Thursday, July 14, 2016

Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash's Hideaway Farm, open to public in Tennessee

The Man in Black's Hideaway Farm in Bon Aqua, Tenn. (Storytellers Museum)

 Country legend Johnny Cash once called his 107-acre farm in Bon Aqua, Tenn., "the center of my universe." The old 'dog trot' house and property were acquired by Cash and June Carter Cash in 1972, five years after they married.

"It was love at first sight," Cash wrote in his 1997 autobiography. (The farm was) "a place that moved into my heart immediately, a place I knew I could belong."

Johnny Cash & June Carter (Look 1969)
His daughter Cindy Cash was quoted as saying: "As soon as he'd come off the road he'd say, 'I'm going to the farm,' and he'd go spend three or four days there. ... It had a lot to do with his spirituality, his love of nature, and the solitude he found here. This is where he found his serenity."

Built before the Civil War, Johnny and June retained the farm until their deaths: June Carter Cash in May 2003, complications from heart surgery; Johnny Cash in September 2003, complications from diabetes.

In 2015, Brian and Sally Oxley bought the farm and then renovated a general store down the road for the Storytellers Museum.

The restored Storytellers Museum in Bon Aqua, Tenn. (Storytellers Museum)

On July 12, 2016, both the Cash farm and the Storytellers Museum were opened to the public.  "Johnny Cash used (the old general store) as a place for local concerts. Visitors can see the historic 'Little Stage' where the 'Saturday Night in Hickman County' guitar pulls once took place," according to the museum's web site.

If you go:
The Storytellers Museum
9676 Old Highway 46
Bon Aqua, Tenn.

Museum: Tuesday-Friday. 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday: 9:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Farm: Tuesday-Saturday. 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Museum: $16; museum/tour of farm: $22.
Senior citizens, students 10 and older, and residents of Hickman and Dickson counties: $6 for museum; $7 for the museum/farm tour.
Free for active duty military and children 9 and younger.
All tickets are available at the Storytellers Museum only.
Directions: Take I-40 to TN-46 S (Exit 172), turn south at light, proceed 5 miles to Church St. (Dollar General on left), turn right. Continue about 1.5 miles. Museum on the left.

- Julianne G. Crane

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Charleston, Ore. - a working fishing village

Charleston Marina is the heart of "a working fishing village."  (Julianne G. Crane)
Summer is the perfect time to explore small fishing communities along Oregon's coast. One standout is Charleston, just a couple of miles south of Coos Bay.

This small working fishing village came on our radar when we passed through it on our way to camp at Sunset Bay State Park (about four miles south) and visit the perennial gardens and grounds of Shore Acres State Park.

Parking lot viewed from our space at Marina RV Park.
As for parking your rig--a perfect place for recreation vehicles, of any size, is the marina lot, only a few blocks off Cape Arago Highway. Turn west onto Boat Basin Road and follow it, less than 1/2-mile, to Guano Rock Blvd.; turn right and you will see the marina parking lot.

 If you are going to stay longer than just driving through, pick up a "Chart a course to Charleston" brochure with features a wonder map of all the community's attractions.  They are available at many business and at the Visitor Center, 91141 Cape Arago Highway, (541) 888-2311, May 1-Sept. 30. 

Fishermen’s Wharf market & cafe.  (Julianne G. Crane)
 The brochure offers many places to visit including the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology Marine Life Center.  Also worth a consideration are:

-- Fishermen's Wharf Seafood Market,  63534 Kingfisher Rd, Charleston, Ore.; Tues.-Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Monday. (541) 888-8862

Mike, owner of market, is ex-Coast Guard (Julianne G. Crane)
Located on the D-Dock in Charleston’s scenic boat basin, this family-owned business offers "only the freshest local fish and seafood products," according to owner Mike LeDoux, a former Coast Guard guy. “Our business depends on the fishermen," says Mike. "We will not underpay them, and we will not overcharge you.”

The day we were there live crab were moving around in their 250-gallon salt-water tank.

Miller's At The Cove opens at 11 a.m., daily.
-- Miller's At The Cove, 63346 Boat Basin Road in the Oyster Cove Plaza, within easy walking distance of the harbor and Marina RV Park. Open everyday starting at 11 a.m.

We asked a couple of locals about a casual place for a beer and good fresh seafood. They raved about Miller's.

On the Friday evening we visited, it was busy with both locals and tourists. That said, after we were seated, I walked up to the small sports bar to check out what was on tap. The friendly bartender, also the owner, offered recommendations of local micro brews and offered samples ($4.50 pint).

As for dinner, we took advantage of the Halibut special (6 pieces with fries for $19.95; two fish tacos for $9.95). Quick, friendly service. Six TV monitors were showing soccer and baseball.

For more information on camping overnight while exploring the area or going on a fishing charter, click here to read more on the Charleston Marina RV Park.

--Julianne G. Crane

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