What? I didn't tell you about Swannanoa? Well, OK. It's a folk-arts camp that takes over Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC every summer. (Swannaona is just NE of Asheville). Here's the Gathering website. What's it like there? Well, it moved me to write a song, called God Is Here, that explains a lot. another outstanding accounting is from my friend Mark Easley, who I met my first year there. This is his diary of one day at Swannanoa:
My Swannanoa Diary 2006
We always have some incredible days up at Swannanoa. Some people asked
me to write down the description of a particular day I was talking about
so they could review it again. Here it is.
Thursday August 3rd, 2006
Started at 9:00am Thursday, finished at 4:00am Friday.
- 1) Ray Chesna taught me how to play the guitar in A#.
- 2) Brooks Williams and my friends created an environment in his class where I could sing a new song and find out just how deep that song
really was for me.
- 3) I had lunch with a bunch of good friends I only see once a year, and I realized that Swannanoa is like a high school reunion where the assholes don't show up.
- 4) Muriel Anderson gave me a songwriting tip, and fifteen minutes later I had an outline for a new song called "I Don't Want to Know", and it is going to be a good one.
- 5) Muriel Anderson became the first person to sign my guitar, followed shortly by Al Petteway and Eric Garrison. (Doug Orr signed it the next day.
- 6) I learned "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" banjo style on the guitar.
- 7) I had dinner with a person I had traded emails with but never met in person. John Tosco is a Beatle freak just like me, and I look forward to many jams with him.
- 8) At that same dinner, as so often happens here, I made a new friend. Tom is a Hoosier who teaches at Rose Hulman institute.
- 9) At the open mic, my brother Steve and his friend Paddy wrote and sang me a love song.
- 10) My brother said "I made you cry in front of all your friends." I said, That's okay, you made all my friends cry in front of me."
- 11) Joanne and I sang my song "Wasn't Meant to Be" out in front of the beer tent. For the pure joy of it, we sang it again, each time joined by more of our friends, 5 times in a row. The last time, our new friend Brooks Williams joined us on the guitar. He ran to get his guitar so fast we decided he was a new breed, "guitar retriever".
- 12) My friend Jeff asked me to play one of my songs I did last year, called "The Broken Record Song", and he knew all the words.
- 13) I joined one of the wonderful song circles <This is Mark with me and my posse!! - PT> and listened to all of our talented songwriters, and I was especially pleased to see my old friend Eric Garrison break out his guitar.
- 14) The Baughman Factor kicked in, so Steve and I and a bunch of other people screamed Beatles tunes till we dropped at around 4:00am. We came up with an alternative to the circle of 5ths. We call it a fifth in the circle.
If any one of these things happened on a normal day, I would consider it a pretty good day, wouldn't you? Thanks to everybody who helped make it happen.
As you can see, it's an important place, and a very healing thing for everyone who attends. It's a week of peace, stress relief, music, love, and fellowship. I encourage you to visit Marks site, he has a massive photo and video gallery about the Gathering...
I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!