Musical Instruments of Appalachia, part 2

Thursday morning we drove off to Johnson City, Tennessee, to see a friend of Ray’s.  He had been a programmer his entire career and was engaging in the fad of Swedish Death Cleaning.  I looked up Swedish Death Cleaning in Google.  It appears to derive from one recent book.  I can’t find any references to the topic reliably before about 2016.  Google Date Search is not very clever.  They will tell you something was dated in 2009 but the text you were looking for might be on that page with a 2017 date.  It’s a hard problem.

We then drove up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and went on a walk through a rhododendron forest.  Untortunately it was not yet in bloom.  We did see two completely different kinds of trillium than we have in California.  It’s a nice drive, there are no stop signs anywhere on it.  We stopped just across the Virginia border to spend the night.  We could have stayed in Mount Airy, NC, the inspiration for Mayberry, but instead we went to Hillsville, VA, which was much less expensive.  With few dining options, we found a so-so Mexican place.

I learned a new word there, from the ESPN big screen:  Cornholing.  Actually, I already knew the word, but if you’re in Dixie, it means something completely different.  It means beanbag-tossing.  They fill the little bags with corn, see, and toss them into holes.

Friday morning we backtracked a little, and went to the Blue Ridge Music Center on the Parkway.  After another nice walk, we returned to the center where a circle of Appalachian musicians had gathered for the daily jam session (from noon to 4pm every day).  Three mandolins, two banjos, guitar, violin, bass.  They were awesome:  we listened for about 45 minutes.