Saturday, October 22, 2011
BOOGERS, HAINTS AND BELLED BUZZARDS AT THE LIARS BENCH
Well, folks, the last Liars Bench came as a surprise to all of the performers, including me. I only learned shortly before the show that the live TV show, "Living in the Carolinas" was going to film the entire program. So it was, that Carl White, the program's MC, showed up with a host of photographers, sound engineers and make-up technicians. Carl some of us in make-up, talked to us about commercial breaks and proceeded to host a fantastic show. We had a packed audience and even after carrying in extra chairs and seating some folks on the floor, we ended up turning away more than 50 folks. This event has prompted a discussion about the future: do we need a larger performance area?
I will keep you posted on that issue.
Since we are in the midst of that strange time called winter solstice and Halloween is fast approaching, the entire show had a nice eerie flavor. I talked a bit about the belled buzzard that once flew through the coves of western North Carolina announcing the coming of death. I have always been fascinated by this bird since he used to scare folks up in Madison County and later showed up in Arkansas and Georgia. Barbara Duncan provided her own spooky tale with the rendition of "The Unquiet Grave." One of the show's most valued performers, Paul Iarussi delivered some vintage claw-hammer guitar and the Cherokee storyteller, Lloyd Arneach not only made us all a little uneasy with his tale about the "Raven Mockers" who hid in the rafters of house where people were seriously ill and waited for their chance to steal the victim's "vitality."
Later in the night, Lloyd talked about Spearfinger, the Cherokee witch who had a forefinger that was a sharp knife......she stole children's livers in the fall of the year when the days were short and the nights were long.
As the picture on the right indicates, this audience was one of the best ever!
Yes, that is Santa Claus on the front row.
In addition to telling the audience a terrifying story about my first marriage and the dangerous results of marrying women from Bryson City, I took the opportunity to point out celebrities (and a few felons) who were in this audience.
On the right is Carl White, the MC for the show, "Living in the Carolinas" and he is explaining some of the finer points of producing a television show to me.
This is Lloyd Arneach in the midst of his spooky tale about the "Raven Mockers" which are the equivalent of vampires in Cherokee mythology.
Paul Iarussi is giving a rousing version of an old traditional song.
This is a newcomer to the Liars Bench, Liz Nance, who hails from Bryson City. In addition to being a musician and vocalist, Liz writes her own songs. She will definitely be back.