Floyd is the kind of small town where a kid’s baseball game and a Roni Stoneman concert get equally enthusiastic attention, where a potter can put on a street theater performance, and late-life artists can develop their skills under the tutelage of a highly skilled professional, all in the same day.
I started my day by visiting Dee Dannowitz at her son’s baseball game at Check Elementary School in Northern Floyd County. I could hear the enthusiastic moms and dads cheering long before I could see the playing field.
Next, I dropped in on the Still Life Pastel Class at the Jacksonville Center which was being taught by Karen Sewell.
This was the final day of the 3 day course and I was frankly amazed at the progress made by her students in that time. It is a real inspiration to see her working with the students.
I stopped by the Floyd Country Store for lunch and I met the "First Lady of Banjo" and star of TV’s Hee Haw, Roni Stoneman, who was in town for a concert, a book signing, and a childrens banjo workshop.
I had the unexpected opportunity to spend an hour with this colorful and warmhearted woman and was totally charmed by her stories about her life and family.
Later in the afternoon, Roni put on a banjo workshop for children and shared some of her personal tips on playing the banjo. I was impressed by how well she was able to comunicate the nuances of her style to rather young children.
Later that night, several hundred of us saw her perform on stage and enjoyed her unique mix of music and comedy.
As I left the country store, I looked back down the quiet street toward the brightly lit storefront where music and laughter still poured out of the building into the sleeping community
had miles to drive.
On the way home I thought about all of the other people who made this day special.
Mac and Jenny Traynham had opened for Roni and their infectious good nature created a wonderful start for the evening.
Woody and Jackie Crenshaw provided the unique venue that is the Floyd Country Store. Stu Geisbert and Dylan Locke provided the behind the scenes support and logistics that resulted in Roni Stoneman appearing here in the first place.
Last of all and probably most important were the people from Floyd who come out and support country music and those who perform it.