Our visit to the Carter Family Fold was an adventure. We had the chance to see where a different and very influential music culture began. We visited the old house on the property where A.P. Carter had lived and played music. It has been moved and turned into the Carter Family museum, but it is the house where Johnny Cash’s wife, June Carter Cash grew up. I had the privilege of sitting in a rocking chair that Johnny Cash himself gave to his wife’s family.
The Carter Family Fold is now a very comfortable building, which, through the help of donations collected by the Friends of the Carter Family Foundation, and grants from various arts and historical agencies, has been carefully remodeled to retain the old feel, but improve seating and sound. Mr. Kevin told us that there used to be old bus seats to sit on and it had a real back-woods feel, which would have been nice to see as well.
The old building seemed to come alive when The Kentucky School of Bluegrass students started to play, and people began to dance. It was a strange kind of dance they were doing. It was almost like tap dancing, but everyone was pretty much doing their own thing. I couldn’t figure out how to do it, so I stayed off the dance floor.
During the band’s break we were all given five dollars to spend at the snack bar, which gave us time to explore and talk to some great people. We met the Dean of The Kentucky School of Bluegrass, who was also one of the musicians, and he told us all about the program’s origins, and then gave us a sticker before starting the second half of the show.
After learning how to dance earlier this month, we had the chance to dance when the band played the Tennessee Waltz. I danced with Miss Hope Allen and had a blast. After our last dance, Mr. Mike and Mr. Kevin loaded us up on Ike, the school bus and drove an hour and a half through a thunderstorm back to the school.
I will never forget my visit to the Fold and hope to one day bring my own family there to share the joy and spiritual happiness I felt.