Readers Share Fiddlin' Memories

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Recently, The Gazette started a new community group on Facebook called "You're Probably From The Twin Counties If..."
With close to 1,000 members after only one week, it has grown into a place where people of all ages reminisce about growing up in Galax, Carroll and Grayson — beloved teachers, the best burgers, favorite places to "park," grandpa's stories, grandma's cooking and high school hangouts.
This week, we asked members about their favorite memories from the Galax Old Fiddlers' Convention, which is celebrating its 76th year in 2011.
Here are some of the things they had to say:

Carlene Waller Grose — "If you remember the horse stables that were in Felts Park or driving down the truckers' route during the Fiddlers Convention and seeing people bathing in the creek."

Mary Boyer Davis — "I remember riding by there and Daddy and Mama making me close my eyes!"

Lois E Akers — "Remember the year the hippies played in the mud, then bathed in the creek?"

Keith Burnette — "Camping in the horse stables! Oh, what memories!"

Crystal G. Isom — "[The hippies] camped on Chestnut Creek and took baths in it... I remember riding by and everyone was in the creek have a good ole time."

Karen Brewer — "I remember sitting on my front porch watching people take baths under the swinging bridge."

Eric Blevins — "Ever seen anybody washing their dishes in Chestnut Creek during fiddlers' convention?"

Sue Testerman — "Have you ever been when it was raining? Better question: have you ever been when it wasn't raining?"

Lois E Akers — "I lost my shoes in the mud."

Tracey Hammond Nester — "There was nowhere to park, so you parked down at the lot below Grandfather's [nightclub] and walked all the way up Main Street just to get to the Fiddlers — in cowboy boots."

Cynthia LeGrand Reynolds — "My younger daughter, Drew, went to her first fiddlers' convention when she was eight days old [in 1992]!

Pat Woods — "The year Elizabeth Taylor was there and the lights went out just before she came on stage."

Regina Moore Sayers — "Flatfootin' on the board in front of the stage with the hippies."

Carol R. Kitts — "Great memories of the fiddlers. My dad 'Rosie' loved to go around and play with all the bands."

Tina Burcham Robinson — "Ridin' by every year to see the big red panties hanging on the fence!" [They're back this year, by the way.]

Misty Phillips Myers — "Going to check the tennis courts to see who was locked up for public intoxication and find out who you may need to bail out in the morning!"

Tony Patton — "I remember when fiddlers' only lasted one day. It was at the same time the fair was. Galax used to have a great big fair, filled the whole fair ground up."

Steve "Gweedo" Galyean — "In 1994, the 25th anniversary of Woodstock, it rained so hard at fiddlers' that everyone was slidin' down the rec center hills on their stomachs — it was like Woodstock in Galax!"

Kevin Burcham — "Guynn Edwards and his tent, the 'Fairview Hilton!'"

Gary Riggins — "The great mandolin toss. Don't know why it started, but I saw mandolins take to the air."

Norm Caudell — "GHS football team cleaning up after the fiddlers' convention... Got to see a variety of different liquor bottles."

Mike Hamm — "You go to the fiddlers' to see family."

Doug Burris — "I remember my Uncle Otis Burris, quite a fiddler and dancer, at the fiddlers' convention, and also my Uncle Jay Burris who could flatfoot all day. 1950s-1970s."

Debbie Lindsey Carlson — "Climbed over the fence or faked the stamp to get in the fiddlers' for free."

Gary Leagan — "In 1999, when my 25-year-old daughter and I took my father for his last time to the fiddlers' convention before he had to go into a nursing home. Dad sat there with a big smile on his face and made the comment: 'I could just stay here for ever.' Dad, I hope you are looking down from Heaven and enjoying every minute of it."