Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Visit to Wilson's Goat Ranch


 Sometimes the people one meets through bluegrass remain festival relationships. You're glad to see them, interested in what they have to say on Facebook, and look forward to the next time you cross paths. At other times the relationship ripens into a friendship. Watching families grow and develop, children grow up and get married, parents age and die, musicians battle illness and sometimes win remarkable victories. Bluegrass is a real community with all the triumphs and tragedies, wins and losses, hopes and fears that goes with community living.  We first saw the Wilson Family Band at the Spirit of Suwanne Bluegrass Festival in Live Oak, Florida in 2007. Katie Wilson was eleven years old and had been playing fiddle for about six months. Clint was fourteen, a budding banjo player. Now, six years later, Katie is a junior in high school and more interested in her social life than playing fiddle. Clint is married and headed toward some sort of career in music with his wife Kalyn.  Robert and Melissa Wilson have successfully allowed their children to ripen in their own directions, which means the band seldom performs, and will soon dissolve. They need a new family project, so they have taken on goat farming. Willow Creek farm currently has about 65 goats, although it's difficult to keep accurate count. The farm is a family project, and all pitch it enthusiastically and happily. Here's a few pictures we took on a visit there yesterday afternoon.

Katie and Friend

Irene with Melissa & Robert Wilson

Robert & Katie Wilson

Robert Wilson

Katie Wilson


Katie Wilson 

Melissa Wilson

Reba & Irene

We always have a great time when we visit the Wilson family. Next time: Newell Lodge Bluegrass Festival in March 7 - 9 at Newell Lodge in Folkston, GA.