Saturday night, however, Three Degrees of Hair was on stage. This diverse group from Beckley plays a wide range of music and we enjoyed all of it. They also did something pretty nice: they let some of us sing.
I was first, before even the band took to the stage. Since the tragedy at the Big Branch mine three weeks ago, the song by Jean Ritchie called West Virginia Mine Disaster was on my mind, and that is what I sang. It's powerful and moving, and I sang it in tribute to those miners and their families.
And still later, everyone in the place joined in on Country Roads. In this picture: James in front, then clockwise Aaron, Cassidy, Haley, Jennifer and Jared, with Emily in the far background.
An hour or so later, we convinced Cassidy, Jon and Jennifer's daughter, to take the stage and sing one of her favorite songs, Free Falling. You can listen to her performance here thanks to cousin Emily's forethought to record Cassidy. Thank you, Emily!
Amy sang later on, a lovely ballad of love and longing.
What a group of guys, to allow us to be part of the evening's music. Special thanks to the Three Degrees of Hair for sharing the stage with us.
The relaxed atmosphere and camaraderie made it feel like we were at home instead of 150 miles away in a log cabin tucked into a valley in the Randolph county mountains. That's what true mountain hospitality is, and it's what Will and Jill give to their customers in plenty.
(Do you see that orb floating over Amy's head? If I believed in such things, I might almost be convinced that Jon was there listening to the fun. Actually, I am convinced that he was with us in spirit, for an evening in which his name was much spoken and his life remembered with love. It doesn't take an orb to tell me so.)