Friday, Aug 10
We were off early for the Farmer’s Market -- smack in the middle of town. The “Galax Leaf-Lady” was there with her fresh and dried Galax leaves and plenty of instruction on how to keep them alive and well for 5 months. There was a country jam session on the sidewalk in front of Barr’s Music Store and that entertained us until the stores gradually began to open. After a little shopping we were treated to a private tour of the downtown area, and then turned loose to explore on our own. We had all been given a $10-savings card for Subway, and that made lunch an easy decision.
At the campground we had a 2:30 concert, but Tom and I laid down for a rest and slept through it! By 4:00 we were off to the last catered dinner of the rally – a BBQ at the Crossroads Convention center. This also included the “closing ceremony” for the Airstream rally – and with that we were on our own for the rest of the weekend. We headed for the convention site – tonight was the showcase for the bands, and we all wanted to attend!
Our chairs were set right by the flatfoot stage – simple sheets of plywood on the dirt. Oh the dancing! Tom must have been intrigued because he ended up at the end of a line of flat-footers and showed them what-for! Halfway through the video you’ll see Tom get up to join in, and after that he starts smokin’ ‘em! Click on the link and watch to the end!
Competition band-playin’ is very different from performance. There is a stage crew husteling to set up the booms and sound system between each act. Each performance is for 2 minutes -- then make way for the next band! The bands were numbered but didn’t seem to play in any order for the judges; they were announced by name/number and appeared to go whenever they wanted. Certainly, the big-name bands hung around until the end.
Aside from sitting in our chairs, there was also the fun of walking the campground area where all these pickers were mixing and mingling and grouping and re-grouping for jam session. Some of the biggest names in the business were showing the finer techniques to the newest youngsters. We videoed a few of the sessions, and rotated back and forth from the jam sessions to the battle of the bands.
The bands were interrupted by a clogging team, and after their performance, we headed to our Air-home . . . tired, but completely thrilled by all we had experienced!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown