By Kelley Spurlock
That is just about all the warning we received from our professor, Dr. Barry Whittemore. But still, it was a history class at college, surely nothing too exciting would erupt. I, along with my classmates, shuffled into class. A slight tension could be felt, a vibration that we all knew something was different about today, but we continued to run through the same routine. Seat, book, pen — ready.
Dr. Whittemore, playing it cool, simply began his lesson as always, and we let our minds loosen the grip on the idea of a surprise. Footsteps echoed down the hall, and every ear in the room perked up. Before we could even set our pens down, two talented old time musicians were set up in front of us ready to play.
John Grimm and Beverly Smith, from Vintage Music, invited us into a conversation about old time music through words as well as song. The room stood captivated by the music that danced from their instruments. True old time, from Pretty Polly to Cripple Creek and even songs by The Delmore Brothers. Fiddle, banjo, and guitar filled the room, and if you looked down you could see just about every foot tapping along.
We learned about old time music in true Appalachian fashion, through experience. I feel lucky to be involved in a minor that goes beyond the expected. A minor with teachers who leave the boring behind, and embrace a style of learning that is captivating and resonates in the minds of their students. I would like to thank John and Beverly for taking time out of their day to invest in the students of History 3170. You’ve made a difference.
Are you looking for an experience? Try an Appalachian experience and dive into the minor at North Georgia.