Sunday, May 16, 2010

Carter Family Fold, for real this time!!!

Last summer on the road trip, Erika and I hit up the Carter Family Fold for a look see. The way our schedule worked out, we arrived there on a Friday, which does no one a whole lot of no good, as they are only open on Saturday nights. SO!! Last weekend, I drove up on a Saturday! I got there a couple hours before show time in order to check out the site: visit the museum and the boyhood home of A.P. As it turns out, last summer would have been a bad time anyway, as all kinds of renovations had been underway, so I got to see the new and improved grocery turned museum!I stopped in A.P.'s home first and a nice older man was there talking to me and showing people around. It is really just a 2 room cottage with a sleeping loft, finished with period pieces and some of the family's original belongings. When Johnny Cash died, his son donated his and June's favorite rocking chairs to the fold. I had my picture made sitting in Johnny Cash's rocking chair!!! I enjoyed looking at Sarah's pottery and other artifacts, and letting my imagination run picturing the Carters singing and picking on the porch.Next, I walked over to A.P.'s old grocery, which is how he filled his time and made a living after he got out of the music business. He, unlike Maybelle, never got the pay off. He died before their fame really soared, so for a while there, he had his grocery store with his son and lived a simple life. The grocery is now the Carter Family Museum, and it was stocked with the likely stuff: costumes and instruments and hand written songs. They have video footage of Sarah and Maybelle during the folk revival and some of the rewards they received in later years. I think I looked at every little thing 2 or 3 times!After, I headed over to the concert space, which looks like an old barn from the outside and I think over the years it has evolved from an outdoor show to a simi-barn like hoe-down to the slick seating and wooden floor set up that it is today. The state of Virginia finally got it's act together and started funding the fold's efforts. The crowd was mostly seniors and locals, with a few young families mixed in. Everyone seemed to be into clogging and stomping their hearts out! A few couples could really tear it up with their two-steppin. I had a great time! And, I would love to go back! Thinking about stopping in again on the 29th of May, who will meet me?

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