October’s Soiree


Art, Music

Each autumn, a wonderful group of people come together to support the Madison County Arts Council.  The Madison County Arts Council in turn supports the past, present and future of traditional mountain music.


Pat Franklin opens her lovely home and property to an appreciative crowd and holds a proper Soiree.  The setting is so perfect; the mountains, old barns, and farmhouses, changing leaves, mellow autumn sun.  Pat’s Mama makes the best banana puddin’ in the world and they serve it up every year.  Musicians of national acclaim show up to remind us how deep and special and important the sounds of these North Carolina hills really are.  Voices, fiddles, lyrics, traditions; it is so good to know that music and story telling and art are being carried forward and appreciated.

There are tables of goodies set up around the lawn, all made by volunteers and Arts Council Board Members.  There is always a pot of chili and this year a pot of curry chicken soup, too.  Both were yummy.  And then there’s that banana puddin’.

The entertainment began; first Joe Penland sang and told stories.  I learn something new about Marshall and Madison County every time I hear Joe Penland, he is a brilliant story teller and happens to have a great voice.  He is also a recipient of the coveted Bascom Lunsford Award.  Joe was followed by Sheila Kay Adams, another story teller.  (And recent winner of the National Heritage Fellowship, our country’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.)  Sheila’s stories and songs are about life and traditions in Sodom, North Carolina. She kept us laughing!  There were some real characters in her hometown.  


During all that fun, there was a silent auction in a tent down the hill.  Artists and volunteers donate paintings, goody baskets, books, jewelry, t-shirts and gift certificates.  Yours truly won a 2-hour  workshop on keeping bees from Wild Mountain Bees.  Sweet!  This is sweet for two reasons.

1.  I want to keep bees eventually

2.  Last year I bid on 8 items (in an effort to drive the auction proceeds up) and got them all.  It made for a very expensive Soiree.  One win is enough for me. 

From where we sat on Pat’s lawn, we could see her Mama’s farmhouse with a big wrap around porch.  There were several rope swings that slung a series kids around for the afternoon.  They had a blast!  

BIG thanks to the Madison County Arts Council and the volunteers who work so hard to put this together.  It is a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon in October.   

 The place is just beautiful.  Here are some pictures that I took, including one of me and famous fiddler Mr. Bobby Hicks.  IMG_9360


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2 Comments on “October’s Soiree”

  1. John Reid Says:

    Very nice get together Mary. Reminds me why I love my old house and property in the country. Keep up the great articles. I very much enjoy reading them.



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