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Remembering Fox Hollow

Related thread:
Fox Hollow Memories? (23)


karen k 05 Dec 98 - 12:49 PM
karen k 05 Dec 98 - 12:53 PM
Art Thieme 05 Dec 98 - 05:01 PM
Art Thieme 05 Dec 98 - 05:13 PM
Bill D 05 Dec 98 - 08:20 PM
Charlie Baum 06 Dec 98 - 02:16 AM
Susan of DT 06 Dec 98 - 04:50 PM
Wally Macnow 06 Dec 98 - 08:46 PM
Barry Finn 06 Dec 98 - 09:21 PM
Dan Keding 07 Dec 98 - 05:40 PM
Sandy 07 Dec 98 - 09:33 PM
Bill D 07 Dec 98 - 10:44 PM
Songbob 07 Dec 98 - 11:32 PM
Sandy 08 Dec 98 - 12:16 AM
Art Thieme 08 Dec 98 - 02:35 AM
Sandy 08 Dec 98 - 03:41 AM
GUEST,Sarah T 21 Mar 01 - 11:29 PM
Deckman 22 Mar 01 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,Meadow Muskrat 23 Mar 01 - 12:45 AM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 23 Mar 01 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,Meadow Muskrat 24 Mar 01 - 12:10 AM
Sandy Paton 24 Mar 01 - 12:58 AM
GUEST, Nomadman 24 Mar 01 - 01:11 AM
georgeward 24 Mar 01 - 03:52 AM
Big Mick 24 Mar 01 - 11:01 AM
kendall 24 Mar 01 - 01:17 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 24 Mar 01 - 02:57 PM
Hollowfox 24 Mar 01 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,Meadow Muskrat 24 Mar 01 - 06:28 PM
Dahlin 24 Mar 01 - 07:21 PM
Sandy Paton 24 Mar 01 - 07:43 PM
Jeri 24 Mar 01 - 08:12 PM
Charlie Baum 25 Mar 01 - 04:25 AM
GUEST,Fortunato 25 Mar 01 - 04:30 PM
Sarah T 25 Mar 01 - 08:12 PM
Jeri 25 Mar 01 - 09:03 PM
Luke 26 Mar 01 - 10:55 AM
KathWestra 26 Mar 01 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 26 Mar 01 - 12:05 PM
Sandy Paton 26 Mar 01 - 04:34 PM
Hollowfox 26 Mar 01 - 05:41 PM
sed 26 Mar 01 - 11:11 PM
johnross 12 Apr 02 - 01:59 PM
KathWestra 12 Apr 02 - 03:28 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Apr 02 - 05:34 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Apr 02 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,Martie 13 Apr 04 - 05:06 PM
Big Jim from Jackson 13 Apr 04 - 07:59 PM
Carly 14 Apr 04 - 12:25 AM
GUEST,SomerhillGrad 18 Aug 04 - 02:08 PM
Susan A-R 18 Aug 04 - 10:16 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 19 Aug 04 - 02:20 PM
MaineDog 19 Aug 04 - 04:51 PM
Susan A-R 19 Aug 04 - 09:54 PM
MaineDog 20 Aug 04 - 08:15 PM
GUEST, NOMADman 20 Aug 04 - 10:26 PM
GUEST,Doug MacKenzie 11 Mar 08 - 12:24 AM
Big Mick 11 Mar 08 - 12:59 AM
GUEST,Carly 11 Mar 08 - 08:05 PM
Les in Chorlton 12 Mar 08 - 04:00 AM
GUEST,Arkansas Red-Ozark Troubadour 06 Nov 08 - 12:13 PM
kendall 07 Nov 08 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,Terry Travers 20 Jul 09 - 08:00 PM
kendall 21 Jul 09 - 05:15 AM
GUEST,Elmore 21 Jul 09 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,lunamom 07 Sep 09 - 05:56 PM
GUEST,Marty Beers Meshberg 08 Oct 09 - 11:37 AM
Susan of DT 08 Oct 09 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,Elmore 08 Oct 09 - 03:40 PM
GUEST,lunamom 19 Oct 09 - 01:23 AM
GUEST 30 Jan 12 - 09:45 PM
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Subject: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: karen k
Date: 05 Dec 98 - 12:49 PM

A few days ago, after looking at the Beers family thread, I started thinking about Fox Hollow and how great it was. I thought it might be fun to start a thread to see how many others of you have fond memories of a festival that was a big part of my life every summer for quite a long time.

Any takers? What are your fondest memories of a great festival? Performers you heard for the first time, friends you met there, songs you learned there, etc.

Two things come quickly come to my mind. First, the year the Dartington Morris Team was there from England. They were incredible. Second, the day that Sandy and Caroline Paton were on stage and sang "Only Remembered" as Richard Nixon was resigning as President of the United States.

And then there was the rain. It always rained at Fox Hollow. You could count on it. Some years the festival should have been called 'Fox Wallow!" One year it rained for a few minutes right around 4pm and then stopped!

Happy memories,

karen k


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: karen k
Date: 05 Dec 98 - 12:53 PM

Oops! Should have included the words 'every day' between 4pm - and then it stopped. It was strange and got to be great fun with lots of bets made about whether or not it would rain and about how close it would be to 4pm.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Art Thieme
Date: 05 Dec 98 - 05:01 PM

I believe that it was Howie Mitchell who FIRST brought the hammered dulcimer to ANY EVENT IN THE ENTIRE FOLK REVIVAL at one of the earlier Fox Hollow festivals. So the entry of that instrument onto the American music scene (or any other music scene)can be definitely pegged and pinpointed to that exact moment in time----just as the Appalachian dulcimer can be attributed to Jean Ritchie bringing that from her Kentucky mountains to New York! After that it was said to be "native" to Chicago and Nevada and Arizona----almost anywhere.

What say we on this? What year was it that Howie Mitchell brought the Hammered Dulcimer to everyones attention??

(The first one I ever saw was one being played by a blind man for passengers extra change in the bus station at Mexico City D.F.---1962 !)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Art Thieme
Date: 05 Dec 98 - 05:13 PM

I never made it to Fox Hollow, but I do remember everyone who had been a part of it getting quite ticked off when I printed in my column in _Come For To Sing Magazine_ (out o' Chicago) a joke making the rounds of the folk bar scene that Sleepy John Estes (the rediscovered blues singer from Tennessee) was the HIGH ENERGY ACT AT FOX HOLLOW THAT YEAR!

Art


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Dec 98 - 08:20 PM

I moved East just as Fox Hollow was ending...I had the opportunity to go to the last one...but made the conscious decision not to...too many people needed to be there and I would not have felt right trying to mingle with all those whose memories were linked and who were saying goodbye.....


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 06 Dec 98 - 02:16 AM

I was at the last three Fox Hollow Festivals. The last one didn't seem like it was necessarily going to be the last one. When an announcement was made by Evelyne Beers that they would be discontinuing the Fox Hollow Festival, not everyone took it as the final word. And fortunately, Andy Spence worked to come up the Old Songs Festival, which has always seemed (to the regulars at Old Songs) to be an evolutionary growth of Fox Hollow, albeit with flush plumbing.

I have all sorts of memories, meeting great people: performers, craftpeople, campers. My friend George who fell asleep during one late-running evening concert, and then woke up while Dorothy Cater was playing her hammer dulcimer in her unusual new-age mediatitve style, and George wasn't sure if WAS awake or not. Or jamming in the campgrounds after the concert.

I remmeber Mose Scarlett playing old time blues in that gravelly voice of his, with a friend (Jim Butler?) playing harmonica. They were in their tent, and the lantern in the tent cast their shadows on the outside of the tent, and I listened to this wonderful music while watching a shadow-play of them performing.

The three women of County Down doing a meet-the-performer mini-concert while one of them nursed her baby.

The year it didn't rain at all. We all thought it was some sort of divine miracle.

A stroyteller's workshop with Marshall Dodge and Gamble Rogers comparing regional styles of humor.

The memories live on, even if, alas some of the performers don't. And I've found other fora for folk music to replace Fox Hollow in my life, so the music lives on as well.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Susan of DT
Date: 06 Dec 98 - 04:50 PM

Fox Hollow came at just the right stage in my musical development and I heard dozens of performers for the first time there. I got to 9 of the last 10 Fox Hollows. I was just growing beyond Paxton, Baez, Collins, and campfire songs stage after college. I loved it. It became my prototype for folk festivals, so many others fall short. Those of you who only got there after Bob Beers died missed something really special. His selection of performers defined the festival.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Wally Macnow
Date: 06 Dec 98 - 08:46 PM

I remember Bruce Phillips introducing Tony & Irene as "that aging couple, the Serutans", and telling Jean Ritchie to "play dull some more".

And Phillippe Bruneau and Jean Carignan on the same stage playing for the same dance troupe and not talking to one another. Shades of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee!


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Barry Finn
Date: 06 Dec 98 - 09:21 PM

Only went to one, sometime in the late 70's. I think I might've seen Peter Bellamy & Frankie Armstrong (a memory is a mind at waste?), can't remember any of the rest except singing till sunrise. Went to Old Songs for the first time this past go round & it's been the closest to an allnight festival sing since then. Barry


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Dan Keding
Date: 07 Dec 98 - 05:40 PM

Wish I could have seen that workshop with Marshall Dodge and Gamble Rogers, both great storytellers. You were lucky Charlie. I went in the late 70's on a pilgrimage to find Fox Hollow. By then Fiddler Beers had past on. Never did make it to the festival. Pity.

Anyone remember the long lamented North Country Folk Festival, up in the U.P.?? I remember playing there a couple times and really enjoying it. The crowds were great, the late night sings super and I remember a soft ball game between the performers and the volunteers.(at least I think I do?) How about some other great festivals lost to us now?? Dan


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Sandy
Date: 07 Dec 98 - 09:33 PM

Let me add this to Wally's memory of Utah at Fox Hollow. Brian Zentz (age about 10, and small for his age) played some mouth-harp to backup one of his father's (Bob's) songs. After watching him hog the mike and steal the show, Utah remarked: "That's a great kid you've got there, Bob. You oughta have him stuffed." Another fond memory or two: Bessie Jones and the Moving Star Hall Singers, backed by Reverend Dan Smith with his powerful, driving, mouth-harp, stirring the entire front half of the audience to some pretty fine movement. That was a long way from Sleepy John Estes, folks. Equally stirring, Sara Cleveland, sixty-year-old grandmother from the Adirondacks, quietly presenting her remarkable version of Child #52 (The King's Dochter Lady Jean) to an audience of, maybe, a thousand people, all listening in rapt silence. You shoulda been there, Art!


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Dec 98 - 10:44 PM

I have met Sara Cleveland's grand-daugter several times..she has learned many of Sara's songs, and more besides...nice to know...


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Songbob
Date: 07 Dec 98 - 11:32 PM

I went to several Fox Hollow Festivals, right up to the end. Probably started in 1968 or '69, can't rightly remember. I saw lots of musicians and singers ("all those folks and not one police"), taped most of one festival on a little 5" reel-to-reel machine (should look up the tapes -- I wtill have 'em), sang till sunup many's a night in the performer campground or at the nearby campground, met just about everybody who was there, then, and still see some of 'em 'round in the "hear and now."

I rember buying a mandolin strap from Joe Z. Ryan (one of the craftspeople whose booths surrounded the flat space on the top of the hillside which formed the amphitheater), and marveled that he could do leather work and play fiddle, too (like somehow one should preclude the other?). Still have the mandolin and the strap (which means that I bought that strap in 1969, since I got my mandolin Christmas Eve, 1968.)

Once the lights went out, but the sound system stayed on, so hundreds of flashlights came out -- with all those campers, flashlights were near at hand at all times -- and illuminated Steve Gillette's singing till the lights could be relit.

Played on stage once, at a banjo workshop, to illustrate the fretless banjo (with a "Frank Proffitt"-style banjo that Alberto Vazquez had made).

Saw the "Traveling Folk Festival" from San Francisco Folk Music Club do "Can I Bring My Guitar to Heaven, Too" with fake Martin emblems made of paper taped over all the non-Martin instruments.

Sang and heard lots of songs at the Gazebo as well as the campground (the Gazebo was the "authorized" place for late-night singing; the performer campground was "off limits" to audience members, a distinction I soon learned was not strongly enforced).

Who didn't I see? Only those who weren't there. That atmosphere, that intermixing of audience and performers, the rain, the "intertanglefolkenlockenwood" outhouses with their outrageous graffiti, the rain, the year of the dust, the music, the songs, the rain.

Damn, I miss it. Gonna try to make it to "Old Songs" some day (timing, child care, and cost are the only things keeping us away).

Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Sandy
Date: 08 Dec 98 - 12:16 AM

Bob Clayton reminds me of the time I watched two burly New York State Policemen walk down the path from the parking field, casting suspicious glances to left and to right, sniffing the air as though expecting to detect the lovely fragrance generally associated with such outrageous gatherings as "folk festivals." They reached the upper edge of the natural amphitheater that was the "hollow" and peered down toward the stage. At that moment, Chicago's Armstrongs and Triers, with the Nudelmans and the Dildines (I think) were doing an original musical rendition of "Rumpelstiltskin" (spelling?) for the kids. The two cops looked at one another, shrugged, and walked back up the path to their car. Never saw 'em again. In fact, that was the only time I ever saw a policeman at the festival, and I was at them all. Sandy Sandy


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Dec 98 - 02:35 AM

Yep, Sandy, you're right. I should've been at those festivals. But then I'd've met you years earlier and never would've written those columns in Come For To Sing tellin' everyone what a fine fellow you were in mentoring me into takin' up music seriously by hitting the road and hearing the real thing for myself. I'm glad ya left that record counter in Kroch's book store, where you were workin' then, to Start Folk Legacy Records with Lee in Vermont.

Yeah, folks, eventually I met Mr. Paton at a festival. And I think he made half the furniture in his house out of unsold boxes of vinyl albums he never could sell of my stuff.---So much for the songs I found. Sandy, it sure was a fun. Thanks for being out on that road less traveled!

Love ya---Sure am glad you quit smoking.

Art


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Sandy
Date: 08 Dec 98 - 03:41 AM

Greetings:
Here's another fond memory. When Nixon was resigning, as Karen pointed out, Caroline and I sang "Only Remembered," featuring the line that says "Only the truths that in life we have spoken..." We finished the song, and 'way up in the back of the audience, someone (never found out who) started singing "America the Beautiful." The rest of the audience sort of caught it and began to join in, first just a few, then more and more. By the time we got to the end of the first verse, the entire Hollow was filled with the sound of a thousand voices celebrating the fact that our system really seems to work. God, it was moving!
Sandy


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST,Sarah T
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 11:29 PM

Dear Mudcatters,

This is my first post to this forum. I have been reading old threads for a few days and I am deeply impressed with the degree of knowledge and caring and fun that you all share with each other.

I found this old thread in the archives, and I cried while reading it. You see, I remember Fox Hollow too, but through the eyes of a small child. I was born in the late '60's in Saratoga Springs, New York. My parents started going to Caffe Lena in '62, with my older brothers who were born in the mid '50's. In the early '70's, my brothers were full-fledged folkies; I loved hanging around them and their friends and dancing and singing, though as a toddler and young girl I couldn't hang out with the teenagers and older folkies as much as I wanted.

I remember that during the year the felt patches for Fox Hollow would sit in a bowl or drawer; they had a picture of a fox on them, and sometimes (is this right?) the letters VIF ("very important fox").

I remember that my brothers would go out to Fox Hollow for the event and I would visit them with my parents on a day trip.

I remember one year in a series of images: driving out and parking in the hot sun with hay bales (?) near the lot; sitting cross-legged with my brother and his girlfriend in their tent; walking along a wooden footpath or bridge to the outhouse/toilet and marveling at the long electric cables strung with light bulbs. I don't specifically remember any of the music or dancing. I do remember wishing more than anything that I could stay.

I think my whole life I've been trying somehow to regain that warm summer gathering, with music and dancing, people talking about freedom and love and justice, people making music and community together.

Thank you for giving me the space to remember this.

Sarah T, Washington DC USA


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Deckman
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 05:51 PM

Though I never made Fox Hollow, or met Fiddler or Ethyl personally, I do have two stories: One when in 1967 when I spent one year in Indianapolis for three months. The Beers (or is it Beerses) had a daily TV show that was very populiar with the hoosiers. My other remeberance comes from Walt Robertson. The Beers stayed with him on his Seattle houseboat while they were in town for a concert. Ethyl taught Walt a beautiful song which he passed on to me. Soon I'll train myself to post songs correctly, but for now the first line goes: "I've seen all the lies that I wanto see". I think it's called, "Bring My Saviour To Me." CHEERS, deckman


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST,Meadow Muskrat
Date: 23 Mar 01 - 12:45 AM

I first attended the magical fox hollow festival I believe in 1968 and there was a lot of talk about Howie Mitcell having previously introduced the hammered Dulcimer, so I think that might have happened at the 66 or 67 festival. I attended every subsequent festival except the last one because of the birth of my daughter. Some of the many memorable moments include Gordon Bok"s rendition of the Brandy Tree on a warm summer evening in which sound and environement came together as perfect as I ever remember; The Beers and Boyer families singing a hymn in memory of Bob at the first festival after his death and somehow managing to maintain their composure;meeting Robin Williamson who had been an idol of mine during his Incredible String Band Days; and developing an instant thirst listening to Lou Killen sing and talk about Newcastle Brown Ale. Does anyone know about a Fox hollow Exhibit? I remember hearing about someone putting together something at the RPI campus in Troy,NY.Also I'd be interested in any info about the Beers or Boyer families, particularly in terms of performing.i'd heard one of the Boyer sisters was a classical violinist down south, but thats all I know.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 23 Mar 01 - 06:24 PM

Does anyone remember the Year of The Northern Lights? After the concert we all just stood out on the hillside and sang with eyes to the skies- no one could go to sleep for the beauty of it.

Art & Sandy, my family's favorite Utah story: At Fox Hollow after Sara Cleveland had sung, Utah said to her, "Sara, d'you know that last ballad you sang?" "Why yes," said Sara. Utah: "Well that bored the heck out of me!" Sara kicked him smartly in the shins.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST,Meadow Muskrat
Date: 24 Mar 01 - 12:10 AM

Thanks Kytrad for reminding me about the Northern Lights,we were camping a little north of the festival in Hoosick Falls, and nature put on quite a show. It was the only time Ive seen the northern lights. I'm guessing it was 1970 or 71. A few more random Memories:

Jon Wright getting incedible sounds out of the Jew"s Harp.Did he ever issue any recordings?

The Herb person with his pet possum named blossom. Standing in back of a virtuoso banjo player at a jam session in the campground only to find out later it was John Hartford. The marching concertina band. The trick banjo player who threw his instrument in the air, caught it and knocked it completely out of tune, exclaiming " it wasn't supposed to do that"

Sonia Malkine playing her Hurdy- Gurdy and doubling on the Tarot cards.Did she ever write her book about her adventures in the French underground during WW2?

A rendition of the sloop John B done by a combination of bagpipers and steel drummers. The festival was always great for hearing unusual combimatios of instruments.,


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 24 Mar 01 - 12:58 AM

Yeah, and I remember Utah observing to Jean Ritchie, "Very nice, Jean. Play dull-some-more." He also suggested her dulcimer would make a good bathtub toy. Jean was too much a lady to kick his shins. Sara, on the other hand, took pride in her firey Irish temperament. Her verbal comment might have been "Ah, go piss up a rope!" (one of her favorites).

Who besides Hollow Fox remembers our announcing Nixon's resignation, and followed it with Caroline's singing of "Only remembered for what we have done?"

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST, Nomadman
Date: 24 Mar 01 - 01:11 AM

John Wright and Catherine Perrier had a self-titled LP on the old Innisfree/Green Linnet label, issued in 1978. It was produced by Lisa Null & Pat Sky. The subtitle is Traditional Music of France, Ireland & England. There are a few jew's-harp pieces on it, including a rendering of Si Bheag Si Mhor. That one just has to be heard. Unfortunately, I don't think it's ever been reissued on CD.

What I remember most about Fox Hollow was how hard it was to come back down to the real world the day after. I had to go straight to work, and it wasn't easy.

Regards,
John


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: georgeward
Date: 24 Mar 01 - 03:52 AM

Meadow Muskrat, the Rennselaer County Historical Society did a Fox Hollow exhibit a few years ago, and a concert at the Troy savings Bank Music Hall with some artists who'd performed there. I don't think anything is up now, though.

Sandy, we surely do remember "Only Remembered" and "America the beautiful". Few things have ever moved me as much. -George ::-.--O


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Big Mick
Date: 24 Mar 01 - 11:01 AM

Talk about being Kelly green with envy of these memories and remembrances..............


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: kendall
Date: 24 Mar 01 - 01:17 PM

I got to Fox Hollow twice. First time was with Gordon Bok at the Gottagetgone thing. That was the first time I heard Jean Redpath, and was mighty impressed. It was also the first time I ever got awakened by a highland piper.

The other time, I got to perform there. Marshall Dodge was there, and I remember him, first thing in the morning, sitting in his old car reading Plato! Before breakfast! Marshall had done a set in the am, then later on, changed his clothes to do another set. After the second set, some old woman said to his, "You should have seen that other guy this am, he was funnier than you!" Marshall, being the imp he always was, didn't tell her the difference.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 24 Mar 01 - 02:57 PM

The highland piper was Joe Bossom, from Brooklyn Heights.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Hollowfox
Date: 24 Mar 01 - 03:51 PM

Too many memories and not enough time to post today, so I'll put my oar in on Monday. Meanwhile, Meadow Muskrat, apparently Sonia Malkine never did write that book, but she did put out two albums on Folkways (now Smithsonian Folkways) Records. And the herbalist was/is Doug Elliott, who has stopped selling herbs, but has continued to entertain and teach about them through books and tapes (my favorite book being Wildwoods Wisdom).


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST,Meadow Muskrat
Date: 24 Mar 01 - 06:28 PM

This thread is a lot like the Festival in the sense that I hope it doesn"t end.Thanks everybody for updates on some of the items I mentioned. Sandy, the only memory of the Nixon resignation I have is Bob Bernstein showing the headlines of The NY Daily News.I must have been away from the main stage during Caroline,s performance, I think I would have remembered, though I must confess I'm not familiar with the song.Do you recall what day and time she performed? As I previously mentioned, I didn't make the last festival, and I'm wondering who performed last, and what sentiments, if any were expressed by the family?


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Dahlin
Date: 24 Mar 01 - 07:21 PM

Karen and Sandy I do ermember that night that night that Nixon resigned and also other moving nights when pipers were used to start or end an evening concert, sometimes from a distance. I also recall a night in the performers campground when Bob Zentz made a song about a (to be un-named) fellow performer who was wrapped up in a net hammock. The song's title was "Captain Cocoon" Never to be heard of since!

What a wonderful and magical place and time that was.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 24 Mar 01 - 07:43 PM

Does anyone remember if it ever rained?


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Jeri
Date: 24 Mar 01 - 08:12 PM

Only Remembered

Nah, Sandy, never - at least not in my heart. The first year I went I'd borrowed one of those huge boy scout tents. Some of my Niskayuna High School classmates asked if they could swap me a small pup tent for this huge tent so "the guys" could hang out together. The first night I was there, I went to sleep in the wee hours listening to David Bromberg and the rain. The next morning, I was snug and dry, but the guys who borrowed "my" tent woke up in several inches of water.

Georgeward, does Vaughn remember the yogurt we made from elderly pears?

Ali Bain and Utah Phillips seemed to have a running battle of wits - fun to listen to them insult each other. Waking up to the sound of a hot air ballon filling. Bagpipes every morning, but they got progressively later each day. Perhaps the first truly evil thing I ever did was suggesting that the bunch of drunks standing around with nothing to do after pulling out someone's tent stakes (perhaps the Beans?) should march through the campground imitating bagpipes playing Scotland the Brave.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 25 Mar 01 - 04:25 AM

Sarah T--if you read this thread again, drop me a personal mesage or at least take a look at www.fsgw.org

Fox Hollow may be a memory, but the community that makes music together lives on, and is very strong in the Washington, DC area.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST,Fortunato
Date: 25 Mar 01 - 04:30 PM

DC Folk music fades and grows again...


The Red Fox is gone, Grant's Tomb and Gallagher's Pub.


But there's still folk music at the Royal Mile Pub.

Sat. April 14th. There's a time machine waiting there for you.

Regards, Chance


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Sarah T
Date: 25 Mar 01 - 08:12 PM

Chance, what are you referring to on Sat. April 14th? Charlie, thanks for making contact. I will send you a personal message as soon as I figure out how to do that. *grin*

--Sarah


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Jeri
Date: 25 Mar 01 - 09:03 PM

Sarah, just go way up to the top of the page, and click on "Personal Pages." Look under "Messages" for "send a message" on the next page and click. Type "Charlie Baum" in. (You could probably just type "Baum" in and it would find him.)


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Luke
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 10:55 AM

I was a very young man, 14 or 15 maybe when I by only a stroke of luck or fate I made it to the Fox Hollow festival. We had been to a gathering the year before at the house on the grounds there, and to the beers house on the lake in hoosick falls the year before. The first year at the gathering though was like some wonderful dream. We had driven from Michigan all day and night to be there for a thanksgiving weekend gathering. I wanted so badly to be what all the people were. I can't even remember who exactly was there. I know the Armstrongs and the Boyers were I remember cuz they had kids that were kinda coming my age. I thought they were the luckiest kids in the world. I remember Bob Luurtsma was there and that he was very funny and kind to us youngsters from Michigan. The music was non-stop. Bob began playing the fiddle at 7;00 am. I was amazed that it was literally happening right in front of my awakening eyes. I thought fiddlers and folk musicians in general needed to play late in the evening. The thought of playing first thing in the morning had never accured to my young brain. Overload. This is what I remember most. I remember John Dildine taking me aside and showing me the easy rocking motion in his right hand as he played the banjo. He saved my life. I remember Gil Turner arriving at the party late of friday evening and literally sleeping til Sunday morning on the floor waking up just as everyone was getting ready to leave. He sang a song I can't remember. But his road wearyness was a statement as powerful as any music that weekend. He slept through the entire party with it going sturm and drang all around him for 2 days. I always loved him for that and everyone there who knew he needed to be there if only to sleep. And what dreams he must have had.

Luke


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: KathWestra
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 11:06 AM

Northern Lights were in 1972 -- my first year at Fox Hollow, and the only time I've seen this mystical sky display. Unforgettable!

The Highland piper could have been Donald Lindsay, who ran the Invermark School of Piping across the road from the farm. He frequently piped the sun up, and piped it down again and day's close. The northern lights will always be linked in my sensory memory with the sound of pipes.

I first went to Fox Hollow as part of Sandy and Caroline's guerilla campaign to convince me that there was a whole wonderful world outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Actually, I didn't need a whole lot of convincing! By April of 1974, and with help from the Patons and their friends, I had moved to West Hartford, CT. From there, I moved for 18 months to Latham, NY, and finally to Washington, DC, where I've been since February 1976. The lifelong friends I met at Fox Hollow and other gatherings like it have followed me throughout all those years.

The week after my first (1972) Fox Hollow was spent at the Paton's home in Sharon, soaking up recordings, conversation, visiting folk dignitaries.... Actually, a highlight of that visit was on the WAY back to Sharon from the festival, when we stopped at a little restaurant on Rte. 22 and Sandy stood on his chair and presented his memorable rendition of "I'm a Little Teapot." It was quite a performance! Get him to do it for you sometime.

Thanks, Sarah, for reviving this thread and dredging up many happy memories!
Kathy


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 12:05 PM

I was there 1966 or 7. Gandma was ill, but she always sang Dumbarton's Drums, so they rigged a line from her bedside all the way to the stage so she could sing to us.
I was audience, but sitting under Lena's parachute I sang a Scots ballad to a friend, which got me a weekend gig at Cafe Lena, where I startled everyone by including a Beatles ballad in a set.

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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 04:34 PM

Oh, Jaysus, Kathy W! You've completely destroyed my carefully conjured image of antiquated austerity! "I'm a Little Teapot" while standing on a chair? Who? Me? Don't believe a word of it, folks. You all KNOW I'd never engage in such undignified frivolity! Right?

Now, hanging teaspoons from noses... Well, maybe...

Grandpa Grumps


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Hollowfox
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 05:41 PM

Now, Sandy, that performance was one of the highest recommendations I can think of for a restaurant. (Captain's Table, on Route 2, just outside of Williamstown, right?) After all, they had good affordable food, and they'd allow scruffy, giggling folkies in the door in the first place. (No, I wasn't there; this isn't the first time Kathy's told on you.*g*)
Fox Hollow was like no other festival I've been to for several reasons. Sure, the music was grand, and the workshops,and the jamming, and the visiting. But there were things in the background and foundation of the place that set it apart.
For one thing, when volunteers went out weeks beforehand to re-terrace the actual hollow into the seating area of the amphetheater (back-breaking work), Bob Beers (founder of the festival) would be out there, grubbing roots with the rest of them.
For another, there was no "us/them" feeling between ticket holders and staff, between performers and volunteers, etc. You could be sitting in the audience, and when the emcee introduced the next act, it could well be that the person sitting next to you would get up, go on stage, and perform. There was no "guard at the gate" preventing non-staff from visiting in the staff campground. True, you couldn't camp there if you weren't on staff, but you could stay as long as you were awake. And with the music, etc., that wasn't hard. One year I brought out a non-folkie boyfriend (that, as they say, is another story) and at the end of the evening concert (late, as usual), he went back to my tent, intending to turn in for the night. He was a bit surprised when I said, "I'll see you, either in about twenty minutes, or about four hours." Sure enough, I came back for a quick nap when it was light enough to read my driver's license. He hadn't slept much, either. I was camped next to Bob McQuillen (contra dance musician and tune crafter), and he shared my philosophy that you can sleep anytime, but you had to pack everything you could in while Fox Hollow was going on.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: sed
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 11:11 PM

RE: Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow From: GUEST,Meadow Muskrat Date: 23-Mar-01 - 12:45 AM re: whereabouts of Boyer sisters, circa 1994. Folksinger, guitarist, psalteryist, Susan M. Boyer Haley and her sister Becky Boyer were living in Birmingham, Alabama in the early 1990's. I last saw Susan at the the Children's Art Connection in Linn Park, May 1994. Becky had been playing violin in The Alabama Symphony Orchestra since the 1980's. I think that Susan and her physician/banjoist husband, Bill Haley, moved to Orlando or Tampa, FL. I've got a fine 1990 cassette re-release collection of an album Susan recorded in 1983 in Kirkwood, Missouri before Jonas William Boyer, her father died. In the cassette notes the Fox Hollow Festival is mentioned as are her mother's brother, Bob Beers, and his immediate family. Title: Hearthside Music. Inside photo includes: Joe Boyer, Janet Boyer (Mom), Bill Boyer (Dad), Bill Haley, John Boyer, Becky Boyer, Susan Boyer Haley. More info on request. No address listed on cassette. The company that pressed it is out of business: Tape South.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: johnross
Date: 12 Apr 02 - 01:59 PM

Picking up on an old thread with some more stories:

About 1969, when the obligatory rainstorm arrived, Bob Beers came onstage and announced that the festival was moving to the Petersberg town hall, where we could all get under cover. So the entire crowd moved to their cars to drive the couple miles to the town hall. There was no official parking crew that year, but various people spontaneously grabbed our flashlights and tried to bring order out of the vehicular chaos by directing traffic. After the parking field was cleared, we looked around and discovered two things: all but one of this ad hoc crew (who had been working in the dark, not sure who was waving the next light up the line) were members of the extended Haynes Family (mainstays of the Philadelphia folk music community). So of course, we immediately adopted that one person! And over at the edge of the field, there was a guy in his underwear, who had decided to sleep in his car. But when he answered nature's call, he found himself locked out of the car...I'm pretty sure we found a way to open the car for him, but it probably took a while.

And in 1972, I was standing backstage during an evening concert, when Marty (Bob and Evelyne's daughter) came over to me and said, "come with me...there's somebody trying to sneak in through the woods." So we walked over to where the guy had been seen. He saw us coming, and dropped to the ground. When we got close to him, Marty looked down at him and said, very quietly, "Excuse me...you're lying in a patch of poison ivy." He was last seen heading back to the road, looking for a place to take a serious shower.

I'm pretty sure the year of the Northern Lights was 1972, the summer after Bob Beers died. I always figured he had something to do with that display...


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: KathWestra
Date: 12 Apr 02 - 03:28 PM

Yup, Northern Lights was 1972. See my previous post. I still can't separate the sight of the Aurora from the sound of Donald Lindsay playing his bagpipes while the lightshow was going on above. And yes, I believe Bob's spirit and the northern lights were definitely connected. It was also very, very cold in '72. I had a summer-weight sleeping bag and it got well below freezing one night. Brrrrrrr!


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Apr 02 - 05:34 PM

I made two Fox Hollows... and of course it did rain, both times. The second time I went, my son Gideon (now 32) was a baby and we had to leave early because it was raining so hard, and we were slipping and sliding on the hill. The second time I was there, Bob Beers had passed away and the Festival was very different... forget the name of the guy who was the mc., but I seem to remember he wore a cape... seemed out of place at the time. It was also one of the first times I met Sandy & Caroline.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Apr 02 - 11:24 PM

Hi, Dan:

Yes, I warmly remember the North Country Folk Festival. I sang at the last one. Don't blame me. I think the biggest problem with the festival was that it was fifteen miles east of To Hell And Gone. But, it was a fine festival. The best festival I ever went to as far as drawing local ethinc communities in as participants, presenting their traditional crafts, foods, music and dance. Sally Rogers danced everyone's feet to nubbins. Even got me to dance a couple dances. Anyone who dances with me does so at their own risk.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST,Martie
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 05:06 PM

En route from Juneau, Alaska to Cape May, New Jersey and having met the Beers the preceding winter in Juneau, we hoped to visit the Fox Hollow Festival. We called the number in an Albany paper and got some more information so we could go. We took six children, mostly ours, a big picnic lunch, and went there. It was 1971, and we only went one day, the children's day that preceded what we were told was the actual festival. It was a wonderful, never to be forgotten day. Other than the Boyers, and Bob and Evelyne Beers, perhaps Martha Nagler, I don't remember who was there, but I do remember the wonderful performances for children. My children long remembered Johnny Appleseed and reenacted it for weeks.
The weather was perfect, the music great, and the opportunity to buy from a large display of--was it Folkways--lps. I bought a couple, all I could afford in those days. We bought a few other things, and went on our way after the most wonderful day.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 07:59 PM

The Boyers (Janet and the two girls, et al) just played a gig at the Big Muddy Folk Festival in Boonville, Missouri, the first weekend of this month (April). They did a great set! There was a nice song swap after hours on the last night, with the Boyers joining in. It was the first time I had seen them; I hope it wont be the last.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Carly
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 12:25 AM

I was just discussing Fox Hollow with a houseguest this morning-I am very pleased to see this thread!

I was in the audience when word of Nixon's resignation rustled through the crowd, starting at the top of the hill, and worked its way in excited whispers to the stage. I remember Caroline singing, and then everyone joining in America the Beautiful. I'm not sure I was able to sing-I recall being overwhelmed with emotion.

I remember singing shape-note hymns in the gazebo, jammed together so closely that we joked about the parts breathing in turn.I remember standing on the path to the performers' camping area, shamelessly eavesdropping on a conversation I had no interest in, because one of the men talking had the most compelling voice I'd ever heard. I didn't find out until that evening that the Voice belonged to Gordon Bok.I remember a great crafts area; even though I was a student at that time, with no money, I managed to bring back a mug and a canister which I still own, use and cherish. I also seem to recall making a macrame instrument strap there, which I also have kept.I remember the Dildines, with Ginny's fantastic puppets-- they once did Where are You Going, My Good Old Man with gigantic creations.I remember the sound of bagpipes all over the grounds, at all hours.

My two fondest memories-Wandering around the performers' campground after an evening concert looking for Murray Callahan,( I don't recall why, and I never did find her that night,) I literally stumbled into Jean Ritchie as she was emerging from her camper.I was embarassed beyond words(one should not trample ones musical heros, and I nearly knocked her over!)But she, bless her, was her kind self, and after allowing as how she was uninjured and had not seen Murray, we began to chat. Some other folks drifted up, someone started to sing, and we sang, standing in a tight ring, until someone noticed the stars were beginning to fade. So of course we sang Bright Morning Stars are Rising, and then I headed off to bed. Which leads to the second memory. I was staying in a campground down the road a ways, and my camping companions were long gone to sleep, so I began to walk down the road, rejoicing in the glorious night(no rain for a bit) and still high on the music. I was probably singing. It took me a few minutes to realize that a car was slowly following me. I turned and looked at it, and a policeman emerged and asked if I was all right. I babbled back that I was just great, and the night was fine, and the world was a lovely place.....He eventually interupted me to suggest it was time for bed, and where was I staying? So I told him, wished him a pleasant morning, and strolled on. The car discreetly followed me back to the campground. I never could make up my mind whether he thought I was drunk, stoned, or just another crazy hippie, but he was very polite.

Thank you, everyone, for sharing your memories of this special place and time.

Carly Gewirz


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST,SomerhillGrad
Date: 18 Aug 04 - 02:08 PM

First went to Fox Hollow summer of '71 with group from Camp Somerhill in Athol, NY. Was disappointed that I couldn't be at Concert for Bangladesh because I was upstate. Fell in love with Fox Hollow; came back for the next 3 succeeding years, introducing friends to it and the joys of Utah, Bromberg, Jean Ritchie and the Beers family. Was there for the Northern Lights and the Nixon resignation. What a terrific experience it all was. What ever happened to Bode Wagoner?
Thanks for the thread, it was a very good time.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Susan A-R
Date: 18 Aug 04 - 10:16 PM

I was there for two of them, I think, Seems to me it DIDN"T RAIN one year. I remember Hearing Priscilla Herdman for the first time, Margaret MacArthur singing that wonderful, long (somewhat improbable) ballad about a woman getting lost on the Vermont side of the Connecticuit River and winding up on the other side months (or was it years) later. I remember sitting in the hollow, rain pouring down, sharing my poncho with three or so other people, listening to music and sharing a bottle of wine. And wasn't there the Wretched Mess String band? And am I dreaming about the massivly miked digerydo(sp?)

I'm sorry I missed Nixon's resignation. That would have been the place to be.

Susan A-R


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 19 Aug 04 - 02:20 PM

Many of my folk scene photos, now on line, are of folks mentioned so fondly in this thread. To see 'em go to:

http://rudegnu.com/art_thieme.html

All of them have at least basic captions. Many essays are much more extensive than that---with longer remembrances of the folks and the times.

When prompted, enter the single word mudcat (all lower case) as both the USER NAME and the PASSWORD.

If anyone wishes to make their own comments on any of the photos, there is a space provided after my comments.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: MaineDog
Date: 19 Aug 04 - 04:51 PM

Does anyone else remember Gordon and Annie and Ed singing
"Love them little mousies--
Mousies' what I love to eat--
Bite they little heads off--
nibble on they tiny feet(s) !?


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Susan A-R
Date: 19 Aug 04 - 09:54 PM

Oh yeah! That's where I heard it, to Beethovan's 9th?


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: MaineDog
Date: 20 Aug 04 - 08:15 PM

Actually, I thought it was set to "Behr mi oh" (sp?)
MD


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST, NOMADman
Date: 20 Aug 04 - 10:26 PM

Yes, I remember Gordon, Ed and Annie singing Love to Eat Them Mousies. Don't remember the tune, though. What started it was several folks showing up that year wearing the Kliban cat tee shirt with the words on it.

Regards,
John


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST,Doug MacKenzie
Date: 11 Mar 08 - 12:24 AM

I was very fortunate to be a child in Schenectady, New York, in the 1960s. The GE plant was still humming along, ALCO was still turning out locomotive engines, Union College was full of students, and the City of Lights was prosperous and content. I also happened to have an older brother, Guy, who was keenly interested in seeing to my musical education. Guy, who is 19 years older than me, was a young man in the '60s. Guy was a photographer, poet, and folksinger, back then. He found himself spending time with some of the greats of the era: Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk, Judy Collins, Len Chandler, Michael Cooney, Hedy West, Jean Redpath, and Reverend Gary Davis, to name a few. He was also close friends with the Beers Family, of folk music renown.
        Guy took me with him on quite a number of his musical adventures, including many trips up to Saratoga Springs, to listen to performers at the Caffe Lena. Guy himself was a regular performer at Lena's, and The San Remo Café in Schenectady. He also used to take me out to the Beers Family estate. They owned a 185-acre retreat, built in 1793 up in the Berkshire Mountains, near Petersburg, NY. It had also once been the hideout of noted gangster Jack "Legs" Diamond.
        It was there that I started becoming self-aware. I began to truly note the people with whom we were keeping company. I started looking forward to our trips out to the Beers place. I used to catch frogs in the old heart shaped pond (an edifice reputedly ordered built for a woman Legs Diamond was romantically interested in.) I could run around to my heart's content, really let go and be a free kid.
        The evenings there were pure magic. Bob Beers, who headed up the family, played his huge plucked psaltery and sang, while Evelyne, his wife, would keep time with a homemade "limberjack"; a loose-limbed toy that would be bounced upon a paddle shaped board. Or, more rightly, the board was bounced while the Limberjack was held still, allowing his arms and legs to do a crazy dance. Their lovely daughter, Martha, whom my brother was dating, would play guitar, or sometimes banjo. Sometimes Bob would play fiddle, using an old bent hickory stick bow. Evelyne's clear soprano was like pure silver, pure gold. Martha's harmonies were from the angels. There were always others joining in. I remember Jean Redpath, Rosalie Sorrels, Theo Bikel, the Seegers, and many others. All would play well into the night. Eventually, I would tire and seek out the prettiest lap upon which I could lay my weary little head. I have probably never slept more soundly.
        Then, in 1966, the Beers decided to hold a festival on their estate. It started out as a weekend-long party for their closest 3,000 friends. Guy played every year, from 1966 to 1972. Therefore, my family attended the festival during the same time-span. I remember that it usually rained, sometimes seeming almost biblical in its proportions. The festival was the most potent magic I have ever known. The main stage was at the bottom of a natural amphitheater in the woods, sculpted and shaped with logs. The performances were transcendental, for me, at least. I looked forward eagerly every year for festival time to roll around.
        Tragically, Bob Beers died in an auto accident in 1972. The festival never really recovered. The festival was Bob's baby, and without his spirit guiding the event, it lost its soul. The last festival was held on the grounds in 1980.
        I had a small moment on the festival stage in 1977, just before I left for the west coast. I was at the festival and looking for Evelyne. Eventually, I was taken backstage. I started to introduce myself, when she interrupted me, hugging me and tearfully saying, "I know who you are!" I was stunned. Apparently, so was Evelyne. She found a spot for me and I played a short, 15-minute set. That occasion turned out to be the last I would see of that magical place for 30 years.
        Five years ago, or so, I started having a recurring dream. I am not normally given to such things. I do not see ghosts. I have never had any encounter in life for which I could not find a rational explanation. Given that, it makes what happened next extraordinarily hard for me to understand. In fact, I do not understand it. I only know it happened.
        The dream was simple enough: It is early morning. I am standing on Route 2, in Troy, NY, looking east. The road winds up and away to the left, into the trees. I sigh and start walking up the road. The dream would dissolve for a moment and then reappear, with me standing across the road from the old Beers house. I look both ways on the road for traffic, and then start to cross the road to go to the house. At that point, the dream ends.
        The first time it happened, it was quite pleasant. I had not thought of those times from my youth in years. Indeed, it had been thirty years since I last went out Route 2 to Petersburg. Almost a year later, I had the dream again. It was the same as the first time. Then, it came to me again about another year later. This pattern continued for four years. Then, in 2007, I started having the dream nearly every month. By this time, it was becoming rather disconcerting. I could not imagine why I kept having the same dream, repeatedly, and with increasing frequency. As I live in North Carolina, it would not be a quick jaunt to try to find out what this might all be about.
        However, I did find a week I could manage to make the journey. So, last week, I loaded the van, brought my nine year old son, Ian, along with me, and off we set.
        The Capital District of New York is some 750 miles away. I am currently recovering from dual carpal tunnel surgery that didn't turn out as planned, so I was rather anxious about the trip. While the trip was long and arduous, all went as smoothly as could be anticipated.
        I have not been in the Capital District in over twenty-five years. I lived in Albany in 1977, then again in 1980-82, until I joined the Air Force, where I spent the next ten years. Returning there was almost dreamlike in itself. There were so many places that looked familiar, but in a long lost sort of way. It seemed as though I were swimming through another dream.
        Prior to the journey, I had arranged to meet Guy at an old Schenectady eatery, Morrette's King Steakhouse, on Erie Boulevard. After a satisfying lunch, we toured the area, stopping by the three houses I called home as a child. When we'd finished, Guy looked at me and said, "Ready to go find the Beers place?" I did not know the way at all and said so. Guy said that I should follow my nose, since it had served me well, thus far. I agreed. So, we headed to Troy on Route 7.
        After finding Troy with no trouble, I eventually found Route 2. As we started heading out of town, my hackles raised as we approached the area where the dream always started. Dry throated, I managed to say something along the lines of, "This is it." I felt foolish for feeling antsy about this. Then, a feeling of calm descended over me and I knew we were on the right road and that I would find out at last why this dream had been pestering me for so long.
        We traveled out Route 2, up into The Berkshire Mountains. The day was glorious. Bright sun and small cumulus clouds. It was warm, but the humidity was comfortably low. The kind of weather I remember from my childhood. I asked Guy if he knew where the old Beers place was. He replied that it had been nearly forty years since he had been there, so he wasn't sure either. I mentioned that it had to be on the left, as I always cross the road in the dream. Guy responded that it was, indeed, on the left. He mentioned that it might be gone, a victim of development. That comment raised a knot in my stomach. I had a moment of doubt, but just knew that could not be. We continued through Grafton, and were about five or six miles from Petersburg, when we both saw it at the same time.
        There it was, on the left side of the road. Just like in the dream. An ancient farmstead, built of local stone and white painted clapboard. I slowed the van down and said, "Well, I guess I'd better see what this is about." I pulled into the driveway and stopped the van. I sat for a moment, just looking at the scene around us.
        There was a man, standing on a ladder, painting an old trellis. There were signs of a lot of reconstruction activity all around. New lumber, stacked stone, wheelbarrows, paint cans. The fellow looked at us for a moment, and then went back to his painting.
        I took a deep breath and got out of the van. I walked over toward him. He stopped painting and eyed me through his paint-spattered glasses. "Are you my painting relief?" he asked.
        "Sorry, bad hands", I said. "But I do have a couple of helpers in the van."
        He smiled and said, "Well, tell 'em to grab a paintbrush. There's plenty of work for all." I laughed, took a breath, and introduced myself. He told me his name was Ed. I then related the story I've just told here. When I finished, he eyed me intensely for a moment, put down his paintbrush, and said, "Come with me. I have something for you." We walked to an old, single car garage that was full of all manner of tools, stacked lumber, old tires, and many boxes. On the floor, near the back, was a box full of old vinyl records. Ed bent down and started riffling through them. He came up with one, and then two, old vinyl record albums with the tattered shrink-wrap still on them.
        He stood up, handed them solemnly to me, and said, "These are the very last two. They're for you." I was nearly trembling, as I looked them over. Two volumes, apparently from a six-volume set, titled ""All Those People…" Fox Hollow 1968 Vol. III" and ""…And Not One Police" Fox Hollow 1969 Vol. IV".
        I looked on the back of the 1969 volume and there, on the back, I spied my brother's name and a paragraph attached to it: "Guy MacKenzie (Lullabye) -Grandma Buckham and Guy were close friends. She died in 1969, only two months before the festival and I like to feel that Guy was singing this song to her. He had written the song several years before, but it had been one of her favorites. Guy is an amateur, who writes exquisite songs, and sings them movingly. I doubt there is a professional singer who comes to Fox Hollow, but who wishes he could achieve the intense, quiet rapport with an audience that Guy does so naturally." I just stood there, in shock. I had never seen these before. I stammered to Ed that Guy, one of the singers on this album, was right in the car. I hailed Guy and Ian out of the car and introduced them to Ed. Ed was beaming at the whole scene. Guy looked at the albums. He said, in a rather far away voice, "I didn't even know I was on this!"
        Just at that moment, Ed's partner, Alan, came huffing around from the side of the building, pushing a loaded wheelbarrow. We were all introduced and Ed excused himself to get back to his painting. I shook his hand and thanked him for the gift. He said, "Evidently, they were waiting for you." I noted that he oddly emphasized the word, "you". He smiled and turned back to his work. Alan took up where Ed left off, showing us around the grounds. It was all so very dreamlike. I knew these windows, the well, the benches. Alan even invited us inside to show us how they had restored the interior. We begged off, saying that it was clear they were working very hard and we didn't want to take them from their work. We just asked to take some photos. Alan wandered around with us, showing us their projects, finished, current, and future. He said we were welcome to go down to the amphitheater, but the midges were really getting to Ian, so we declined their generous invitation. Alan said they get visitors from time to time, stopping in to take a peek, and they tell them they used to camp here, or perform, or come for the day to the festival. He really seemed pleased that folks would remember, and he said that they loved learning more about the place. It is no wonder that they do, I thought. This place was oozing magic back then.
        Around the back of the house, Guy stopped and said, "Over there, on that bench, Bob sat me and Dawn (Guy's bride) down and began to sing a song about making a whistle. While he was singing, he whittled away on a piece of wood. When he finished the song, he'd also finished whittling. He'd carved a whistle, and then played the tune of the song on the brand-new whistle."
        The pond, where I used to catch frogs was still there. Alan told us the story of "Legs" Diamond having it made to impress a woman with whom he had fallen in love. He said that it had silted in, over the years, but they were planning to restore it to its original heart shape.
We took a few more pictures, thanked them again and told them we'd best be off so they could return to their labor of love.
As we pulled away, I noticed Guy, casting a long last look at the venerable, old place. We drove back to Schenectady, mostly in silence, pretty well stunned by the whole affair.
Of course, the story is not finished, yet. I have yet to discover what is on those albums. Is there a song I need to know? A story? I am hoping there will be more to this mystery. I don't know yet what it might be, but I am sure going to try to find out.


Doug MacKenzie        August 9, 2007        Cary, NC


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Mar 08 - 12:59 AM

The magic of the Mudcat. This one belongs with the Spancil Hill story of Robbie McMahon.

Doug, glad you are here. I have one of the Fox Hollow LP's up in my library. Gonna haul it out. If I get through Cary, NC I surely hope we can have a cuppa, sing a song or two, and get to know each other.

You are a treasure.

All the very best,

Mick Lane


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST,Carly
Date: 11 Mar 08 - 08:05 PM

Oh, my. the hair at the back of my neck is standing on end. Thank you, thank you, Doug, for relating your journey. It is, indeed, a magic place for many of us in our memories....it is nice to think of good folks taking care of it and showing interest in its past.

Carly Gewirz


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 12 Mar 08 - 04:00 AM

I worked at Camp Greylock, Beckett, Mass. during the Summer of 1970 and spent a day at Fox Hollow Festival. I still have a tape, Michael Cooney rings a bell but I could be wrong,Blow away the morning dew ..... accomp. on banjo. Lots of other exceptional music. I had a really great day at a wonderful friendly festival. Met people I later visited whilst Greyhounding around before returning to the UK. I still have a poster. Very happy memories


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST,Arkansas Red-Ozark Troubadour
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 12:13 PM

I remember the Beers family very well when they came to Springfield, Missouri once to visit folksinger May Kennedy McCord. Bob Beers sister the late Janet Boyer taught me the song Bob sang called, "The Wee Herd's Whistle". She wrote the words off for me but I forgot the tune. Does anyone know where I could find the melody line to "The Wee Herd's Whistle"? Thanks

Arkansas Red-Ozark Troubadour
Eureka Springs, Ozark Mountains, Arkansas
mbreid@cox.net


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: kendall
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 08:22 AM

Kathy, I love you dearly, but I've known Sandy Paton for nearly 40 years and I have never known him to take a drink. So, I'm sure he would never do such a thing while sober.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST,Terry Travers
Date: 20 Jul 09 - 08:00 PM

Does anyone remember who sang Peggy Seeger's "I'm Gonna Be an Engineer at the 1971 Festival? Although I remember Frankie Armstrong being around in the 71-73 period, and though I have her version on vinyl, the performer I first heard do that magic song, I don't believe was her. I wasn't on the Festival Anthology recordings I bought there. If you can help me remember contact me at WTQD@verizon.net
Thanks,
Terry

'


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: kendall
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 05:15 AM

One of the worst things about the ageing process is remembering such great times as Fox Hollow.

The guy who replaced Bob Beers, his name I forget, told me when I was about to go on stage.. "We have a time limit for all performers and if you run over I will physically pull you off the stage." I told him that "only beginners run over."
I took an instant dislike to him and was very glad that he didn't lay hands on me.
He could never fill Bob Beer's shoes.

The worst thing that ever happened to me at Fox Hollow was the guy who handed me a song and said I should sing it. Then, he told me what it was about.
During WW 2, a German soldier fell in love with a Jewish girl and when it came time for her to be killed, he took part of her skin (after she was dead I presume) AND MADE A LAMP SHADE OF IT!
It was titled, Lilly of the lamp shade, and it turned my stomach. I gave it back and told him, I could never sing that, and neither should any civilized person.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST,Elmore
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 08:16 AM

That same guy practically dragged Frankie Armstrong off the stage.Then someone explained to him how important she was, and he re-introduced her. she sang "Engineer", but I'm not sure if she recorded it.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST,lunamom
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 05:56 PM

I was at Fox Hollow from 1964 through 1967 with Sara Grey's family. It was a magical experience in my young life and I still have the LPs to listen to and remember. One performance that is not on the LPs I treasure most. One year after the evening concert was over, a number of us gathered around a camp fire. Some sang really sweet songs, but the one I remember most was Joe Hickerson singing "Jenny's Gone to OHIO". Not sure why that has meant so much to me over the years, but I have never fogotten this moment in time of my Fox Hollow experience.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST,Marty Beers Meshberg
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 11:37 AM

Dear Friends,

It has been such a long, long time since I have been in touch with many of you. Unfortunately I am the bearer of sad news. My mother, Evelyne Beers, passed away on Sunday, October 4th in hospital in Toronto from pneumonia. It was peaceful and painless. She was 84, and over the past year and a half the quality of her life was truly difficult . She had taken a very bad fall in August of 2008 and fractured 3 lumbar vertebrae. So, she was in constant pain, in a wheel chair and feeling pretty low down and depressed. Even at that, she still found it within her to sing and recount her memories of Fox Hollow and the wonderful supportive performers and friends who attended over a period of 14 years.
Her funeral was Tuesday Oct.6th) and was attended by my family and a small number of Baha'i friends. Since most of her "folkie" friends were in the United States, I found it so deeply sad that they were not able to send her off with a joyful noise as my father (Bob Beers) had been. Yet, I know that she has joined the heavenly concourse and that her spirit is now free and singing among the handmaidens of the Kingdom.

I ask that you pass this news along to her many friends.

Thank you for your assistance.
Love and best wishes,
Marty (Beers) Meshberg
dawntide2002@yahoo.com


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: Susan of DT
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 12:21 PM

Thank you for posting, Marty. Your family and Fox Hollow have a large place in many hearts.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST,Elmore
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 03:40 PM

Marty, Thanks for sharing the details. Fox Hollow was a life changing experience for me. I knew your mother briefly in the late eighties, and found that she was a truly wonderful person.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST,lunamom
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 01:23 AM

So very sorry to hear that your mother has passed on, but hope that it is some comfort for you to know that your parents' lives affected so many people in such a positive way for so many years.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Fox Hollow
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 09:45 PM

Oh, the fox went out on a chilly night,
He prayed for the moon to give him light,
He'd many a mile to go that night,
before he reached the town-o, town-o, town-o,
he'd many a mile to go that night,
before he reached the town-o.

I *think* I remember Bob Beers singing this in the late 60s at Fox Hollow and at camping trips with our dear friends the Boyers, in MI. (the mind is tricky) I also remember him singing "Green Gravel" and Evelyn singing "I got a bird that whistles" in a voice that was surreal.


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Mudcat time: 21 September 12:16 PM EDT

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