A New Kidd Family Tradition


On the last full day of my visit to KY my dad, brother and I decided to drive down to Renfroe Valley for the 1939 Barn Dance. This show is offered daily in the "old" barn which is located adjacent to the "new" barn. My brother and I were the youngest persons in the room, besides two girls who may have been in high school. Sitting four rows from the stage we were able to get some pretty cool photos for my dad, (see photo on left) who is a Bluegrass aficionado.

Although he enjoys some contemporary "Bluegrass" artists like Allison Krauss, my dad prefers the "old timey" stuff. "Old Timey,"means lyrics normal people have never even heard of or would think to write. Precious Memories, my Grandpa Kidd's personal favorite, is a crucial element of any road trip with my dad, especially if that road leads to West Virginia.
The West Virginia state song is another. Occassionally even I will join in as he sings,"Oh those West Virgina hills how majestic and how grand With their summits bathed in glory like our Prince Emmanuel's land Is it any wonder then That my heart with rapture thrills As I stand once more with loved ones On those West Virginia hills?
Chorus: Oh, the hills, beautiful hills, How I love those West Virginia hills! If o'er sea o'er land I roam Still I'll think of happy home And my friends among the West Virginia hills."
There are three more verses but including them in this blog would be a little over the top. However, I invite, even encourage you, to investigate on your own.
For those of you who have had the pleasure of hearing me sing, in all my tone-deaf glory, you haven't heard anything until you have attended the Kidd family reunion in Mare's Creek (KY) hollow (pronounced hollar). To help you further appreciate this experience, imagine me belting out Journey and then multiply that by 100. Yeah, its not pretty but its authentic. We are the real deal when it comes to Bluegrass gospel singing. We got more twang than that Canadian, Shania Twain could ever have.
The 1939 Barn Dance at Renfroe Valley is the closest my dad gets to going home. Since retiring his trips to the "Valley" have become more frequent. As a teenager I would roll my eyes and pout like any true princess when my dad would turn the station to bluegrass. Now, I just enjoy watching him.
Another aspect I have come to appreciate about Bluegrass music is the attire. Many of you are already aware of my fixation on the glasses-bowtie combo. The Barn Dance reminded me of another combo that really turns me on. Glasses and overalls. I have no idea what it is about overalls but I love them. LOVE THEM. Just like bowties and glasses not all men can pull this combo off. I have found, during my years of observation, that tall men are about the only ones that can pull off the overalls. Well, I guess that's not entirely true (wicked grin) but you know what I mean. I have included an example of this combo in the photo above. The banjo picker was not someone I would normally be attracted to but the combo definitely increased his chances. He was also authentic which I found, oddly enough, HOT!
Plans have already been made for a Christmas visit to the "Valley," where we will enjoy more pickin' and Bluegrass sangin'. Needless to say, I can hardly wait.

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