Tag Archives: Celtic festivals

The Monday Post-Festival Exhaustion

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I know we didn’t put up a blog Wednesday or Friday, and now we’re reneging on THE MONDAY BOOK! We’re sorry, but frankly, folks, it was quite the BIG STONE CELTIC DAY festival this year!

So could I entice you to hop over to the BIG STONE CELTIC DAY page on Facebook (that link is gonna take you to my page, but you can jump from there or scroll down past the latest rescue cats to see the videos) and consider, instead of a Monday book, a Monday sheepdog expo, a Monday bagpipe band, a Monday parade of cool people happy to be doing something fun, a Monday series of musical videos from various festival venues, and a Monday post-festival happy exhausted vibe from Jack, me, and the bookstore cats?

Foster kitty Prospero pretty much summed up our mutual positions on Sunday. He spent the whole weekend being cuddled and carried around the shop by cooing strangers speaking in baby talk. It’s hard work. (And we promise to come out strong with blog posts again starting Wednesday. We’re just kinda… knackered right now.

baby 4

1 Comment

Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, Downton Abbey, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, out of things to read, Scotland, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

Coming Up, Rushing ‘Round, and all things ‘Twixt and ‘Tween

busy_as_usual_by_piercexy-d51l07i

in which Jack contemplates all that is to be accomplished between now and Thanksgiving…..

It’s that time of year again –  when Wendy and I take a deep breath before diving into the whirl of Fall and early Winter events in and around the bookstore and the country.

Coming up on September 25th and 26th is the 9th annual Big Stone Celtic festival which always means plenty of last minute arranging, checking and panicking. Before that, though, we MC the Sycamore Shoals Celtic festival this weekend over in Elizabethton and that’s much more relaxing and an opportunity to re-connect with old friends. The weekend between, we will be heading to the On the Same Page literary festival in West Jefferson where I will be singing and Wendy is a guest author.

Just a couple of weeks after Big Stone Celtic is Wendy’s yearly medical conference, Head for the Hills at the gorgeous Breaks Park, where I can relax (but Wendy cannot!).

Then we’ll be into the season of bookstore events: a house concert and traditional foods supper with storyteller Lyn Ford Oct. 30; a Nov. 6 eat with the author event featuring Willie Dalton, who wrote Three Witches in a Small Town;  and as-yet-unscheduled house concerts musicians Jamie Laval, Pete Clark and Ron Short.  We usually try to throw in an autumnal murder mystery,but this year we may have to punt.

A gifted storyteller and author, we remember Lyn most fondly from a house party in Ohio, when she ever so diplomatically persuaded another storyteller NOT to give a demonstration of ‘keening’ after we’d all had a few. We forward to a no less entertaining evening this time around as Lyn will have copies of her Afrilachian Folktales book for sale and signing.

Jamie is an old friend from our time on the staff of Swannanoa Gathering Celtic Week. An award winning and very popular exponent of Scottish, Irish and Cape Breton fiddling (not to mention percussive foot tapping!), he will be with us for a full weekend so I can ‘try out’ as one of his guitar accompanists at his house concert.

Pete, from Dunkeld in Scotland, will be touring with accordionist Gregor Lowrie and also staying over a weekend. He is no stranger to Big Stone and will enjoy introducing Gregor to the delights of fishing at Lake Keokee. He has also toured and taught all over the world as the acknowledged expert in the fiddle style of Highland Perthshire.

Ron Short will be joined by Willie Dodson to provide an evening of immersion in the culture and music of this part of Appalachia. Strong connections link the cultures of my homeland of Scotland and this area – stories, songs and fiddle tunes as well as language and attitudes.

Somewhere in between all this we also need to handle the day-to-day requirements of running a retail business, which means relying on friends and neighbors to mind the store – we are eternally grateful to James Ryan, Erin Dalton, and David Hamrick for stepping into the Gap!

2 Comments

Filed under Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, Scotland, shopsitting, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch