Sunday, May 29, 2011

Music and No Mayhem

I will be acting as master of ceremonies for the second annual Piedmont College bluegrass festival in Demorest, Georgia, next Saturday, the fourth of June.

That's the fourth of June, not the fourth of July. I will be in Savannah on the latter date, at a private event involving a lot of gunpowder. I anticipate things will go better in that seaport city than last year. If you hear of any combustion-related mishaps occurring by the docks in early July, however, keep in mind that I was probably elsewhere.

copyright ©2011 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


muleWe're back from Mule Day at the Shields-Ethridge farm and Bleb isn't speaking to me. He thought we were going to attend a "mule appreciation day" with lots of music, hay, licorice sticks and back scratching. He was right about the music, but was sadly disappointed by the rest of the offerings, which were intended for humans. He was particularly disappointed by the lack of hay and licorice sticks.

What's more, it looks like he will be spending more time at the farm than either of us anticipated, since he found a table full of fried pies by one of the barns. The ladies who intended to sell the pies now insist on being reimbursed for what he consumed; I promised them Bleb would help with the plowing until the debt is repaid.

basketOn the positive side, I never have to worry about Bleb going hungry, partly because he's so resourceful, and partly because he's not particular. He will find something to eat even if it means consuming someone else's handiwork. Of course, this means that after he finishes plowing for the Shields' ladies, he'll also be working for the fellow whose baskets held the pies.

copyright ©2011 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mule Day

mule plowI'll be at the Shields-Ethridge farm on Saturday May 21 for their annual Mule Day celebration. The farm, along the middle fork of the Oconee River, has been in the Shields family since 1802. During the war, the women who were left to manage the farm hid a couple 500-pound bales of cotton from Yankee soldiers and Confederate tax collectors. When the dust settled and prices were high, they were able to sell the bales for a good sum -- which may have saved the farm. The family was frugal and rarely threw anything away or tore anything down, so there is a lot to see -- a cotton gin, a blacksmith shop, a grist mill, a schoolhouse and all sorts of working matter.

On Saturday, the Crystal River string band will perform, and there will be barbeque and crafts demonstrations, and of course I will be there with my Wizard Water©. City folks can even try their hand at plowing, if they've a mind to.

likes the idea of a Mule Day, but I don't think he realizes that it's about farm work. He seems to think it will involve a lot of corn, oats, and lady mules. I have not told him different. This will ensure a swift ride to the farm. After he sees his fellow working mules, the ride home will be even swifter.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Room for Improvement

combI was in Dahlonega last night, for another Mountain Music & Medicine Show of string band music with the groups Bluebilly Grit, Hawkproof Rooster, and Pool Mountain. Bluebilly Grit used to play near a grist mill; I told them they could make more money selling music than cornmeal and they decided to try it. Now I just wished I'd also told them that they needed an experienced salesman like myself to manage them. I know if I could add band member Amber's voice to my Wizard Water© I could open a whole new market to gospel choirs looking for a heavenly sound. Speaking of singing, Nancy and Charlie Hartness of Hawkproof Rooster fiddled and sang so irresistably that the groundhog that lives under the theater came out and step-jigged up the back stairs. Not to be outdone, Pool Mountain's banjo, bass, fiddle and mandolin playing put so much electricity into the air that several ladies' hats began floating over their owners' heads. By the end of the program, the groundhog was dancing onstage with Mr. Nix, the audience was stomping loud enough to rattle the brick walls, and several of the performers caught fire and had to be doused with Wizard Water©

So I guess you could say it was a pretty good show. I do think, however, that a few tunes would be vastly improved with the addition of a wind instrument -- something like, say, a comb. I offered to provide such an instrument on "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" but all the musicians declined. I would perform it solo, but it loses something without the additional backup.

copyright ©2011 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Theatrical Career

Taurus the BullI once auditioned for a play which called for the part of a doctor. I told the director that my training would lend an air of authenticity and make up for what I lacked in emotive facility. He questioned my medical abilities until one of the actors broke an arm. After setting the arm, I made the cast.

Thus encouraged, I entered an acting contest called "Be a Theater Star!" I didn't win, but the judges were so impressed with my improvisation upon a work of Shakespeare (when Julius Caesar battles Hamlet for the hand of Juliet, from "As You Like It") that they gave me a constellation prize. They said it is called Perna (which is Latin for "ham"), a dim cluster of celestial luminations that lies just below the constellation Taurus (the Bull).

copyright ©2011 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.