Friday, July 11, 2008

The Whitetop Mountain Band

We were having lunch in the bus when the little blue Prius pulled up into the parking place beside us and changed everything. The bearded driver leaned out, “Nice bus!”

“Thanks,” Diane and I replied in well-practiced unison, an invitation for our newest acquaintance to say what always comes next—I should know, I had/have one/two/three…

The driver smiled. We braced ourselves. He spoke. “Ya’ll like bluegrass music?”

Surprised and a bit off balance that we weren’t going to do the microbus chat, we sputtered out a reply to the effect that, indeed, we do like bluegrass music. Our answer must have been coherent because from thin air he magically produced a slick flier that promised Music on the Square.

“Well then,” he said reversing his car out of the parking space, “I invite you to spend the day in our town. Come down to the square a dusk. Bring a chair. Tonight we got the Whitetop Mountain Band. It’s free.”

With that he drove away. We looked the flier over, front and back, trying to decide if we should stay or hit the road. But in truth, we already knew. Because a road trip is about changing plans on a whim. It’s about looking fate in the eye and saying yes. It’s about idling through a day in the historic little town of Jonesborough, TN, tucked away as it is in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains

… and staying for an evening bluegrass show. It’s also about meeting a few new people and, if you’re lucky, even transforming a few strangers into new friends.

May I introduce you to Beverly Jenkins, the owner/operator of Main Street Café & Catering, just back from a minibus camping tour of Croatia. Plus she and her husband have two classic microbuses in their driveway. We had many things to talk about.

But what about the music in the square? As everyone knows, the quality of street music is a hit-n-miss affair. And when it's free music, it's buyer beware. So no matter how large the crowd…

… expectations were held in check.

But then the Whitetop Mountain Band took the square. They are a family band: Aunt, Uncle, Brother, Sis, Ma, and Pa—from (where else?) Whitetop Mountain, VA

… and they are the real deal. We were glad we stayed...

No comments:

Post a Comment