Click here, then minimize, to listen while reading this page: All the campsites in Sylamore Creek were full to overflowing. It seems the Thursday Thunderstorms that killed five Arkansans also filled the mountains with fresh flood-waters. That caused the closure of over half the sites. So we slept in the car, sitting up sort of and man do I have a bad crick in my neck. At daylight we couldn’t stand it any more. The wind was howling so we pitched the tent in the day use area, no camping remember, and crawled in our sleeping bags. We got two wonderful hours of sleep before the Forester came and made us decamp. Saved seven bucks too. Three dollars in the day use area, we did buy a fee tag, and the next day, a spot opened up in the camping area just 14 open and we got one. Cost, ten bucks. We did enjoy the hot showers and cot the second night, forgot Coles cot so we bought a sleeping pad at Wally World in Mtn. View on the way back to camp.
Lots of great picking. I don’t think we saw or participated in one organized event of the Festival except the free tour through the Crafts of the folk Center.
There we met a fellow, John Jones, with wheelharp website, a kid’s shoe designer. He was playing the rarest instrument of all a Hurdy Gurdy. It was a truly amazing contraption. I can’t wait to see the other instruments he has on wheelharp.com or some site like it. Neat fellow.
This my friends is a Wheelharp! Built by John Jones of Tronton Missouri
"Pardon me, Governor," Daniel Merry, October 2008.
When we did get back to camp, I think I hear a picker in the next site. Next morning I meet him and besides being a folk festival afficianado, he was pardoned by two Arkansas Governers for earlier convictions in his life, it’s part of his story, he shares freely his name is Dan Merry. He was a wealth of information and shared his Gibson Guitar with me and played me three or four songs. Neat guy. Dan said he was pardoned actually three times, twice by Arkansas Governors Bumpers and Beebe, and once by Jesus Christ. Now that is a great testimony. Dan plays an old Gibson 12 string that went through a fire at Ben Jacks which he converted and restored to a playable six string. I enjoyed the big old Gibson neck and the sonorous tones of the aged axe which as Dan said, “It’s the Phoenix as it has risen from the ashes.” Indeed it has, great instrument. He told me a story about a Yamitake hand made guitar he owns from Japan, a pawn shop prize. He also said he commissioned a luthier to make a copy of the guitar that belonged to Jimmy Driftwood. Cool instrument and I’d like to lay hands on it.
Cole had a social studies project I found out about by text message when three hit all at once as we were still sacked out in the tent. An angel must have told that signal which trees to bounce off of to find me because for years I’ve never had a peep of signal at Sylamore below the caverns. Fortunately I had a laptop and the Creek Motel at 9 and 14 had open Wifi, we got it done, but it knocked us out of floating on the white. The laptop had to update everything, ugghhh.
Cole did his great depression power point on the fly as we circled by Subway for the third time and out of town….. it was a wonderful weekend. Thanks Cole and thanks Mom for letting him go with his Uncle Bruce.