Thursday, June 18, 2009
Mountain Mysteries Camp
This week Alma has been able to attend this great day camp at WCU. Two of the Mountain Heritage Museum curators, Mr. David and Mr. Peter, teach 12 children (ages 8-12) Appalachian history, culture, folk arts, music, and botany. She made a quill and wrote her name in Cherokee, made a candle out of beeswax, cooked on an open fire, walked trails, played games the pioneers enjoyed, and enjoyed mountain music. Alma and I have an appreciation of country, bluegrass, and ballads. I love the litarary and historical signficance and the haunting sounds. Yesterday at the camp, Mr. David and a guest named Will entertained the kids with a concert. Will is a 22 year old who is an expert fiddle player and even makes his own fiddles out of maple. I got to hear a few tunes as I picked Alma up. As everyone was leaving, we heard more fiddle playing, so walked back in the auditorium. David was standing on the stage alone playing. No one else was in there, so we walked down to the front. I asked him if he knew any ballads. Duhh, of course he did. He asked Alma to sing "Miss Margaret" as he played. She joined him and did her most beautiful performance ever and the acoustics and lighting also added to to. As she was singing, her teachers wandered back in. I could see from their expressions that I am not impressed only because I am her mother. They were so surprised that a Florida girl knows these old songs, and gave me tips on how I can help to enrich this and continue her learning in folk music. I told them that I hesitate to tell mountain people that I am from Florida, because of the stereotype associated with Floridians. They assured me that they know that some Floridians are real southerners and not "half-backs"-people who move from up north, live in Florida awhile, then make it halfway back home showing their yankee ways with Florida license plates. Anyway, it was a chill-bump moment of Alma singing with and for these people. In fact, David personally knows Sheila Kay Ash! He told me I need to get her into banjo or fiddle lessons. hmmmm in The Villages?