My Hometown

My Hometown

Front Porch Pickin'

Last weekend, while my family and I were at one of our cities annual craft fairs in the park, as we perused the many tables of handmade crafts I was drawn to the music in the distance.

It flowed through the trees like the wind.

Mandolins, fiddles, banjos, BLUEGRASS!

Once we made our way to the stage I smiled at the scenery behind the band; a large canvas painted to look like a farmhouse with a big porch to give the illusion that these guys were doin’ some front porch pickin’.

I was back at my Uncle John’s house.

My Uncle John is my dad’s brother and lived out east from us, more towards the mountains where bluegrass music is king.

Whenever we would drive out for a visit, dad would always roll the windows down when we got close enough and you could hear the instruments radiating through the mountains as the locals picked.

My sister and I were always amazed when we’d pull up to Uncle John’s house and find that those delightful sounds were coming from his front porch as he and his neighbors played together in a circle.

We would sit on the front porch alongside of them with huge smiles on our faces as they picked and grinned until supper was ready.

A prayer, a good home cooked meal, and catching up with great conversation with my Aunt and Uncle was always on the menu with a visit to Uncle John’s.

But my sister and I never left empty-handed.

Uncle John always slid a CD or two into our hands to take home with us; he called it our “Bluegrass Education.”

All the way home, and for weeks on end on our own front porch, we’d sit and listen to Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, Dr. Ralph Stanley, and Jim & Jesse McReynolds.

No doubt we played the music a little too loudly for our neighbors liking sometimes, but no one said anything and quite a few would even stop by to listen with us when they were out for a walk.


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