ANDERSON, Ind. —
Southwest Virginia is beautiful.
It is beautiful because of the mountains. They are ancient, formed so long ago that they have actually grown a little shorter — like a wise old man who stoops with age. But they are blanketed in a mass of trees, and in the summertime they take on a blue-green hue that is so breathtaking it is nearly impossible to drive through them without stopping along the road to snap pictures, or to just stare at the massive loveliness and inhale the prettiness of it all.
Those Blue-Ridged mountains have a secret. Along the roads that twist and wind through the trees are a species of musicians who have nurtured a centuries-old musical heritage. This generation of musicians embrace the music that has been passed to them from their ancestors as their personal family heirloom, a treasure to be carefully preserved for the next generation. And the next.
Along “The Crooked Road” (as the path has been officially named), those music makers pull out their fiddles and their mandolins and their guitars and they play the music at cabins and country stores and festivals and other venues throughout the week. People come to listen to the music. And they dance, with taps on their shoes — a style of dance called clogging, a gift from Ireland and England, brought here on boats. Tapping to the tune of a 300-year-old ballad, everyone in the room communes with the past. History flashes before them in the words of a song written by a long gone ancestor, who sings of poverty and lost love and hard work and death.
The music is as pretty as the mountains.
My family are natives of southwest Virginia and we visited the natives last week. We took my grandson Cayden and his daddy.
Of course the visit would not be complete without a stop along “The Crooked Road”. Cayden is now 4 years old, so it was high time he was initiated into the mountain music club. Our venue of choice for that Saturday evening was “The Country Cabin II” in Norton, part of the Appalachian Traditions Village which featured local musicians.
“We are going to a party,” we informed Cayden.
My mother gave him specific instructions. “When the music starts, you can get out of your seat and go right up to the front and dance. Just jump right up and down if you want to.”
The prospect of getting out of his seat and jumping up and down to music seemed very appealing to Cayden. But I wondered if self-consciousness or shyness would interfere with his dancing when the time came. The music was different. It was live, the people were strangers, and the taps were loud.
Later that evening, I stood in the shadows of the dance floor of the ‘Country Cabin’ holding up my phone to record a heartwarming scene.
A 4-year-old boy named Cayden Timmons hopped around on the hardwood floor while a mountain band sang a traditional fast paced bluegrass song. His toddler-sized feet swung out and about as he imitated the cloggers tapping all around him. Dancing nearby was his 81-year-old great grandfather (also a mountain musician). They danced together, exuberantly, bonding in the sights and sounds of the music from the past.
The gift of music had been successfully imprinted on the open heart of new generation.
To find out more about The Crooked Road, go to www.thecrookedroad.org
Theresa Timmons’ column appears every first and third Sunday. She is an Elwood resident and can be reached at email@example.com.
ANDERSON, Ind. —
Southwest Virginia is beautiful.
- Acting without words Nineteen area students will take a walk down the red carpet Tuesday evening as their film projects premiere at the Paramount Theatre during the WRC Silent Film Festival.
Community Briefs: April 21
A compilation of community news as published in the Monday edition of The Herald Bulletin.
Crossing over to Christianity
Tim Hanshew lives by 1 Corinthians 1:18: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” For the past six years, he has shared that power by carrying a large wooden cross throughout Anderson.
2014 Debutante Cotillion participants
The 11 participants in this year’s Debutante Cotillion Beautillion Militaire were asked a variety of questions, including their influences, words that describe themselves and favorite “words to live by.” The event begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at Madison Park Church of God, 6607 Providence Drive. Call Antoinette Davis at 620-2229 for tickets, which are $270 per table or $30 each.
- Location, location, location When imagining the house of a farmer, people don’t tend to envision the home built by George and Nancy Likens. By pouring time and attention into their haven since they originally constructed the house in 1975, they have created an updated and lovely environment in the perfect setting.
- Theresa Timmons: Dinosaurs run amok at mamaw's house I love my new job as a grandparent. It includes playing imaginary tennis with imaginary tennis rackets, making elaborate tents in the living room, and hair-pulling.
- Reliving the Orestes tornado of 1922 Spring is a time of new life and hope. A time when grass becomes green and flowers begin to bloom. But with the beauty of the season often comes the arrival of devastating storms. The spring of 1922 was no exception to the residents of Orestes.
- Back in the News: April 20 The Herald Bulletin looks back at stories from the Anderson Daily Bulletin and The Anderson Herald newspapers. 10 Years Ago – 2004 April 21 – The Edgewood Baptist Church now is completely inside the town limits of Edgewood. The Town Council made it o
- 14th annual dog walkathon at Shadyside Park The Madison County Humane Society will host its 14th annual dog walkathon on Saturday, May 3. The walk will be at Shadyside Park between 8 a.m. and noon (rain or shine.
- Maleah Stringer: Volunteers needed to spend time with shelter animals Shelters can be extremely stressful places for many animals, particularly those who have been in a loving home. This is why we want people to come into the shelter and spend time with our animals — to help keep them adoptable so that when the right person comes along they are ready.
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