Music is my life and has been for over sixty years. I remember when music was part of everyone lives; when you used to hear a song and associate it with what you were doing when that song came out. The dance you did with that particular song. When you went to a live performance you talked about it for days. Those were the days when you used to dress up to go see your favorite artist. That’s when music was king, at least in my hometown of Fayetteville, NC.
It’s the good ole’ summertime! It’s time for vacations and cookouts. North Carolina happens to be one of the spots people from the East like to visit and quite a few have retired here because North Carolina is a very friendly and laid back state.
I went to my first cookout of the year (I called it an event), that happens every two years. They started on Friday June 24th from 12 noon to Sunday evening in the very small town of Parkton NC. Parkston could easily be called the suburb of Fayetteville, NC which is just 12.5 miles away. Parkton isn't exactly what you would call a town; it has one blinking light, a gas station, a post office, a grill and a bank. If you like the wide open space and want to get away from city life, this is the place. The population is approximately 428 and about 114 homes.
When my friend Harold and his wife retired, they moved to this quite little place. Harold mentioned that he noticed the only time old friends would get together was when someone died, so he decided to have “The Party Before Dead.” This meant we would do it now instead of waiting for someone to die. Harold hails from the Bronx and his wife Sheila is from Queens. Most of their friends lived in NY and followed suit… got the hell out of New York city, so did I.
That is how all of this started, now every two years; family members, friends, and former co-worker get a taste of the “southern” life and an opportunity to eat some real soul food. They came as far south as Florida and from North, New York City. I won’t go into details of the food but I will tell you this, they had one of those old wash tubs full of blue crabs and Terri (my soul mate) ate crabs for a good three hours or more… nonstop! I did my thing with my mint julep… a little ole’ southern drink that I changed up a bit which consist of white lighting, apple juice, sprite and mint with a slice of lemon.
They didn’t have live music, but they had all of the hits from 50’s through the 90’s. This was a real southern picnic with all of the southerner favorites. There was bid whist being played in one corner and fried fish in the old iron wash pot in another. They have been doing this for years. Thanks Guys hope to be there for the next one. For pictures go to:
For those of you that are looking for somewhere to go that’s close by that has a bit of Doo Wop, Funk, Jazz, Nu Soul music or just plain funky black music; The Soul Patrol Convention in Philadelphia, PA is hosting one of the top musical events of the year on July 23, 2011. This is their 15th year.
They all about the preservation of black music and keeping its culture alive. It is an all day event followed by dinner and a Cabaret. If you can’t attend you can visit them on all social networks and listen via internet radio.
Summertime is also the perfect for spending quality time with grand and great-grand kids. Like most musicians, I never had the time to spend with my kids during the summer, so I would take my kids out on the road with me. One fell in love with performing, music and the Arts. Another fell in love with the party life, good times, but both are great music lovers but not musicians. I have four grands, three girls and one boy. One daughter played in bands all of her early school years, but in her last year of high school she stopped for some reason. The other one loves music for her listening pleasure, but I think I might have one entertainer in the family. She is currently a dancer and model and quite good at both. I believe one way or the other she will be in the Arts because she has the dedication. The verdict is still out on my grandson, but he is thinking about the guitar. I don’t want get excited. He will be spending a few weeks with me this summer, so I will get a feel of what his direction.
If by chance any of you guys come down interstate 95 south this summer, let me know. I take you by Vick’s for a chitterling sandwich or for some great soul food at Fuller’s.
Download of the Month: “Love in the Tub” (Remix by KayJay)
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