Kentucky Music Week

Sorry about not doing any blogs last week.  Karen decided that she would like to do Kentucky Music Week and I thought “why not?”  We had the time and we had the money so we planned the trip and decided to camp out for six nights at My Old Kentucky Home State Park.  Karen took the car each day to the Music Week site and I took a bicycle to go touring each day.  The Music Week is really more of a music camp for adults, though there were several younger children there learning to play dulcimers, banjos, fiddles and a few other instruments.  Karen is a dulcimer player and also is learning to play the banjo.  She had five classes a day for five days and was excited about the prospect of “learning” all day and playing all evening.  I was excited about the prospect of touring museums, monasteries, distilleries and Bardstown historic sites.  If you are interested in seeing the pictures I took of the event and my adventures, go to my Facebook page and see my Kentucky Music Week album.  I posted the pictures that I took in an album but somehow each of the individual pictures also was uploaded under “photos.”  If anyone knows how to quickly delete 201 individual pictures from the photo section, please send me an email or comment to describe how. I want to leave the album but get rid of the individual pictures. 

Each night, Karen came back to our campsite and I made supper. Sometimes I cooked over the fire pit but more often over our old but tried and true Coleman two burner stove.  We had stuffed pork chops, catfish, tuna steaks, ribs, shrimp stir fry, and salmon on different nights.  In the evening, were the music jams and we would generally go to a jam together.  One night I went to the musical “Steven Foster” by myself.  It was wonderful music and a great stage production.  The last night of the week, we got together with folks at another campsite and we jammed until 2:30 AM.  I could not believe that I stayed up so late.  We shared a bottle of Evan Williams’s bourbon that I purchased at the Heaven Hill distillery and we ate a bunch of Pecan Turtles that I purchased at the Sisters of Charity Nazareth monastery. 

I found a new use for an IPAD.  I had brought mine along and fully intended to write a few blogs during the week.  In truth, I was having too much fun touring etc. to be disciplined enough to sit down and type.  However, I found that during a jam, musicians sometimes think of songs but cannot remember the tunes well enough to get started.  So I went to my tent, took out the IPAD, typed in the camp WIFI password and lo and behold, the music players ( I listen and do not play) would think of a song to play.  I would look it up on YouTube, play a few notes or bars and we would be off to the Camptown Races.  The latter is one of the songs we jammed that last evening.  It was also played during the Stephen Foster musical.  I had many memories of the South as these old songs were played.

The Camptown ladies sing this song,
Doo-da, Doo-da
The Camptown racetrack’s five miles long
Oh, de doo-da day

Goin’ to run all night
Goin’ to run all day
I bet my money on a bob-tailed nag
Somebody bet on the gray

When I was young, I remember my mother singing or playing many of Stephen Foster’s songs. I was born in Fairfield, Alabama, just outside of Birmingham.  We would go down “South” every few years to visit my mother’s parents on their farm.  I remember walking the country roads which were then still dirt and gravel and going by farms with chickens, pigs, goats and cows.  There were often disputes over whose chicken was eaten for supper each evening as chickens ran loose and were often “fair game” for the frying pan.  The last time I remember seeing my grandfather, his was the last farm in the midst of a new suburban development that wanted his old farm demolished.  However, he held some sort of a land grant or some other legal entity to the property and the city could not condemn or confiscate his land until he died.  He still had many goats when he passed away but I never did learn what happened to them.  He would often “pit barbecue” a goat when we came down to visit. I still remember how great they tasted.  I also remember being chased around the barnyard by some of his “un-barbecued” goats. 

Well, Karen would come back each evening and I would ask her “what did you learn today.”  She was always excited to talk about her day.  I thought that as the week progressed she might become more blasé or perhaps even bored with her routine of five classes each day and a special activities section. This was not the case. She loved each day and when the final day of classes came and went, she was ready for another week of classes.  She loved every minute of the music week. 

We would then turn to my exploits which I “showed” rather than “told’ Karen with the pictures you can see posted.  Something I did “tell” about was the various people I met each day.  From the retired military colonel “Mike” at the Civil War Museum, to the Director of Economic Development at Bardstown City Hall, to Peggy Jones at the SCN monastery, the most interesting part of each day was the people I ran into while on my travels.   Each day brought new places to see and new people that I would meet.  For me, the people that I met while out adventuring were the “icing” on the cake.  Peggy Jones, the volunteer at the monastery is a 75 year old blogger who taught me some things about blogging that I did not know. You can go to her site at ; Peggy uses the Day Lily as a theme for her site and she says it is because:  “My namesake. Daylily, holds her head up high and gives her all for just one day.”  Such a positive wonderful and beautiful attitude about life and what better way to depict it then with a flower!  Everyone I met was friendly, helpful, interesting and often suggested new places to visit or sites to see. I learned something from everyone I met.

Well, all things had to end and it was finally time to come home.  I am now seated in front of my computer in my Frederic home and getting ready to go out for a run.  Next week, it is time for another biopsy at the Mayo Clinic but that sour note pales in light of the fact that summer seems to finally be here. It was cooler weather all over from Arizona to Wisconsin to Kentucky and some skeptics even wondered if we would have summer this year.  Everyone noted that the weather was much colder than in previous years.  As they say though, there is no place like home.  I am glad we went on the trip but equally glad to be back.  I love the little town up here and the people are so much fun.  If there is a moral or Morel to be drawn from this blog, I am not sure what it is.  I generally write something that I hope can inspire or excite or make a difference to the world.  Perhaps you will find a hidden message here or perhaps not. If you do, send me a comment and tell me what you found. I am sure I will be as excited about it as you are.

Time for Questions:

Do we need adventures in our lives? Can we find adventures closer to home?  Should we be more satisfied with the status quo? What’s the point of going anywhere?  Why leave our front porch?  Who needs to meet new people anyway?  Or do we enrich our lives each day by new adventures and new friends? 

Life is just beginning.





3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. QMM
    Jun 19, 2013 @ 19:52:39

    Jeepers I was excited to see on my blog list a new post from you on Ky. Music week. What a grand report of yours and Miz Karen’s activities. Imagine my surprise when I found my blog mentioned and my Day Lily logo discussed. Yes we all need adventures. Our adventures are pretty mundane these days but are loving the slower pace we find ourselves in. Our daughter and SIL are building a new vacation home in Hilton Head and we are heading there for a week of sand and some calm wave wading. Thanks again for the Shout Out.



    • johnpersico
      Jun 19, 2013 @ 20:26:29

      Thanks for the comments Peggy, I love your blog and appreciate your comments. I have never been to Hilton Head but I have heard many great things about it. So many places, so many people, so little time. Oh well, I guess that is what keeps life interesting. John



  2. johnpersico
    Jun 22, 2015 @ 13:33:27

    Reblogged this on Aging Capriciously and commented:

    Well Folks, I am doing it again. Today is Monday the 22 of June, 2015 and Karen and I are camping at Kentucky Music Week. I wrote a blog about my experience here two years ago and am reposting. I hope you enjoy. Next week I will have a brand new blog so stay tuned. Hope you all are having a great summer.



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