Thursday, February 19, 2015

OVTA has lost a giant. Masters and Heroes...

 It is a Sad day for the OVTA. Blair Keller of Virginia has passed away. He was active in the OVTA from its beginning.  We think his funeral will be Friday. I will not be able to go so I will honor him here.

I enjoyed talking with him.  He was a charter member of the organization. In our last conversation, he told me he was born in a cabin and spent his early childhood there. You could see through the cracks in the walls he said.  For the most part, that kind of house has disappeared too.  I cannot imagine.   But time passes quickly.   Blair lived a very full life I think and he was an inspirational member.

Oh, one other note.  One time when I was dreaming big, I introduced an idea to the OVTA that we should fund raise to add a fresco of a scene from this incredible story painted by world renown NC artist Benjamin F. Long.  Elkin is a perfect fit for this fresco on the already recognized Ben Long Fresco Trail.  This is expensive and a labor of time -months or years- and love.   Peoples mouths dropped open, but Blair was enthusiastic and recalled seeing the frescos in Ashe county.  We passed a resolution to think about it.  Rescued me.
I had the good fortune to meet Benjamin F. Long in Wilkesboro at an arts reception for the fresco there.  RG was playing music for the meet and greet so I was introduced.  Later in the evening Ben was more or less chased around the table of food by two blondes in pursuit.   He caught my eye, I smiled and he came running more or less to visit with me again. Rescued.

Later RG and made a special trip to Asheville to see an exhibit at the Benjamin F. Long School of Fine Arts.   I had a video about the OVTA to give him and I asked him about the idea of a fresco for Elkin.    I reminded him of the "rescue from Wilkesboro" and he knew exactly who I was.   

Heroes are important.  Timing is important. Encouragement and leadership are important. Blair was, and had, all these things to teach us.  He was funny, he was wise, and he was neither humble or proud. He was a great man. They named the OVTA visitors center in Abingdon after him.

Maybe one day we will have a visitors center in Elkin with a Benjamin F. Long Fresco in it. He told me he really wants to do a fresco for Camp Lejuene and the Marines. So if you know anybody there... Please get them crack in'.  Frescos are forever and take time.   If Ben retires before this can happen, maybe his students can carry on, but there is nothing as great as a master artist so I'd like to encourage this again.

Speaking of Italian heritage arts and Masters of Arts, Gino Vannelli's song for heroes continues to speak to me and you must hear it-None so Beautiful As The Brave.   If you are a Marine in California, you can hear him IN PERSON on February 28th at the Saban Theater.  I know you know that, but for new readers, I repeat... for ticket information.

And if you already listened to that one, this one reminds me to live like Blair today. There's No Time is one of Gino's first published songs.  Time passes quickly.   

 Please excuse all the fonts.  I'm still learning to operate this software.  it's (past) 1:00 am and I'm a little spacey... But Blair Keller deserves your attention so I wanted to tell you about him.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Gino Vannelli Collected, Charlotte History and vinyl

Gino Vannelli Collected. Gino comments on the value of the vinyl vintage technology in this link. It is a fashion with 20 years olds.  I hear him...

Ok, you must wonder what I have done this morning.  I am collecting too. I found drafts of posts that did not appear in my blog from the past. Some are still great.  I want to put them out there.  I published them. So you are getting some older things without the fancy links.

Also I bought this new 3CD set of Gino Vannelli songs from all ages including international ones and one never published. It is wonderful!!!  It is called Gino Vannelli Collected as you see also.  Sometimes you regroup to examine the past and see what you have left undone.  You edit and clear space for new ideas and inspiration.  You find the mementos so precious to recall your past experiences and relive them, then go forward and have new experiences.  I SO hope this is what Gino is doing with this collection of beautiful music, and that he will return to NC some day soon.

Meanwhile, there is a famous vinyl record shop in Charlotte, NC called The Wax Museum. 
(Charlotte is FULL of revolutionary war tales being the center of the hornets nest. ) Maybe they have some of these Gino Vannelli records.   They are also known for their love of Beach Music.  Such a great fit - blue-eyed soul and Gino, if they don't have them, maybe this will alert them.

We have to go there.

Meanwhile, RIP Lesley Gore.  This song fits the Revolutionary theme, You Don't Own Me.

John Atkins

John Atkins of the County of Fayette and state of Virginia that I was in the
revolutionary war with him I think in the year 1779 we were stationed at Osburns Mill in Surry County State of North Carolina. he was under the command of captain David Harrison and I was under the command of Captain David Humphries I do not now recollect whether there was a regiment or what number of men or companys were there or what the army at that place was called we had the place aforesaid as a place of rendezvous where we continued near six months to guard against the depredations of the tories and Indians which time I know that the said John Atkins was in the service of the united states. after we continued here the term as aforesaid we were marched to a place called Salsberry where I last saw him during the war I enlisted there under Capt James Shepherd and the said John Atkins I was informed enlisted under Capt Thomas Henderson.

Pension of William Carter...had its head quarters at Osborne mill on Loving’s creek [sic: now Lovills Creek] in the said County of Surry – While the said company and the applicant of course were engaged in this service some of the North Carolina light Horse took some of the tories prisoners and committed [several words illegible] to the Jail of Surry Cty aforesaid the applicant was directed to take some of the rest and escort them to the Head quarters above mentioned, where they were kept awhile, and then taken in charge of the applicant and some horsemen to the Jail of Henry County Virginia. While in this tour the applicant and fifteen or twenty of the troops pursued the Tories who had robbed a whig Daniel Carlin while said Carlin was in [word illegible],) some distance over the mountain dispersed them and recovered the property

Monday, February 16, 2015

Quick!!! A virtual revolution toward good, real, heart-bending music...

Quick!!!  Stevie Wonder is on TV at nine tonight!  It's a total resurgence of great music and somehow I feel it is all connected to Gino Vannelli. Gino's big break came when Stevie asked him to fill in when Chaka Khan was unable to tour. It is a virtual revolution of good, real, heart bending music.

How does this connect to NC and the revolution?  I'll find out.

My encounters with revolutionary NC stories today include a you-tube from the outdoor drama The Sword of Peace.   Gino wrote a whole suite of music concerning war with the London Philharmonic way back in the seventies.  It was the beginning of artistic differences. Gino began to break again from mainstream mass music business and followed his own conscience to music as art and self expression. FREEDOM. 

Last year, when my sister and I saw Gino Vannelli in Augusta, we came home by Kings Mountain, NC and saw a brand new play called "Liberty Mountain" written by Bob Inman. I immediately thought Gino and his brothers Ross and Joe should score a movie of my favorite NC revolutionary story and posted this on the international shamelessly devoted fans site of. Barend and Trees in Holland.

Lastly, Gino supports our troops. This is my favorite - None So Beautiful As the Brave.   You can own it on the CD or DVD from the concert  Live In LA huzza!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Revolutionary Significance, Gino Vannelli and SNL

I have been remiss for years now -discouraged by the handling of the bill in Congress.  However, I hear an opportunity exists for it to rebound.  Also, out of the blue, unexpectedly, encouragement appeared for me to continue writing here in 2015 from a fan on twitter. Finally, today on Meet The Press Dana Carvey pronounced he was "keeping his powder dry" about SNL s 40th Anniversary show so I knew every day continues to have revolutionary significance. Every Day Matters.

This is the deal. This blog exists to encourage the establishment of a National Heritage Area around the events of the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution.  I stay in tune with the culture to hear references to the great divide as the United States pulled away from Great Britain.  I research counties in NC to include their history and if I find some fun things to do there for visitors, I note that and add links. 

In addition, I am employed. I have found my calling again in textiles thanks to encouragement from a song by Gino Vannelli called "Something Tells Me".  No!  I'm getting this wrong!!!  I rediscovered Gino and thought about giving him information about music in NC, but I didn't do it until I found this song...   I'll find the interview he gave that encouraged me to look for my better job on another night...

  Gino is a passion of mine from my youth when I met him in NYC in 1977 by sneaking into the line with the press after a concert to gain an audience with him in his dressing room. I had chaperones.  In fact, I did not even know who he was at the time, but he made a big impression on me first by his exceptional music and secondly by his beautiful eyes and gallant manners.

I have a lot of stories to tell you about the revolution, but everyone will also include a moment from my GinoMania these days. And we will visit the remaining counties even though they have already advertised their links to the Revolution for some time.

It is important to tell our stories and watch them take hold in the minds of others. Understanding, inventiveness and bonds between generations form when we tell our stories.  For example, since I started my blog, the OVTA has grown more important as a leader in trails, and the Revolution has emerged in popular TV everywhere. I am so taking credit for whispering in the ears of the universe for all of that. I give you Sleepy Hollow, The Sons of Liberty, and that marvelous Fiat commercial "The Italians are Coming".    I just rewatched The Sons of Liberty on the History Channel from my recorded list. This is fantastic. Sleepy Hollow until recently has been filmed in Wilmington, NC.  We are all loving the tension between Abby and Ichabod Crane.  The Fiat commercial was filmed in Winston-Salem, NC and two acting friends were in it.  And this is exactly what happens especially to women when we hear Gino Vannelli is in concert. People Gotta Move.  See how this all works?

I have to relearn how to make links. I'm going to see Gino again in #Annapolis, Maryland. is his site and has tour info.  Catch him in #california. FEB 27 and 28.  Note the word 
"SUPERNOVA" beside him here? I kid you not. He is Revolutionary Significance.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

It's good to be King

I'm working hard on a new website for the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild.  It's almost ready.  Calling all artists in the YVCG,  I  need images!  You can join us if you live in one of the 18 counties in the Yadkin River Watershed.
And, of course, I am so looking forward to the Royal Wedding at the end of the month.  It's a positive thing. I'm taking off from Merlefest to watch it. I wonder if they will put it on the big screen live in the very early morning. Now, that would be cool. And Prince William is George III's ggggggrandson, plus or minus a "g".  We can still be friends.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Goodbye, Elizabeth

There are no words I can add to that.  I am so sorry to see her go so fast. She did not deserve all the terrible circumstances she found herself in.  My love to the children.