Wednesday, October 13, 2010

American Folklore Society meets in Nashville

Here's to all my colleagues at the annual American Folklore Society, in Nashville.

I was in Nashville the LAST time AFS met there ('82. 83?), when I was still a baby folklorist, at 30, a grad student at Chapel Hill.

Mary Anne McDonald introduced me to Nick Spitzer. A very pregnant Paddy Bowman took me and Roby Cogswell to see Rufus Thomas play (canary yellow hot pants with suspenders). I saw David Whisnant flatfoot at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge.

The big scandal was that Dan Patterson ( esteemed and very proper folksong scholar) had grown a moustache, was seen at Tootsie's wearing BLUE JEANS, and being awfully chummy with Beverly (his future wife).

I shared a room with, like seven other UNC-CH grad students (including Mike Casey, Joseph Sobel, maybe Jim Abrahms), and slept on the floor with stereo headphones on, playing AM radio static, trying to drown out the snoring.

Got thrown out of the lobby after a drunken early morning blues jam with David Evans and Barry Lee Pearson---Henry Glassie intervened with the concierge so we didn't get thrown out of the hotel altogether.

The best part was that we were sharing the hotel with a national convention of cattle inseminators (lots of jokes about the secret handshake).

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