Monday, August 31, 2009

As You Are Now,...

There is a tiny cemetery between Elizabethtown and Mineville. It is in the woods. There has been an attempt to clear brush and mow the grass this year, but the branches and leaves are still crowding in. A lot of the graves are from more than a 100 years ago,... some more than 150 years ago.

Walk softly, as you pass by....As you are now,
So once was I....As I am now, so you must be,
Prepare for death and follow me.

Juliett lived to be seven before she died in 1842,

Amelia Ann, only 10 died in 1854,

A father, Enos Wise, who was born in 1787 seems to be comforting his son who died as a teenager. The weatherbeaten pitcher holds faded artificial flowers.

I think I would like to come to my final rest in a place like this.

I wonder what their lives were like. Their loves and their heartbreaks. Very few stones showed ages more than in their 40s. There were a couple that reached ages in their 60s and one was 77. It must have been pure luck to have lived that long a life in those days. I paid my respects and quietly walked back to my car. Sleep well, my friends.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


The skies threatened rain and finally delivered rain as the last band was closing Saturday night. People ducked into the pavillion, and laughed, it was still a happy time. The scene was the 6th Annual Upper Hudson Bluegrass Festival in North Creek, NY. Here the crowd gathers in the pavillion facing the stage at the Ski Bowl Park.

The Town of Johnsburg, home of Gore Mountain Ski Area donates the use of the grounds. Thank you Johnsburg!
For me, this particular festival was all about traditional bluegrass music...the pioneers, the people that have been entertaining for decades. Smokey Geene, and his Martin guitar which he named "Ben A. Martin" are always a favorite. Smokey, now 79, has been performing for more than 50 years.

Traditional music continued with Vern Young, who is now 85 years old. This gentle giant's voice and guitar picking is still strong. I talked with Vern and he's a gracious and most interesting person. And,...he's booked to be back in 2010!

White Mountain Bluegrass continued the traditional music with several sets over the three day festival. I spent some time visiting with Mac and Hazel as they sat in their individual band tent near the stage. I felt honored to receive a hug from each of them as I headed back to the pavillion. They are included in a permanent display honoring Pioneers of Bluegrass at the International Bluegrass Museum in Owensboro KY.

Here Junior Barber of Beartracks visits with Vern Young. Talk about a "meeting of bluegrass minds!" It doesn't get much better than this!

Watch for Beartracks at the Peru Community Church on November 13th at 7:30 p.m. Junior Barber, his cousins Julie Venne-Hogan and Tom Venne will be performing their usual high energy music.

If you have never attended a bluegrass festival give it a try. Bring your camper, your tent, or just bring a folding chair and come for a day. You will leave steeped in traditonal music and warmed by the friendship of the "bluegrass family."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

All Of a Sudden....

....I have realized that it's been over a year that I've been doing this blog. I posted about the Upper Hudson Bluegrass Festival before,... last year! You will find that post here.

So tomorrow morning off I go again after being home only three days. Soon enough this will come to an end after Labor Day and I'll be back at work. But until then...... let the camper wheels roll!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Where's Cedar?...

Last week I was in Alburg, VT at the Lake Champlain Bluegrass Festival. This is White Mountain Bluegrass, doing great traditional music. The husband and wife in the middle of the stage have been playing professionally for more than 40 years. They are listed as Pioneers of Bluegrass at the Bluegrass Museum in Owensboro, KY.
Here is my camper on the left, awning to awning with a friend's who is a member of a camping group to which I belong.
This week is our county fair. My grandchildren are showing their 4-H cattle. A fun moment when the youngest won first place and the older one placed second. My granddaughter went on to take many other awards. The cows are all from my son's herd.

The middle grandson.

Granddaughter with her prize winning Jersey cow.

I'll be in and out of the blogger world for the next couple of weeks,... August is shaping up to be very busy. I'll check in with you all every few days. Enjoy the last of the summer!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Queen Anne and Her Friends,...

In front of my deck is a sea of Queen Anne's Lace. The reason is because I've been off having fun at bluegrass festivals and camping trips. That part of the rough lawn has not been mowed. My house is on a hillside, and that part is done with a weedeater once a year. This year I'm a little late and the reward is beautiful!
Ferns, black-eyed Susans, Daisies, have joined in the display!
I haven't been able to identify this wildflower. It is bright purple, and only grows about six inches high.
Can anyone tell me what it is?

I have a lot of these red berries, (honeysuckle?) and they are providing a feast for someone,.. as the low branches are pulled down. Birds? Squirrels? Deer? .... a Bear?

The Queen Anne's Lace will be able to grow for another week. I am leaving today for five days in Vermont. The Lake Champlain Bluegrass Festival begins on Friday. The weather is forecast to be pleasant, so make your way to Alburgh, Vermont for some fun and good music!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fiddling Fun,...

Those that have known me for a while know that I enjoy bluegrass and old time fiddle music. On July 18th I went to Wilmington, NY to an evening of fiddling and fun. The Food Stamp Ramblers were performing. One of the band members laughed saying they named their group that because they get so little for playing they need food stamps! All kidding aside they are a great group of very accomplished musicians.

Check out this video taken by Mary Winchell and published on YouTube:

That tune played in the video is "Skillet Lickin' Breakdown" written by the late Ken Bonner. If you are in the area of Wilmington, join the fun at their next concert there on September 26th, 2009 from 7:30 to 9:30. You won't be disappointed!