Thursday, November 1, 2012

GEES BEND VISIT

 This is the sign that met us as we arrived in the Gees Bend area.  To say that it is in the boonies is putting it mildly, but having said that, I am so glad that we went.  It was, for me looking at history of black women in Alabama who became world famous.  Little did they know when they started selling their quilts, what lay ahead of them.
 As we arrived in the little community, of which at the best of times there is only about 200 people, we started seeing these painted signs of some of the quilts that were on 2006 US stamps.  We drove along some dirt roads, then some paved roads till we arrived at the ferry crossing.  I went in to find out where to go to see the quilters, and the woman at the reception asked how many people we were.  I said that it was just me!  She said she rarely if ever remembered anyone coming by themselves.  Usually bus tours of quilters come to tour the site.  She told me that the Gees Bend Quilters were just about to have lunch and to come across the hall to visit. And she said that she didn't ever remember a Canadian visiting!
The lady on the left in red is Nancy Pettaway, the next lady is Lola Pettaway, and the other lady is also a Pettaway, but by that point I was so overcome to meeting them that I teared up and Nancy hugged me.  When I told them that I was by myself, other than my husband and dog, they couldn't have been nicer and called to tell the manager of the store to open it up as there was a lady here from Canada.  Can you imagine?  I asked about taking photos of them and said that they were probably used to having their pics taken, but Lola said not many people ask them about that....so, my next blog will feature the humble studio where the ladies sell their wares and what they thought of me bringing my quilts for them to see!

Yeah, I showed them a few quilts....that is a story for another day!
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