The Photography of D L Ennis, and more!


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

St. Patty and the hills of the Blueridge .....

The Appalachain Mountains can boast to be one of one of the most diverse cultural experiences that one could ever hope to encounter. The southern Appalachain communities in particular are home to a large number of families of the Scottish\Irish decent. I am included in this segment of the population that can trace ancestry back to Scotland and Ireland. My home town of Jonesborough with a rich frontier history also has it's roots planted deeply in the “Old Country” as they say. The word "borough" is proof enough that we are a part of something bigger than East Tennessee or the Appalachian mountains. "Borough" is an English word that speaks in reference to a local government being in the town rather than the town being a subdivision of a larger city that sits in government of the smaller out lying towns. This of course would be true of Jonesborough since it was the capital of the state. Jonesborough was the center of government for a brief period in history.

(Window of the Celic Cupboard: Jonesborough Tennessee)

Borough's can be found in England and Northern Ireland while the word burg or burgh can be found in Scotland. Case in point, I live in Jonesborough and just down the road five or six miles lies the small community of Leesburg. That makes denying your roots amazingly difficult, especially if you have lived here all of your life. It is all around you in the names of our cities and communities, street names and even in the architecture of some of our buildings.

This Friday is St' Patrick's Day and the signs are up at every turn promoting the various celebrations that will be taking place throughout the week into the weekend. You can bet that be it ever so humble we will be among the many party goers this Friday night. However our type of party tends to be much more subdued than most. This Friday as a celebration of St. Patrick's Day the Jonesborough Visitors Center will be hosting a party\funraiser (yes I dais FunRaiser) for MOTS (music on the square) and the C.A.A.N.T (celtic american association of northeast tennessee) will be there to sign up new members. As a special treat Phil and Gaye Johnson will return this year to record a live session of the King Pup Radio Hour. Music is a big part of who we are around here and I am glad to be a part of those who are out there keeping those traditional tunes alive.

2004 was the year that I decided to learn the violin (fiddle for most of us). It seemed so intimidating to learn since there were no frets to guide my fingers. Nonetheless, my mind was set. So after a rough start with twinkle twinkle little star, I moved on to bigger and better things. Traditional Irish tunes like Sally Gardens and Irish Washer Woman. I only thought that twinkle twinkle little star was hard! Try Irish Washer Woman! Practice does have a tendency to make perfect so I stayed with it and eventually began to make friends with the violin and things started looking up and sounding better as well. As I have said before, I own more instruments than underwear. Guitars, Bagpipes, Violins, Whistles and the list goes on. Everyday is a celtic celebration at my house, even if only in my head. This St' Patty's Day wear as much green as humanly possible and greet all ye' laddys' and lassies' with a smile and embrace what has been passed on to us in story, music and dance. Go join a party somewhere! On this day of all days, you will be welcomed I'm sure.

( picture of one of my violins)


  • At Wednesday, 15 March, 2006, Blogger D L Ennis said…

    Hi Mark, do you play all of the instruments that you own? Have a happy St' Patty's Day!

  • At Thursday, 16 March, 2006, Blogger Mark said…

    I do actually play them. Not all at the same time of course. However, I can mamage to get a few notes from the harmonica whie playing the guitar! A bit tricky at first, one must remember to breathe in from time to time or the world begins to grow darker and darker. Next thing you know, your sleeping face down on your guitar with a harmonica stuck in your throat! Not fun!

  • At Thursday, 16 March, 2006, Blogger The MacBean Gene said…

    Like so many people my ancestory is from the Ulster Scots. My GGGG Grandfather was Henry Beane who was married in Wytheville in 1786.
    I'm really impressed with your learning the fiddle. I've wanted to give it a try and now may do so.

  • At Monday, 20 March, 2006, Blogger D L Ennis said…

    Impressive! I’m an old retired musician.


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