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First & Lasting Impressions; How I became a Banjo player

Posted by Lauriemac on Sunday, July 12, 2009

Introductions are always interesting, especially when it’s a new way to share of oneself.

Thinking on how I came to pickin’ a banjo has tickled and aliven 30 years of dormant memories, laughter, smiles and a few blushing moments. I was just a pupster in 1978 when I found my way to Rockbridge County…heading for the country.

 I had an image of what I wanted, what I ‘thought’ I was coming to, in leaving New Jersey and embarking on Virginia. My first stop Roanoke, for 3 weeks…then a quick migration north, 50 miles to what felt like the right place to be. Rockbridge County VA.
Not my first encounter with Rockbridge, as earlier in the year I was tooling up interstate  81 North in my ’68 Volkswagon van, after 6 months of roaming the US and happened upon the southern end of the county for a 4 hour layover; a nap & a shower at the KOA . This was a profound 4 hours as I remember it. I felt suspended in time with the wisdom and majesty of the Blue Ridge & Alleghany Mountains enveloping, cradling me. Yet, it never crossed my mind that I would return, first landing…  living 1 mile adjacent to that very spot and then 6 months later a move to the Maury River where I birth my babies, marry, divorce, begin and end business’, serve the Commonwealth… and share the rest of my adult life here.
Yet I so distinctly remember the day when I ended up back in VA, and wandered into Lexington (post Roanoke) and into the friendliest looking place in town…The White Column Inn (looking for a job), and there in the corner next to a large double hung window in the remnants of afternoon sun, sat an ‘older’ gentleman, rather scruffy lookin’, playing the banjo. I had no aspirations, At All, to play an instrument…yet, that was my invitation and welcome on a very visceral level, to the place, that I now call, Home.  
(installment # 1) TBC


2 comments on “First & Lasting Impressions; How I became a Banjo player”

Banjov1 Says:
Sunday, July 12, 2009 @9:11:11 PM

Hey Laurie, Great Post!

I too have some fond recall of early travels down I-81. My family had good friends in Lexington and I almost ended up going to W&L. I was really impressed with the scenery in the area and eventually ended up going to Va Tech. Sometimes I think there's nothing better than a 4 hour drive down to Blacksburg on a crisp fall morning.

These days I do what  I can to get my family down in that area whenever possible. Whether it's a weekend of Hokie football or a fall foliage bike tour in Staunton. I try to get down there a couple times a year.

None of this has too much to do with my banjo playing, but I'm a big fan of your neck of the woods none the less.



Lauriemac Says:
Monday, July 13, 2009 @6:04:37 AM

Thanks Tony for your interest! My first blog!... stay tuned for the next Rockbridge installment! ~Laurie

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