On April 30th we went to Hiltons, Virginia to listen to some good old-fashioned bluegrass music. The Carter Family Fold, a performance space for bluegrass music, was built by A.P Carter’s granddaughter to honor his dying wish. A native of Appalachia, and a fervent lover of its traditions and music, Carter traveled extensively through the mountains, amassing a still-legendary archive of recordings of folk and bluegrass music. Later, he along with his wife Sara and sister-in-law Maybelle, originated the singing group The Carter Family, and ensured their immortal status as the first family of bluegrass music.
Upon arriving at The Fold, we toured A.P. Carter’s house, where a gentleman told us the story of the family, and the home. Because Johnny Cash married Maybelle’s daughter June Carter, his rocking chair sits in the living room of the family home and many of us sat in it and had our pictures taken – a highlight of my night. When we finished the tour, it was time for supper: a sandwich for man and beast alike. My sandwich had egg salad, tuna salad, lettuce, tomato, mayo, chips, smoked chicken salad, and peanut butter and jelly, all on one sandwich. It was surprisingly good, and the dog that showed up and cleaned my plate, thought so too.
Around seven, we all went inside the Carter Family Fold to have a good time, listen to the music, dance a little, or just watch. Within the first few minutes of being inside, I found myself wanting to buy a hat to remember the occasion, so I did. When the music started, I overheard David ask Rachel and Erin to dance, but we did not know how to clog, so that didn’t happen right away. Around the fourth song I found myself out on the dance floor showing off my two left feet, but I was not alone, several of my classmates were out there with me. Because none of us knew what we were doing, a kind lady named Marie became our dance instructor, and showed us the basics of how to clog and dance to Cotton Eyed Joe, which was so cool!
When the night was over, and we had made it back to campus, it was close to midnight. It was a long day and night, but well worth being tired. We all agreed it was a great experience, very fun and very entertaining. My favorite part was watching the cloggers and being taught how to dance. The music was spectacular, and since the following day was my birthday I considered it my party at The Fold. This was truly an unforgettable experience.