Sue and I ventured up to Lost Creek and attended Johnny Cochran and The Trail Blazer's show last Saturday at the newly opened Orange Blossom Trail Music Hall. It was well worth the trip.
The evening's show got under way around 7:15 p.m. or 7:20 p.m., some 15 minutes to 20 minutes behind schedule because of additional time needed to accommodate arrangements of the bands.
The house band known as Johnny Cochran and the Trail Blazers had as special guests Don Anderson and his No One You Know Bluegrass Band. To say that both groups were energetic would be a gross understatement. Anderson and his group, coming on at around the half-way point of the evening, performed way beyond their scheduled time allotment - much to the satisfaction of the audience. Cochran and The Trail Blazers, not to be outdone, performed nearly all the second half of their show. We didn't leave the theater until nearly 10 p.m. For the admission price of $12 per person, the bands give a tremendous evening's entertainment.
Being an advocate of the dress code from the old school, I much prefer seeing entertainers dressed in proper attire - outfits of matching dress pants, shirt and sport coat. Cochran and The Trail Blazers fit the bill. I know that in today's entertainment world the dress code of the stage identifies the performers with the crowds to which they perform. I don't see anything wrong with putting on what we used to call "our Sunday go-to-meetin'" clothes and looking like we had taken the time to get cleaned up and dressed up and taking some pride in what we looked like when we went out the door.
The acoustics and lighting were quite good, the padded folding-chair seating was as comfortable as could be expected, the snack bar provided great hot dogs, soft drinks, nachos and other food items. The bathrooms, (the men's room anyway) which are always a prime consideration, were very clean and stocked with all the necessities. A special inclined ramp provided access to the handicapped area providing them with an obstruction-free view of the performers. Those who designed the layout of the building during construction or remodeling considered everyone in the design phases of their planning.
Cochran, by the way, was in Nashville most of this week competing in the Grand Master Fiddle Championship. The event showcases the best fiddle players in the world. Each year, the contest committee invites top fiddle players from around the world to compete. Contestants from as far away as Japan and Australia have competed as finalists. Should he win, and we all wish him as much, he will appear on the Grand Ole Opry right after the competition ends this evening and perform on The International Bluegrass Music Association Main Stage later this evening. Of course we won't know the outcome until after this hits the press.
Go, Johnny, Go! Pun intended.
The house band's program changes every weekend and they have several bluegrass and gospel groups scheduled for October. For information and to make reservations, call 304-745-5500.
What about that wonderfully talented group at the American Mountain Theater? Accolades just keep piling up around them. Most everyone knows by now, but if you should have missed it in an earlier issue of the paper, they just received the West Virginia Division of Tourism's Mountain State Award. The award is given to the "facility that stands above the rest in excellence in programming, distinctiveness, marketing efforts and economic impact."
Larry Ferguson with the IOOF called and asked me to let everyone know that the Allegheny Family History Library, which was in Beverly, is now located in the IOOF Hall on the Beverly Five-lane. The library's hours are from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Special openings can be scheduled by calling Ferguson at 304-636-2072 or Janet Isner at 304-636-8528.
Ferguson said that the facility is a great genealogy library. He noted that the Phares family alone has a listing of more than 100,000 names. The library also contains census records from the 1790s.
For you motorcyclists out there, the annual Fall Foliage Scenic Ride will take place on Oct. 16. There is no fee to ride and everyone is welcome. Riders will assemble in the Econo Lodge Motel parking lot for a 10:30 a.m. departure.
The ride will take Route 33 east to the Gateway Restaurant near Circleville, arriving there at noon for lunch. After lunch, riders will travel to Cherry Grove then over Snow Mountain to Bluegrass, Virginia. From there, they will travel through the Bluegrass Valley, cross Route 250 at Hightown, Virginia, go on to Frost via state Route 84 to Seneca State Forest, Dunmore, Green Bank, Bartow, Durbin and back to Elkins via state Route 92. The ride will be approximately 150 miles long and riders should arrive back in Elkins in the late afternoon.
Organizers Jerry and Joanne Pastine said that they are certain that if Tom Swisher were still living, he would have joined the ride so this year's event will be dedicated to his memory. Tom, as everyone might remember, was killed in a tragic collision with an automobile on the July 4 weekend this summer.
The Pastines would like to have a headcount of those participating so they can give the Gateway Restaurant a number to anticipate for lunch. If you plan to make the ride, call 304-636-1102.