One of the interesting things of traveling place to place to teach quilting, is the history of the places I get to visit. Sometimes the most INTERESTING histories come from the smaller out-of-the-way places.
Sometimes getting off the main interstate takes me to a place I’ve never been before.
Have you ever heard of Oak Ridge, Tennessee as a “Secret City?” Anna gave me a little tour of what she could of the Y-12 area. I had to come back to my hotel room and read more about it:
From 1942 until 1949, Oak Ridge a city of 75,000 people did not exist on ANY map. The 100,000 people working here to both build and operate the world's first successful uranium separation facilities were locked in a battle with Germany and Japan, although they did not specifically know exactly what the true nature of the "battle" was, they only knew THEY HAD TO WIN IT.
Oak Ridge grew within a matter of months to the fifth largest city in Tennessee, but was a SECRET CITY. A city that required special badges to be worn by all inhabitants, even children. 840 buses brought people to work here and took them home. The city operated twenty-four hours a day. The plants operated day and night. Thousands of rail cars brought materials into Oak Ridge and ALL of them left empty.
Doesn’t that sound like a plot for some kind of Hollywood movie? We'll, it is not. It was real, it happened here in this little sleepy area with it’s rivers, rolling hills and ridges! I found THIS ARTICLE to be really interesting!
But while the whole “Secret City” was about splitting atoms, plutonium, and uranium with the focus on ending WWII, we ourselves made messes that had us stating
“It looks like a BOMB went off in here!!”
We were playing with our strings and turning them into Spider-Web blocks!
It was a wonderful day with the ladies --- some who had come from Georgia…..some from down by Chattanooga, Some from Nashville, and some even from Ohio! Those who travelled in found that they were only strangers up until the introductions were made, and then everyone knew everyone. And we were friends. Quilters are just like that, you know? '
One of the great things I enjoy is walking table to table to table and “eaves dropping” on conversations, and sharing in the stories and the laughter. It’s infectious! You just can’t “NOT” have a good time when hanging around with Quilters, even if you are strangers at the beginning of the morning!
Add a buffet table for lunch, and that seals the deal! There are some shots of our yummies in the slide show above. Pay very close attention to the pecan pie bars..Oh yeah, man! Those were delish!
I’ve got a couple more hours before check out time in the hotel…project coming along nicely! It will be a beautiful day for a drive, leaving the Secret City on my way back home through the Smoky Mountains ---
Thanks for everything, Ritzy Thimble Quilters! It’s been a ball! Let’s do this again, shall we?