A one hour drive this morning to Mt Rogers in SW Virginia for the Wayne Henderson Fest. The drive through the western part of Alleghany, through Piney Creek, across the state line and river to Hwy 58, "The Crooked Road." 58 goes to Highlands Park where the road goes up, up, up, then down into a hollow full of new cars parked on grass. It looked like a new car commercial for all the new cars at once. I tend to get uneasy when a parking lot is full of new cars. It tells me none of my people are there. No pickups. My car was by far the rattiest looking car in the parking lot. Helped make it easy to find later. Driving home I figured out a way to stick a ping-pong ball on the antenna. A few decades ago it became a hot thang to have something on the top of the antenna to find one's car in a mall parking lot. Fast food joints were giving them out and parking lots filled up with these little things on top of the antennae until it became ridiculous. They all went away almost overnight. Now that nobody does it, a ping pong ball would be the only one in the parking place. Of course, to have one now would identify me as one who doesn't get it that the trend is over and has been over for a long time. Then they say, Oh, it's TJ. That's WHY he's doing it. Yeah, like why not?
henderson fest audience
At the Wayne Fest I took my time, stopped by Willard's tent and spoke with him, Scott and Dori a little bit. Went on and found a place to sit. I chose a spot near a dog. The Crooked Road Ramblers came on soon after the band that was playing, Cabin Fever. Crooked Road Ramblers was the band I wanted to hear of all the bands playing. In their third tune I stepped to a place I could get a good stage shot. Took the picture. Camera told me to insert the card. It was at home in the computer. Oh well. Camera in pocket, out of mind. No more composition thinking. I was glad to be free of it. Kilby Spencer has come quite a long ways in his fiddling. He has been a really good fiddler all the time I've known him, but as I hear him now about once a year I hear immense improvements telling me he practices a lot in his mind, with or without fiddle in hand. Kilby is becoming a great musician. He's always been a good musician, but he's transcending that. He's going off into a zone of the great fiddlers down through time. He played GB Grayson's Lee Highway Blues with as clear a tone as I recall ever hearing it. It's one of my favorite fiddle tunes, so I pay attention hearing somebody play it. Kilby brought it to life. Gave it breath.
kilby spencer plays at the jubilee in sparta
When they were finished I went back to the car to get the camera out of my pocket. I saw a few people I know, most of them among the volunteers in the parking lot. John Sherrill gave me a start when I entered the parking lot. He was at the road directing cars to a lane to get into for parking. He has a beard now and I am slow getting used to it enough to recognize him on sight. He got down in my face at the car window and told me to step out of the car, cop style. I must have wrenched up my face in a busted look and he broke out laughing. I recognized his laugh. This is a retired prosecutor. He knows how to put on that authority of the law voice. I thought it was funny. At the moment I thought: What? Just a couple days ago I was driving up the gravel road to the Richardson farm and a big white dually pickup came around the blind curve in the center of the road. It was John. I wasn't alarmed, because I used to it. On sight, each one steers a little to the right and there's no problem. It is the same feeling, surprise. Surprise is fun. Kittens love to play surprise on each other and their humans too. Not only does it make us laugh to see cats jump, but cats get a laugh out of seeing cats jump, too.
black cat laughing
In my walking about I felt a good feeling in the air. I thought of all the news we're getting, how much it looks like everybody hates everybody to the point it makes leaving the house a scary thing to do. I get out among a big bunch of people and everybody is peaceable and friendly. Makes me want to get out among more people than I usually do. Hanging out at Maxwell Equipment for the rest of the summer will get me out among friendly people. I enjoy the people who drop by and hang there from time to time. All of them knew Jr Maxwell, whose shop it was before it became Ross's. It feels like something on the order of a planet entering a house, bumping me into a more interactive life and art form. I don't want to be the only one working on these sculptures. I want them to be a group effort. I may be the one putting them together, but I want to encourage ideas. One thing I'll be looking for is how to devise a sensuous feminine form out of motorcycle parts. That will be a fun goal to reach toward. Straight lines and circles I'll largely be working with. Seeing that I am moving into a more interactive time, I felt the energy today among a few thousand people in colorful clothes, everybody in a friendly spirit. This is why I feel like it is a good time for me to get out among other people regularly now. For constant reminder that we really are good people who tend to treat each other well. Hearing too much news I tend to walk around in the crowd and wonder how many people in the crowd are carrying concealed weapons. I figured about a dozen.
willard plays his henderson guitar
I worked the tshirt tent in the afternoon with Rita Scott, fiddler with Appalachian Mountain Girls, and Trina Varner, old-time bass player. Lynn Worth came by and I spoke with her a minute. She's always a light in my eyes. Lynn is one of my very favorite people, for who she is, a woman of integrity, deep personal integrity. And a terrific musician. I enjoy the momentary chit-chat in a place like that. I recall a conversation with a couple of white haired women from the area. One was looking to buy a couple of Wayne's CDs from a selection of several. I gave her an idea of what each one was like. I picked out two for good enjoyable music to be playing in the house. The others were virtuoso demonstrations of high-powered guitar picking that is impressive, but not so enjoyable to have playing in the house for everyday listening. Mostly I told people that all tshirt sizes above M were sold out. Talked with Rita, always fun. She's an awfully good fiddler. She's light-hearted as somebody who can juggle flaming torches. I like seeing people I know at these events. Hugs galore, good feeling galore, everybody feeling happy having a day off with good music and good weather. I saw an old boy I first took for 80 wearing a Pink Floyd tshirt. That didn't seem right. Saw him a little bit later and he looked more like an old-looking 70, a little closer to the range of people listening to them then. 80 seemed just a little bit over the cusp of the first Pink Floyd listeners. How strange it is now to be speaking of old people in relation to pop culture. My generation.
david long and dori freeman with her henderson guitar
I was happy to see Dori in her heavy with child look. I am happy for Dori with her life now. She has found her man, the one worth waiting for, and next she'll have a baby to love. She's lit up with love right now. Good loving from her man, David, from her family, from her grandpa, and coming up soon, from her baby, and love from her fan base. I'm enjoying knowing Dori through this time of her life, starting the time she left college because that just wasn't it, and she started singing with Scott and Willard on Friday nights in Woodlawn, getting the feel of singing before an audience. At loose ends, wondering which way to turn. By now she has the self-confidence of experience before several audiences. She's writing songs as good as the songs she covers. Last year she wowed the Wayne Fest. This year she is on a new CD of music from the Carter Fold with Wayne and other musicians of the region. I meant to buy a copy today and forgot to. I'll find one soon. At the end of my tshirt tent time, Roseanne Cash was coming on. I was tired. I wanted to be home. I did not want to hear Roseanne Cash. I know she would have been good. I would have enjoyed it. But I preferred to spend her stage time on the road home. The beautiful drive down the mountain this time instead of up the mountain. At the house, I walked through the door straight to the bed, fell down and slept for two hours, got up and saw the Bourne Legacy the second time, only recognizing maybe 3 scenes.