There is nothing like a picnic. . . Most important is a pretty spot outdoors, such as the one chosen by the J.D. Earle family. Some folks prefer a blanket on the ground. Hard boiled eggs are a favorite, as are pies.
This man chose to sit on his picnic basket while eating in his pretty spot in the middle of the river. A baguette?
“The word picnic was originally a 17th Century French word, picque-nique. Its meaning was similar to today’s meaning: a social gathering where each attendee brings a share of the food. The literal meaning of picque-nique, which became our picnic, is “each pick a bit.” The term picnic does not appear in the English language until around 1800.”
The Creasman family chose an outdoor table with a pretty tablecloth strewn across it. Foods are unfortunately not identifiable.
The historic place to picnic in Asheville was on top of Beaucatcher Mountain. In Look Homeward, Angel Thomas Wolfe wrote a beautiful passage about Eugene taking Laura on a picnic there. The young couple took a shoe box to a little grocery on Woodfin Street and “they bought crackers, peanut butter, currant jelly, bottled pickles, and a big slice of rich yellow cheese.” On the way, they stopped off at Eugene’s sister’s house, who in the lusty way typical of the Wolfe family, continued to add to their box, boiled eggs and sandwiches, and then still, meeting them on the front porch as they were leaving, she handed them “another shoe-box stuffed with sandwiches, boiled eggs and fudge.”
“They climbed sharply up, along a rock trail, avoiding the last long corkscrew of the road, and stood in the gap, at the road’s summit. They were only a few hundred feet above the town: it lay before them with the sharp nearness of a Sienese picture, at once close and far.” . . . “But the hills were lordly, with a plan. Westward they widened into the sun, soaring up from buttressing shoulders. The town was thrown up on the plateau like an encampment: there was nothing below him that could resist time.”
Some people have their favorite picnic basket, some passed down through the family. Old wicker baskets are pieces of art in themselves. Note the small feast spread out.
One can always, these days, with a little planning, get in the car after work and take a short drive up on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a late picnic dinner, maybe looking over Asheville, or further north.
Or one can plan a weekend trip to the Great Smoky Mountains, picnic basket packed carefully in the trunk of the car. It is summer, just about, and picnic time.
Post by Zoe Rhine, Librarian