Tag Archives: Coyote Run

Music Hath Charms – –

Jack’s Wednesday guest blog post –

We just had a weekend away and enjoyed a great time with musical friends in Williamsburg VA. We went to join the farewell party for Mick and Neva Mikula who are headed permanently to Florida. Mick is an ex-member of a great Celtic rock band called Coyote Run who split up a couple of years ago and the company was composed of other ex-members and associates of the band.

At the last minute I discovered that there was to be a wedding on Sunday and I was invited to contribute to the musical accompaniment. To my astonishment I encountered a fine fiddle player who launched into Niel Gow’s ‘Farewell to Whisky’, which confirmed for me that behind the kilts and leather gear favored by ‘Coyote Run’ lay an unusually deep (for that particular musical scene) appreciation and understanding of real traditional Celtic music.

We first encountered the Coyotes a number of years ago at the Sycamore Shoals festival in Elizabethton TN, where Wendy and I had started to MC the main stage. We found that we shared a mutual quirky sense of humor and over the succeeding years our paths continued to cross. In their final year we were able to book them as headliners at Big Stone Celtic. I was always impressed by their combination of musicianship, stagecraft, visual effects and sheer exuberance. By comparison with the other regular and much shallower bands on the circuit they clearly had listened to the ‘right stuff’ and that was reflected in their repertoire.

 

Over the weekend, in conversation with the fiddle player (Paul Anderson) and Mick and the others I was astonished to find how much overlap there was in the singers and musicians we all admired.

However, there was another amusing occurrence before we headed home. Wendy went on a shopping spree with the others as I recuperated from a very late night and found a bookstore – Mermaid Books. She happened to be wearing one of our bookstore tee-shirts and the owner asked her if she’d ever visited Tales of the Lonesome Pine. She said that she had. He said that there was a great book about it that he really enjoyed, to which Wendy said “I’m the author”. Cue much hilarity and exchanging of bookstore stories!

A final big thank you to our hosts, who I suspect didn’t originally intend to have so many house-guests just as they were about to box up their possessions ahead of their departure. They treated us and the other ‘lodgers’ like royalty and we were fed delectable Indian and Middle-Eastern delicacies, not to mention haggis for breakfast.

it’s a hard life over here – – –

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Filed under between books, Big Stone Gap, folklore and ethnography, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, Scotland, Uncategorized

Our David, Shopsitter

david hamrickI am home after more than a week away at various events and conferences. Stumbling in the door, I find the place looks immaculate and smells of peppermint and lavender. Our shopsitter David did some wonderful organizational innovations to the shelves–like alphabetizing, and sorting the memoirs by category. The whole place looks brighter, cleaner, cheerfully non-neglected. (Not how it’s looked the month previous, let me assure you.)

This is why we love having shopsitters. David, a Celti-phile friend from Jack’s Scottish trips, who with his wife Susan rescues cats in their North Carolina home, stepped in, looked around, and did stuff that we have either a) meant to get around to for ages now or b) never thought about doing because we are domestically impaired.

The kittens (four from the shelter, two from drop-offs, and one I found during my road trip and brought home) are playing amiably on their new seven-foot cat castle, assembled by Uncle David. The staff cats have had their fur brushed. The one-free-with purchase books have been reshelved by height and color.

Arriving home more brain-fried than a Walking Dead extra and planning to be in bed by 8 pm, I walked in to bookstore vibrant with the loving touches of someone who value books, cats, and people. That is a glorious thing. Thanks David!

(And thanks Susan for lending him to us and for coming over to help on Saturday!)

 

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Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, reading, shopsitting, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch, writing