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A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE - August 22: Last chance for bluegrass ‘til next year

Music takes a fun turn each August in the Boundary as bluegrass come to Midway and Rock Creek.

The Midway Bluegrass Festival was last weekend. This week in the Boundary, the music moves to Greenwood.

That’s often a bonus for the citizens of Greenwood as the musicians travel in RVs and camp in Jim McMynn Park while in Midway and then move down to the Barbara Diane Collin Ball Field in Greenwood to camp for the next week.

Unfortunately, the Greenwood festival doesn’t start until Friday and these musicians can’t sit still that long. So this is the week each year that you will often find three or four musicians set up somewhere along the downtown stroll providing free music.

What makes a bluegrass festival enjoyable is the fact that the entertainers are the audience and the audience the entertainers. Each session starts with a white board where bands sign up to do a few songs. Once everyone who wishes to perform has signed up, someone does the math and it is announced how many songs each group will perform.

They take the stage to play and sing because they love to do it; and their reward is the applause that is generously given.

Everything is done on a volunteer basis and all proceeds go back to the community. For instance, in 2012 the Midway Music Festival group donated $200 each to the village library and museum, and $400 to Pines Bible Camp.

This is the final bluegrass festival of the season in the Interior. For a $5 day pass you can be entertained for hours – bring your lawn chair.

One final note on the musical theme: A question actually - what do you get if you drop a piano down a mineshaft?

A flat minor!


Special K and I come from different sides of the same continent – she’s from the east coast while I came out of west coast stock. So there are bound to be some cultural differences.

Each place has different ways of doing things – different tools to get the job done.

I hold the fact her ancestors hadn’t made the trek out west as the main reason that she doesn’t seem to understand the beauty and utility of a good cast iron skillet.

While generations of her family have been born, raised and then died all in the same part of the country they could afford to have well equipped kitchens with big ‘modern’ kitchen wood-burning cook stoves.

But when my westward bound ancestors rolled out here they had to cut things down to the bare necessities.

The cast iron skillet and Dutch oven was as good as it got.

Today Special K enjoys some kind of Teflon coated fry pan that is light as a feather compared to a good solid cast iron skillet. I bet you mine will outlast hers though.

Back in 2010 when the BC Back Country Horsemen held a Rendezvous in Rock Creek they had a Dutch Oven Cooking Contest.

Each cook had three pots – large, medium and smaller (none were small). Every pot had it’s own cast iron lid with a big lip. The biggest pot sat on the coals, with other coals placed on top of it with the next smaller pot on top, and so on.

In Mexico they went one better and came up with a cooking implement called a discada, made from an old disc harrow that has had the centre hole welded shut.

Instant Chinese wok!

Special K has a wok too (Teflon coated, of course). So the cultures have met - eastern cooking has become one with Eastern cooking – meeting somewhere in northern Mexico.