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Crazy Larry #1
06-28-2007, 08:56
My front porch has been alive with music recently. My friend Jan, which happens to be one of the best guitar players I have ever heard played one night at my house. Needless to say we had a small crowd that gathered around to listen to his beautiful artistic way of strumming a box with strings on it. Later that night a couple of hikers rolled onto the scene and picked up where Jan left off and played my neighbors guitar till we couldn't keep our eyes opened any longer.

Then a week later finds a bicyclist by the name of Joe Schommer, who happened to stay with me for about five days, playing his harmonica and my pots, pans, and spoons. A couple of days after he rolls in a thru hiker of the Appalachian Trail by the name of Evan Kolvoord, trail name "Ukulele" comes happily hiking into town with a ukulele and eventually ends up on my front porch with him strumming that thing and Joe beating the pee-waddling out of my pots, pans, and spoons and tooting on his harmonica.

I have a phone out on my front porch that I let the many hikers and bicyclists use when they come through Damascus, Virginia. I've been doing this deed for about three months now and there has been a many a good conversations with people from all over the United States and even some from England, Israel, Ireland, and Australia as well. So I guess I have become somewhat known in both the hiking and biking communities and from time to time talented people show up as well.

Besides a great conversation I enjoy good music. Evan and Joe made good music for a couple of guys who have never met before. But that's the way it is with musicians, that is if your like these two guys who don't only play their chosen instruments but a few others as well.

Joe, who is from New York City, was born and raised on music. His mother is a classic pianist and his father plays the clarinet. So music ran in the family and that is probably why the family stuck together as a unit. They say when Joe was just a little tyke and not getting enough attention he would crawl up on the counter and grab a pot or a pan and go to beating and wailing until his poor mother couldn't hear herself play the piano anymore and then she'd come running. I think that's how he got his start in the music world.

Evan is not any different I suppose than Joe. I don't know exactly how old he was when he first picked up a Ukulele but he got his start by playing the harmaonica. Evan grew up in Austin, Texas where he was known at a very young age of tooting that harp in the wee hours in the morning and waking up everyone in the household and the neighborhood. As Evan progressed in his very young life he also learned to play the guitar and this found him playing with some of the country's finest musicians as he moved from band to band. Sometime around 2002 he met his soul mate, Christina Martin and moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia and became a yankee. Happens to some of the best I tell ya. Christina is a singer and songwriter in her own right as well.

You can view more information on these two at their websites,
http://evankolvoord.com/Music/Musichome.htm (http://evankolvoord.com/Music/Musichome.htm)
http://www.christinamartin.net/ (http://www.christinamartin.net/)

Evan and Joe drew a crowd too. The first night they played together there were just a few hanging out. But the second night there had to be at least ten hikers in attendance. One of those hikers, Keith Higginson with the trail name of "Otter" entertained us with a capella of "Murphy's Bricks." Keith is originally from Scotland, so with his accent it made the tune hilarious.

A couple of hikers in attendance were Patrick and Debra Mooney, trail names OD and CC. Patrick is retired from the Army having served as 1st Sgt in the 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, New York. After Patrick retired from the Army he began driving trucks for a living taking Debra right along with him. Sometime along the way he and her began talking about things that they wanted to do in life. He said he would like to take a bike across America. She said she wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail. They debated on the subject for awhile and the debate became somewhat serious. After awhile they were throwing lug wrenches and bolts at each other until one night Debra could not take it anymore. That's when she jumped on poor ole Patrick and grabbed him in a headlock until he gave in to hiking the trail. Ever since they began their hike in March 2007 Debra has had a leash on Patrick dragging him down the trail. I don't care how much military training a man has, when it comes to a hard headed wife the wife usually wins.

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you about Evans sidekick on the trail. William Hanger, trail name "Deep Swig." He has been hiking with Evan and even bought a Ukulele. Evan has been teaching him a little along the way. He said he just got interested in how Evan seemed to make music with such a small guitar, so he just had to learn himself. He played right along on several songs that night on my front porch. But every now and then he would start playing "Momma's Don't Let Your Baby's Grow Up To Be Hikers." Yep, it would throw ole Evan for a loop. But Joe didn't mess a beat. Drummers are like that you see....

For the last couple of weeks I have been out of town working. I have not been able to host any get togethers and I truly miss it. As my friend Tokoma Ted sings, "People Are The Trail." When your on a journey like hiking a long trail, maybe climbing a mountain in a distant land, or riding a bike across the country it's not so much the scenery that you remember but the people that you interacted with along the way and then their different cultures. That's what makes a memory in my book.

I will never forget the talent that has come across my front porch.....

Larry Riddle 06-27-07

Crazy Larry #1
06-28-2007, 08:58
This story is going to be published on the www.traildays.info (http://www.traildays.info/) site.

mweinstone
06-28-2007, 16:12
eggggggcellent! pm me yours and wonders addresses would you please? im sendin you both letters in lou of being at the billville feed at the doyal next week. you will sit quietly laughing on saturday nite whilst i dine with hikerdom at hotel doyal. thats pronounced french southern like,...hotel doy-yall.

Nean
06-28-2007, 16:44
Sounds;) like good times TOW.
We has us a back porch.... and have recently enjoyed the musical talents of Crazyhorse, Lucky, and Atlas.:) In all we've had close to 20 hikers over this spring.:o

Frolicking Dinosaurs
06-28-2007, 17:11
::: Dino looks for local musicians to populate new dino-deck (which male dino managed to make without cutting off anything :D) :::

Mags
06-28-2007, 17:11
Crazyhorse, Lucky, and Atlas.:) In all we've had close to 20 hikers over this spring.:o

Small hiker world. Crazy Horse was with me on a backpacking trip to the Lost Creek Wilderness this past weekend. His friend Beth joined us for a chill "beginner trip". Live music around the campfire with a bit of vino was quite nice.

Yep..it is the Pagosa > Boulder > Laramie hostel connection! :) Seriously, many CDT hikers are bopping around Colorado and it seems Pagosa, Lararmie and Boulder is where a few are winding up!

Nean
06-28-2007, 17:22
I'm not hikin' but I'll be in Boulder for the 4th to hear some music. Maybe I'll get to meet you while we're there.:)

Krewzer
06-29-2007, 10:14
Hey O. Wanderer, it's always great to hear what's hap'nin in the "friendliest town on the AT" and the friendliest porch in Damascus.

Mags
06-29-2007, 10:17
I'm not hikin' but I'll be in Boulder for the 4th to hear some music. Maybe I'll get to meet you while we're there.:)

I am off hiking that day, but plan to be back by early evening! We'll have to hook up!

Nightwalker
06-30-2007, 09:21
Small hiker world. Crazy Horse was with me on a backpacking trip to the Lost Creek Wilderness this past weekend.

Small indeed. Have you heard his tune on Walking West With Freedom? Pretty good piece of work that is.

Gray Blazer
06-30-2007, 15:25
Hey Larry, What's up?

It's been weird not being online for a month. I'm still gonna try and come see you this summer, maybe in July? I'll bring my flute and join the jam. A shoutout to all my WB buddies. I haven't died, just limited online access this summer. My wife just spent a week in the hospital and they still don't know whats causing her pain. Pray for her and pray that I get up to the mountains this summer. JJ
ps I'm at the public library now.

Crazy Larry #1
07-02-2007, 09:52
Hey Gray Blazer, hope your wife is doing better now.............good to hear from you too.............

Mags
07-02-2007, 10:02
Small indeed. Have you heard his tune on Walking West With Freedom? Pretty good piece of work that is.

He played it around the campfire. how cool is that?

Nean
07-02-2007, 18:34
I am off hiking that day, but plan to be back by early evening! We'll have to hook up!

Ill be watching the Wayward Sons on the 4th w/ Rainman, Peips and crew. :banana Whats up on the morning of the 5th. Ill probably be hungover on shine:eek: , but what the hey:o
Ill send you my #:D