Tag Archives: old friends

Old Friends are the Best

Jack’s weekly guest post falls on a Friday this year because Wendy is snowed under with some editing.

I’ve found that as I get to the age I am now and various old friends are passing on, you begin to really value the ones who are still around. One reason why I organize a tour of Scotland every year is so I can meet up with them and, in some cases, re-connect with folks I’d lost touch with.

 

Right now I’m sitting in the home of one old friend and chatting with him and two others. In the last few days I’ve met up with so many that I’m close to overwhelmed!

 

Starting with Derek Hutton who passed on to me historic recordings of the folk club in Dunfermline. Then to Jane Yolen in St. Andrews for afternoon tea in her wonderful arts and crafts house and excellent conversation. On to Linda in New Gilston, where Wendy and I lived for 5 years and a relaxed early evening of memories and village gossip. Finally to Sandy and Elma Stanage in Kilconquhar (pronounced Kinnyuchar) and more memories and catch up.

 

Yesterday evening was dinner in Edinburgh with another old friend. Barbara Dickson is my old singing partner from the 1960s and headlined Big Stone Celtic two years ago. She loved her time in Big Stone Gap and is coming back this year. So lots of laughs about her visit and much harking back to the old days as well.

 

Today my friend Colin and I drove over to Edinburgh for lunch with Dolina McLennan, who I first met in 1960 and the great surprise that she had also invited yet another old friend who has visited Big Stone – Bill Hill (most famous as the composer of a much loved song called ‘The Portree Kid’).

 

But I’m not finished yet because tomorrow, after the bus for my tour has been collected and checked out, I will be having supper with Mike Morris who was the guy who recruited me into college teaching. His son owns a used book store in England and Mike spends his time haunting estate sales and auctions as an agent for his son’s shop. We will be sharing lots of memories too.

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Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, Scotland, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

FRIENDS

Jack’s guest post this week – delayed by his ripping out an old closet in the bookstore

We’ve been entertaining friends both old and new recently and it has gotten me thinking.

 

Old friends like fiddler Pete Clark, who played, like me, in the Scottish folk band Heritage from the mid 1970s through the early 1990s and comes originally also like me, from Dunfermline, help connect me to my roots. But I also have old friends now here in Appalachia and they connect me to this community and make me feel I have started to establish roots here.

 

Just last weekend Pete was here staying with us and playing a house concert on Saturday night. Of course we spent time reminiscing and laughing about adventures we had touring around Europe with the band. But Pete was over with an accordionist – Gregor Lowrie. I’d never met Gregor before but we hit it off famously and so – a new friend.

 

In attendance on Saturday was an old local friend, Ron Short – also a highly regarded musician. Now, both Pete and Gregor are very keen anglers and wanted advice on where they might go on Sunday. It turned out that Ron is also a keen fisherman and he agreed to take them out on the local lake, turning up shortly after lunch complete with a small boat and spent the rest of the day with them.

 

Of course the folk who came to the concert included folk we knew well and others who were complete strangers. By the end no-one was a stranger, however.

 

I suppose I’m a fairly gregarious creature but I love both the company of old friends, the making of new ones, and even acting as the catalyst for bringing both together at times.

 

Finally, there’s another great thing about friendship. There’s something special about re-making friendships. We break relationships either through distance, career diversion and even long forgotten disputes. I consider myself very fortunate despite being guilty of all these to have reconnected closely with old friends over the last few years.

 

So value your friends and look after your relationships.

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Filed under Big Stone Gap, blue funks, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, Scotland, small town USA, Wendy Welch