Retiredguys Clifftop adventure 2009
First my complements to the West Virginia Division of Culture and History for the most well organized festival with so many folks as I have seen. What a wonderful time I had at all the venues especially the dancing.
Now, in the first place I was Off schedule by a few days, I thought the thing started on (gates open) on the 28th of July so I arrived at Elon, NC to pick up my camping partners on the 25th . Having found out we were several days late in leaving, we took off that evening for the 4 hour drive. Not having the good sense to follow the direction given on the flyer, we chose to use the always faithful GPS. Unfortunately she offloaded us from US IS77 too early and we would up on WV Rte 41, a road that leads to nowhere. We drove for an hour and the GPS kept telling us to turn around,, ha,,, Im driving a 35 Motor Home with a trailer and golf cart. Unlike our flatland roads, there are no crossroads that you may take an alternate route. On Rte 41 there are no block to go around, just straight ahead. Well, we finally got to Clifftop around 7 hours later and watched the sun rise over the hills.
That was the beginning of the greatest festival I have ever attended. So began the Clifftop adventure for the Retiredguy, his new best friends, Don Chester Moore and Marc Buckner. (Dons 14th year to Clifftop and couldnt find his way out of a paper bag). Its a good thing hes a great picker. Marc is the fiddler and we jammed late several times (4AM).
We parked the MH at the bottom of the hill at the Armband Checkpoint and I sat there day after day picking my banjo and singing to all the passerbys. I received some good produce too, Tomatoes, Zucchini, and yellow squash. (and it wasnt thrown either.) I was allowed to use my golf cart to move around the festival area. This gave me the freedom to visit every campsite and jam session at the festival. There are some really great pickers at Clifftop. I have only one problem with the old time music scene, NOT ENOUGH SINGING!!! The picking in most cases were note perfect, timing perfect, everything just plain beautiful music but too little singing going on.
I visited Cajun land several times late at night to be entertained by the goings on there. Man I would have loved to jam with those folks but they would probably have hurt me real bad if I tried.
Didnt find that much Bluegrass going on, maybe I visited the right campsite at the wrong time. Just the same I enjoyed my adventure to the fullest. I square danced, flat-footed and in general just jumped around. I conversed with many fine folks, another reason I love festivals.
Not having electrical hookups I ran my generator, it only uses about 2 gallons an hour, now lets see 2 X 40 = 80, darn I only have a 100 gal tank. So we had to break camp and go down the mountain to find a gas station.
I finally had the great honor in meeting my favorite Claw Hammer banjo picker in the world, Rebekah Weiler from Murfreesboro TN. We met (she gave me a hug) talked, I got my pic made with here and that in itself made my festival. I also met Chip Arnold and he showed me some licks. Also Dan Iverson was there and gave me a good deal on a songbook. He is a clever tradesman but I out maneuvered him and got his personal copy of a great song book. Sorry Dan, maybe next year you can get me back.
The stage used for the competitors was the best open air stage I have ever seen. Sound system, light show, and soundman was great too. The bands were awesome and I would have hated being the judge to pick the best because they were all the best.
I suppose I should mention the rain, yes it rained at Clifftop 2009 but who cares, it was Clifftop!
You may read this as the ramblings of an old fool, but I write as a young old fool..
on “Retiredguy's great Clifftop adventure, 2009”
Laurence Diehl Says:
Tuesday, August 11, 2009 @10:50:20 AM
Well, your "ramblings" make for good reading! Makes me feel like I was there...
Tuesday, September 8, 2009 @5:16:15 PM
Glad you had a great time. It was a great pleasure meeting you as well! :-)
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