As it did everyone at the time, 9/11 inserted much fear and uncertainty into my life. It didn’t help that I was working for the Governor’s office in the state capital building, just a few miles away from multiple chemical factories. It seemed like targets were all around me.
After some discussion with my future wife, Kathryn Richards, we thought it best to literally head for the hills – to a place of increased security and a more sane pace of life. We both dropped our career paths, not knowing exactly how we were going to make a living in the mountains. But it all started to become clear after we saw the beautiful DePollo General Store here in Thomas WV – empty and for sale!
What has evolved here since that fateful September day has been nothing short of miraculous, in my humble opinion. The amazing array of talented and professional bands that stop to perform, usually to just a handful of folks, is amazing.
We have played host to a world-class symphony cello player (Matt Heimowitz), Tuvan throat singers from Siberia (Alash), bluegrass bands that were number one on the national bluegrass charts (Gibson Brothers, Step Canyon Rangers, King Wilkie), plus a Grammy Awards Show band (Avett Brothers) and a Grammy winner (Mike Compton). All have played this small town of 400 people, at a place born and bred out of the anxiety resulting from a national tragedy.
But this amazing place of community gathering is mostly here because of you, our dedicated patrons. And we hope to always be here FOR you. This is your place to relax, get away from the daily stress of your jobs and the hectic pace of city lives. This is your place to rendezvous with long-lost friends, and kick off your shoes and dance.
Yes, we all get to reap one of the few positives that resulted from September 11. The Purpel Fiddle. But I am the luckiest of all….
Yes, Silas, our beautiful 9 year old son, is a 9/11 baby. Another blessing born from tragedy.