Thursday, October 07, 2010

Jonesborough & The National Storytelling Festival

Cousins,
I left for Jonesborough early Thursday morning.  I was up at 4:30 am and getting
ready since I was too excited to sleep.  It had been 3 years since I had been to
the Festival and I was ready.  The trip is always cool for me since my Hollen/Holland family
moved into that area in about the 1760s.  As I drive around the area I recognize
towns and names that have importance to our history and wish I knew those
ancestral stories better.

I arrived, registered and went to the little Methodist camp I stayed at, settled
in and enjoyed the mountains for a while.  I could have stayed and listened to
the little creek behind my cabin forever.  The tall pines cast a dampness all
round and it seems the mist never rises in the holler where I was.

Back in town I wandered a little, looking at the preparations, thinking already
about who I wanted to hear, who I hoped to see, friends I wanted to run into.  I
stopped and looked at Doc McConnell's Medicine Show wagon (not only nostalgia,
but also to get ideas to build myself one) and was reminded that his family were
to donate it to the ISC on Saturday morning.  I made a note to be there.

It started to rain a little and i decided to find a place to eat... found a
Chinese buffet and snuck in.  Before I finished a storyteller friend, Eric also wandered in and
we sat and shared a meal and talked of many things.  Eric and I live maybe 12-15
miles from each other here and it is cool he was the first person I connected
with. We talked of many things, shared our opinions and enjoyed the conversation.

Thursday night rain sent me back to the camp and into that little holler.  I sat
on the small porch with my harmonica and played a while, listening to the
rambling creek, the drips of rain that eventually found their way through the
thick pine canopy and the wind that danced with the trees.

I sat and thought of staying with Chuck Larkin in that very cabin several years
ago - his last Festival.  I thought of the tellers we have lost over the past
few years and the legacy they left.  For a while I felt so very old (at 57) as I
thought of friends that have gone. 

Enough of the melancholy, I thought and went to bed.  Life is grand, happiness
is like moonshine and I am in Jonesborough!  Excited about the morning, about
seeing friends, hearing stories... starting a new adventure in my life!
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