Friday, September 5, 2008

Hangouts and Barns

In the course of my reading about jam sessions in southwestern Virginia, I think I read that musical styles and preferences can change dramatically from one side of a mountain to the other.

The jam in Weber City, VA, added some unique touches to the tradtional jam session. I did not learn the name of the gentleman playing the fiddle, but he provided a more formal touch to the gathering.

In contrast, the light from the single bulb in the center of the group gave the appearance of a secretive gathering of the men of the community.

Maybe we should have expected this scene at the "Lazy Time Pickin' Parlor" when we saw the sign saying that it was a "Hangout for the Homeless and Henpecked." The fact that Kate was one of only two women attending the session seemed to confirm the store's status as a boys-only clubhouse.


Sometimes we spend an afternoon driving around, making decisions about the turn to make at each intersection. This results in some interesting adventures and, when combined with the barn quilts appearing unexpectedly, presents several surprises along country roads. A recent drive produced the discoveries below.

While many of the quilts are displayed on barns of more than 50 years old, not all are; nor are they all on the official Barn Quilt Tour, but they all present colorful attractions around the countryside.

Some of the patterns are relatively simple,

others more complex. Some quilt patterns are completed by the families who display them. Others are completed by high school or college art classes.

An example of the latter is the "Stars and Cubes" pattern of the quilt mural on the Coates Barn near Blountville, TN. It was patterned after a quilt made by Paul Coates' mother-in-law, who grew up on the farm. She was part Cherokee Indian and often used bright colors in her quilts. The mural was painted by art students at nearby Sullivan South High School in Kingsport. The floral detail in the center star was painted by a female student who returned to her native Mexico upon her graduation in May 2004.

Surprises around every corner and turn.

1 comment:

Reina said...

I love seeing all the quilt patterns on the old barns. There is a quilt painted on a barn along Hwy 27 in Iowa that I often looked at in my travels between MN and IL before my marriage and it always made me smile. I love quilts--making them, seeing them, enjoying them, using them, treasuring them.

Thanks for all the pics!