Archive for July 10th, 2009

We like going to Abingdon for several reasons. There begins (or ends, depending on your perspective) the Creeper Trail, a wonderful place to hike. There is “Kat Bird’s” where we get a decent coffee, après-hike. There are even a couple of stores Gerda likes to look (so far) at clothing a bit different than Walmart. There is a twice-a-week farmer’s market and a number of decent restaurants. Although we haven’t been there yet, the Barter Theater puts on productions of such hits as the Wizard of Oz and Showtime at First Baptist. The theater is across the street from the Martha Washington Inn. For some reason, I can’t help calling this the Martha Stewart Inn. All in all, I would describe Abingdon as charmingly country-pretentious.

There are definite downsides to Abingdon, though. Since it is the Washington County seat and there is a federal court in town, there are lots of lawyers around. Our congressman has an office in town. The golf course is surrounded by McMansions too close to the roar of I-81 truck traffic to be worth their price.

For those not familiar with the history of Abingdon, legend has it Daniel Boone was hunting in the area when he was beset upon by a pack of wolves headquartered in a lair near the present-day county courthouse. Since this was on the side of a hill, and being beset upon by a pack of wolves can be a memorable, if not traumatic event, Mr. Boone decided not to call this area Abingdon but instead referred to it as Wolf Hills. It was only later when the wolf problem was overcome by a Canis lupus eradication project did the good people change the name to Abingdon.

We recently were in Abingdon for a hike on the trail and the usual. I noticed a number of  plastic wolves up and down Main Street. They were painted in various schemes by local artists and chained to unmovable objects, I suppose to prevent removal by art collectors. I don’t know what the wolves of Daniel Boone’s day looked like, but they were probably a bit more menacing than these. I tried to make one of them look more vicious. I am not sure I succeeded. But in any event, the real present-day danger facing innocent people in Abingdon today are the wolves-in-lawyers-clothing. They hunt in and around the court house and gather after dark at The Tavern to howl at the moon.



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