A few month's back I saw Steve Martin and the Steel Canyon Rangers in concert in Manhattan. I was in town for an edit, and a Southern photographer friend was able to grab a couple of last minute tickets and we stood in the back and my heart was overwhelmed with nostalgia for my old home and during a song called The Great Remember I thought I just might cry.
In the fall, the Airstreamers come into town by the hundreds. The funnel cake booths and fiddle makers and the buck dancers all come out to Athens for the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddler's Convention. Fences are put up. Familes are put up. Prize money is put up. And the best come to compete for the grand prize of Grand Fiddle Champion.
It's been thirteen years since I've been in Athens for the fiddlers. But I still remember the acorns cracking underfoot. Remember the years of the nip in the air, and the years of heat. Of that mountain music dancing on the wind all the way to my house a quarter mile off. The smell of funnel cakes. The pop guns and guitar picks. Walking with my momma and my brothers and hoping to not lose them and to do just that in the crowds.
I miss it. I do.
Each year in October I think about heading back. And each year I place importance on something greater. I don't know if I'll ever get back. If I'll ever see the fiddlers again.
That's why The Great Remember hit me like a memory.
|Sam Clanton, an old friend, with the old timers|