SOMEWHERE NEAR MEMPHIS is an Episcopal retreat center, Sainte Columba, that provides meeting space for the occasional conference, as well as scattered herds of boy scouts in strange costumes – at least that’s what we were told when being cautioned about people prowling about after dark. The boy scouts are about, and in costume. Strange. I thought they were always in costume. But I digress.
I spent the weekend there, Friday night to hang with Van Colbert and two of his brothers from the Fabulous Colbert Brothers family band. I count the experience a success for two reasons – One, the guys were both accomplished and charmed the pants off the crowd of assembled folklorists, and Two, they proclaimed me an Honorary Colbert. I think I’ll be Aunt Nancy.
The conference was as exciting as a gathering of arts administrators could possibly be, and on our breaks we visited the Stax Records Museum (another fabulous) and the downtown Rock and Soul Museum. I coulda spent the weekend there just listening to the music. Terribly, terribly cool, and way more fun than the touristified, circusified scene that Bealle Street has become.
Another sweet turn was being met there by music man and friend Jonathan Scheuer, who came to talk music with me and to listen to the museum organizational ideas of the assembled administrators (He’s on the board of the National Jazz Museum of Harlem). Altogether a splendid and fruitful weekend. And I got the t-shirt.
Thanks to Sarah for taking photos.