came to Nashville and opened an office, which meant that his reputation was great enough that he had business opportunities in Nashville (I’m curious to know if he ever was freed. I’d assumed yes, but Lovett is convinced not, that he was here, but probably had to send money back to his owner to, in essence, rent himself from his owner. I wish I were right, but, honestly, Lovett probably is.). And he’s buried here, which means that, if any other rootworkers need him, here’s where they should look for him.

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