Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Journey into The Appalachian...or not by Kendra Hyater-Davis

On Saturday, September 21, 2013, I was awakened at around 11:15 a.m. to loud country music outside of my window. It was refreshing country music though, not the kind that overwhelms me with guitar or anything. I heard people yeehaw-ing and clapping after performances. I proceeded to look out of my window and saw the bright sun shining upon many large white tents, right outside of my dorm room in Simpson Hall. I saw some people playing banjos and dressed in country-kind of wear, like flannel shirts and cowboy boots. I even saw one guy with a stick of wheat in his mouth. There were a lot of older people attending the festival, although it was on a college campus. I smelled some kind of seafood, perhaps shrimp or crabs, and the smell made my stomach grumble of hunger. After asking one of my hallmates Savonna Murphy about the food and drinks at at the Appalachian Festival, she replied, "The food costs money! Girl, I can't do that, no no."

After hearing this news, I decided that I would go the cafeteria to eat breakfast first before going to the Appalachian festival so that I didn't have to pay for food. I showered and got dressed and made my way to the cafeteria. After eating in the cafeteria for about an hour, I started making my way to the Appalachian Festival. As soon as I stepped foot outside of the Chesapeake Hall, thousands of raindrops pummeled upon my head and I walked as fast as I could back to my dorm to shelter. While I walk to the front of Simpson Hall, I see a few people standing under the tents. I see a crab cakes vendor truck, packing up all of the food, and I realized that that may have been what I had smelled earlier in the morning. I saw on the flyer that the Appalachian Festival wasn't supposed to end until 6 p.m., but I watched as I saw many vendors and suppliers packed up their trucks and covered their heads to protect from the rain. I tried to interview some people, but they all were running with bags and hoodies and pamphlets over their heads, so I didn't get any answers.

Since I was not able to make it to the Appalachian Festival and actually experience the embodiment and environment of the culture, I asked some people in my hall about how their experience was. One of my hallmates, Nia Adkins, informed me that the music was not really her thing, but she did enjoy the environment and how upbeat and outgoing the people were. She also said that some slushy beverage that they were offering tasted really good, but she couldn't remember what it was called. I also interviewed Nia's roommate, Jaushai Henry, and, while agreeing with Nia about the music, she said that she had tasted some cake and that it "tasted like cardboard with icing." She suggested that the vendor used butter creme icing and it would have tasted better. Jaushai also commented that, "The guy playing the music was getting it! He was dancing and moving all around. I thought he was funny."

I wish I could have went, but the rain rained on my parade. The Appalachian Festival went on successfully without my presence. Maybe next year.

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