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Jammin’ on the Porch

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Written by Pam Sievers.

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but as soon as we got out of the car, we could hear the music coming from the small Kentucky Christian Church. It was time to go inside and find out. I hoped they didn’t mind that we were a few minutes late.

It had been a great day and this would cap it off. A short drive from Louisville with a stop in Lexington to surprise a friend, we landed in Berea, Kentucky about 2:00. This is my third visit to Berea and everyone who loves arts, crafts, and a slice of Americana needs to visit Berea as they fly down I-75 on their way to Florida. The college has an amazing history, dedicated to social justice, sustainable living, maintaining long lost American folk crafts, and providing a free education to low income students from Appalachia.

So after we checked into our lodging, walked around town, and ate dinner at the famous Boone Tavern Inn, it was time for the entertainment. Every Thursday is Jammin’ on the Porch night at the small Christian Church and we were excited to visit. The weather chased the musicians inside tonight but the music still carried beyond the walls.

Fifteen fiddlers, banjo pickers, and guitarists sat in a circle, and took turns singing about locked up coal mines, family reunions, love gone wrong, and praising God. Singing in tune, playing in the right key and keeping a beat weren’t required but apparently, plaid shirts were. Thirty of us thoroughly enjoyed the music, especially when John, 7, one of Miss Donna’s students, played the fiddle. In the corner, Rose sold some of her fried pies – peach, apple and cherry.

I love a night like this – no Project Runway, Bachelor, HGTV or game of the week for this group. Just real life filled with hopes and heartbreak, hard work and sacrifice, and the opportunity to get together with friends once a week to read offbeat poems and sing corny songs about whistle pigs.

March, 2014 – For more writing by Pam Sievers, see her blog at My Patchwork Journey.