Dr. Patrick Gainer's granddaughter, Molly Callame, led a ballad session in the Oral Traditions tent. To hear her daughter and Molly harmonizing--pure, complete pleasure.
Sherrell Wigal and storytellers Suzi Whaples and myself. Saturday I was emcee for the tent, and had a great time introducing and listening to the presenters. I also presented a ballad workshop later in the day (pics to come later, I hope).
Storyteller Ilene Evans had a standing-room only crowd that had organizers scrambling to find chairs. Ilene told the story of Wiley and the Hairy Man (you can find a short reader's theatre version here) and the audience sang along with her in the song about a slave who ran to freedom in Lost John (find a plethora of versions here).
Storyteller Fred Powers raised goosebumps with his tale of being trapped by a roof-fall in a coal mine...
Poet Cheryl Denise read her award-winning poems to the crowd to complete the program.
- Ilene telling her stories
- Mr. Bill Bennett, wearing his 50-year-old Glenville Lions Club jacket with pride
- a mandolin player in a wheelchair
- a boy of about 5 years singing harmony with a bluegrass group
- children splashing delightedly through a puddle
- the huge group of square dancers
- old-time music icons like Lester McCumbers, John Morris, Jimmy Costa, Patty Looman and many others playing in jams on the streets
- people meeting and greeting everywhere
- and contrasts : the old-time country life of Gilmer County and West Virginia banging up against, and for the most part accommodating, the new trends and generations.
It was an unusual way to spend my birthday, but it was a whole lot of fun!