A Classic Florida Moment

RedFolks who are interested in southeastern folk music may remember Will McLean, the ethnic genius who preceded almost everyone else in the region as a singer-songwriter. I recently came across this photo from 1978, taken at Stephen Foster State Park, in Florida, during a special program for Will:

Will McLean Day

Everybody was having a good time, and there’s a lot of nostalgia in this picture. Many inspiring folk characters are shown, some of whom are now gone forever: our hero Gamble Rogers is standing near the left of the photo; Will McLean himself is near the center; toward the right, in an elaborate old-fashioned dress is "Cousin Thelma" Boltin, the organizer and driving force for many years behind the Florida Folk Festival; and next to her is Don Grooms, the well-known Gainesville-area performer. These folks are all missed.

But speaking of people who are still around, take a look at the right edge of the photo. You'll notice a young couple with their baby. Murphy is holding Casey, who was just 6 months old, and I'm holding my favorite drink, which was a big mason jar full of fresh iced tea. (As you can see from everyone's appearance, it was a warm day.)

Memories abound from this event. Earlier in the afternoon, Murphy and I had had the pleasure of playing a set of music with the great Chubby Anthony playing fiddle. That was certainly a time to remember! And a little later Jim Fee and Bill Pruitt arrived, and Chubby played a set with his own band. That was some powerful music!


(P.S. --- A special note to Banjo Newsletter and Banjo Hangout fans, some of whom have discussed a certain mystery for years: the Flint Hill Flash is in this picture. No, I'm not going to tell you which one he---or she---is!)

Posted in By Red, pictures and tagged , , on by .

About Red Henry

Began playing mandolin, guitar, fiddle, and banjo in 1967-69. I married Murphy in 1974. We led the Red & Murphy bluegrass band, playing professionally, from 1975-87. Since then I've handled the technical side of Murphy Method cassette, videotape, and DVD production. When you call I usually answer the phone, and I'm normally the one who sends out the orders.

One thought on “A Classic Florida Moment

  1. banjomamas

    What a pleasure to see this photo and all of the “greats” pictured there, including the Henry family!!! I know you must have made fabulous music

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