Camping in the Snowies

Camping in the Snowies

Monday, November 10, 2014

Salome AZ fiddle jamboree

We enjoyed the state fiddle contest at Payson and were able to meet some Arizona fiddlers. Now we have an opportunity to meet fiddlers and other musicians in a jam setting without competing. Our first outing in Luci since the trip south. 
Salome is a wide spot in the road on Highway 60 with a Lions club that seems happy to sponsor this weekend. They provide a hall and a chili dinner on Friday noon; a pancake breakfast and a beef stew dinner on Saturday. Beer and wine were also available. Coffee was a free will donation.  Camping is willy nilly across the street in a big dirt lot. We pulled up and camped beside some folks we met at Payson. 

The awning was deployed the entire weekend as the sun is fierce even this late in the season.

Mostly big rigs, trailers and fifth wheels. No tents. Most of us were retirement age. Some travel with their dogs and one couple had a cat. 

A picking tent was made in this case by joining two awnings and clamping white plastic tarps to the awning arms. In the daytime air movement was facilitated by rearranging the tarps. You can see the clamp in the upper right hand corner of the photo above.  The clamps were bought in quantity at the swap meet in Quartsite. In the evening the tarps kept out the chilly desert air. 

This is the Salome Lions club hall at breakfast on Saturday. The stage is a raised platform so is accessible to even the least mobile of us gray-haired folks. Yes, those are frogs on the wall.  One has a fiddle and the lady frog has a microphone. We asked about the significance of the frogs and were told that the Salome athletic teams were the Fighting Frogs. That was the explanation. 

In this jam, a roster was kept for signing up to play on stage. Anyone could perform as long as no electric instruments were used. An electric piano was allowed. The performer was allowed three tunes.  A fiddler always performed his tunes between the "others." After all, this was a fiddle jam. 

This fiddler is Blaine Cone, a venerable performer who knew the words to "Peek-a-Boo Waltz and other fiddle tunes we all knew but hadn't heard them sung.  He is a treasure and also hosted the gospel sing on Sunday morning. 
There were many good musicians and lots of pretty fiddles, mandolins and basses. There were even some banjos including a clawhammer style banjo.  

OK, I said that there were rules at the hall and one was NO DOGS ALLOWED.  Well maybe just one.
Rules are made to be broken, I guess. 

Dave did a nice job on his tunes, with Laura and Denny as backup. He stuck to familiar ones that the local guitar players knew. No Warrie Means in this group. 
I said that this wasn't a competition but there was a little band contest. Those wanting to participate put their names in a hat. Four names were drawn no matter their specialty so it could be four singers or four banjos, etc. The band members were given only a few seconds to come up with two numbers and away they went. Interesting, huh? 
Anyway, it was a fun weekend in the desert. The moon was full, sunsets were pink and purple and the sleeping was good providing that you had a blanket and your socks on. 
Next weekend Luci travels to Wickenburg for the Bluegrass Festival. We are ready to go!

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