Friday, October 12, 2012

Tennessee Fall Homecoming at Museum of Appalachia - Thursday

Thursday is kids day at the Tennessee Fall Homecoming. School buses crowd the parking lot and kids are everywhere participating in the spoons workshop, playing field sports like sack racing, watching old time crafts that have been replaced by factory made goods, and lining up at the sno cone booth. We enjoy watching kids being kids and also took the opportunity to visit the Museum of Appalachia's Hall of Fame, which houses a marvelous collection of artifacts, including lots of home fashioned musical instruments which stretch the imagination and demonstrate the ingenuity of people for whom cash was never a ready commodity. 

Craftsman Tatting

 Kids Watching

Appalachian Hall of Fame

This is a highly personal and idiosyncratic collection of crafts, artifacts, and people who managed to survive and (sometimes) prosper as they found ways to express their creativity and ingenuity in a place and time where life was hard and demanding while "things" were hard to obtain and rare. As a result, they learned to repair, improvise, and make do. My particular interest were the sometimes odd and often ingenious musical instruments they created.  Here are a few. I've also posted a more extensive Facebook album of banjos on Ted and Irene's Most Excellent Bluegrass Adventure.

Commode Seat Guitar

Red Rector's Creations

Square Guitar

Ham Can Banjo

Gourd Fiddle

Tom Travels to Orchards to Collect 
These Heritage Apples 

Kids Circling for a Cake Walk

...Coming Together at the End

The Museum of Appalachia Band

Eli & Ethan Ferguson with Mala Patterson

The kids had a good time and learned something to in this large living museum. We'll be at the Museum of Appalachia for the next three days, but you should think about coming there, too, whether it's for Tennessee Fall Homecoming or not. This is a wonderful place to spend a day or two and get in touch with a life that really doesn't exist except in museums any more.