As most of you already know, the John C. Campbell Folk School plays a huge role in our lives. I consider myself very fortunate to live just down the road from the John C. Campbell Folk School.
The first time I remember being at the folk school, I was about 6 years old. My class at school had planned a field trip to the folk school. My Mamaw, Marie Wilson, worked in the craft shop. Instead of taking the bus with the other kids I rode to work with her that morning.
Even though the days, weeks, and years have passed quickly by since that day, I still vividly recall the trip as the beginning of my fascination with the folk school. First there were the carvings-dozens of little animal figures any child would have been spell bound by them. There was the sliding door refrigerator with more fruit in it than I’d ever seen before, and as I wandered around and lost my way there was the nice housekeeper who let me follow her back to Mamaw-never scolding me for prowling around and getting lost.
Through the years the folk school continued to weave its way through my life. Pap has performed at many a fall festival and Friday night concert. The folk school even aided in one of the greatest achievements of his musical career when they assisted the North Carolina Arts Council in awarding Pap and his brother the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award for their music as The Wilson Brothers. You can even read about Pap in the JCCFS’s History Center.
The folk school continues to be a part of my life today. Chatter and Chitter clogged on the John C. Campbell Folk School Clogging Team for many years; I teach an Appalachian cooking class for them; we all enjoy attending contra dances; and the whole Blind Pig Gang performs often at the folk school and is always on one of the stages during fall festival.
When Olive Dame Campbell opened her beloved folk school it was primarily to help our little community of Brasstown and the surrounding area. Her vision was to teach local folks how to use the techniques and talents they already had to better their lives.
To be sure, people from all over the world benefit from the John C. Campbell Folk School. However, every year when we take our places on the festival barn stage, I know Mrs. Campbell would be proud. Not because of our musical awesomeness, but because 4 generations of the Wilson family who live just down the road, have intertwined their lives with her dream.
JCCFS Fall Festival – October 1 & 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the John C. Campbell Folk School. Daily admission: $5 for adults, $3 for ages 12-17, and free for children under 12.
Chatter and Chitter will be clogging with the Kudzu Kickers on the Festival Barn Stage at 1:20 p.m on Saturday Oct 1st.
The Pressley Girls will perform on the Festival Barn Stage at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday Oct 2nd. If you make it to the festival PLEASE come up and say hello!
Live close enough to attend the festival? The Folk School generously donated tickets for me to giveaway-so if you want the tickets-leave a comment and tell me. The tickets are good for one day of the festival, whichever day you decide to attend.
To be entered in the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me you want to win the tickets. The giveaway will close on Wednesday September 21 at 3:00 p.m.
Be on the lookout for a guest post about Olive Dame Campbell written by Rooney Floyd.