Natchez and Pensacola

October 14 –19, 2016

We left Weatherford on Thursday, October 13, and drove to Dallas. Torrey stayed with his son Christopher, and I visited Ron Dougherty, one of my best friends from Davidson days. On Thursday morning we left for Natchez, MS. Torrey's cousin George Bates and his wife Linda met us there and took us on a driving tour of the city. George pointed out many of the historical sights. Then they took us to a great Mexican restaurant, and we headed to their home for the night, some distance from town near the Natchez Trace. It was the house in which George's and Torrey's mothers were born, originally in an even more remote area. They had the house moved to its present location and added a kitchen and family room on the back and began restoring the original part. After they fed us a great breakfast, we left on Friday morning and went out to the area where the house had originally been to see some of the ancestral land and for Torrey to check on how well some seedlings had survived the drought.

Then we headed for Pensacola.

There we visited our good friend from SMU days, Charlie Tucker, and his famiy, wife Sammie and sons Zach and Tim. On Sunday Torrey and I sang in the choir at St. Paul Lutheran Church, where Charlie is the music director. On Sunday evening the whole crew of us took picnic food and headed for the beach at Fort Pickens. After supper I took some pictures of the sunset.

On Monday Charlie took us to see and play the 73-rank (or so) 4-manual organ at First United Methodist Church, built in 2002 by Thomas Helms, Jr. We also visited and toured the church where Sammie is music director, and I played for a while on the Cornel Zimmer organ that is all digital sampling. It was very skillfully done.

We went for lunch at McGuire's Irish Pub, where I had eaten on a visit over 20 years ago. Later in the day Charlie took me to Christ Episcopal Church downtown to see and play the 1976 Kney organ. It is very different from the other organs I saw on the trip in that it has a mechanical key action and is very German in concept and sound, as you might guess from looking at the stoplist. The building is rather distinctive in its architecture.

On Tuesday we visited the museum at the naval air station and got to see the Blue Angels practice their precision flying.

I shot some video during the show and have put together nine and a half minutes. You can watch it here.

I didn't have any trouble finding Charlie and Torrey even as I was wandering on my own taking pictures. Maybe you can make out their distinctive hats in the lower right portion of the picture below. Charlie got his hat in South Africa, and Torrey got his hat in Australia when he and Christopher visited there. I didn't see any other hats like them during the trip.

On Wednesday we drove across the Florida panhandle, stopping in Tallahassee for an early supper. We bypassed Jacksonville and stayed near Brunswick, GA, to be ready to visit St. Simon's Island on Thursday.


on to St. Simon's Island->

<- back to New Mexico

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