Saturday's (late) lunch had lots of options

at the Traditional Food Court and . . .


two other areas had food vendors as well.  But, I had read in the GLFF program that S&J Barbeque's "delicious, classic African-American menu includes catfish, collard greens, Polish sausage, corn bread (plain and 'Mexican' with hot peppers), spaghetti, and peach cobbler.  I did not need to read beyond "catfish" to know where I wanted to go to eat.  They told me at the information booth (some men do stop and ask for directions), S&J was located in the Traditional Food Court.  So, that is where we headed. 


I ordered a Catfish dinner which came with two sides.  I think you can tell by the picture what I selected.  The brochure also said spaghetti was a "well known specialty of Shirley."  Shirley Crutcher is the primary cook, but the "J" in S&J belongs to the friendly fellow pictured below with the "ask me" apron on.  He couldn't have realized I had already been pre-sold before he gave me his sales pitch. OK, so they weren't exactly "heart healthy" choices, but it was the best catfish I have had in a long time.


I really liked the catfish. They will be back in 2008.


Before we leave the food area I will share one more photo.  The guys at Zemer's Rootbeer saw me taking pictures and offered up what I call a "tourist picture" (i.e. struck a pose which said "take our picture").  So I obliged them. Then I gave them a business card and said, who knows, they could end up on this webpage . . . and . . . they did. 


We took our food to the park area at the corner of Albert and Abbott and had a picnic.  There is a fountain and an interesting sculpture in the park.  The sculpture is called Familiar Faces by Louise McCagg.  As a fellow (whose mother's face appears on the artwork) explained to me, the faces are of area individuals who were strong supporters of the arts.  Good food, good weather, and pleasant surroundings - amen. 


After eating, on our way back to the City Hall stage to see Asani with a 3:45 p.m. starting time, we passed by the traditional games area.  The program describes it thus, "Traditional games are played throughout the world, by individuals and groups of all ages . . . Games play a critical role in fostering and maintaining ethnic and group identity, acquiring physical and intellectual skills, learning cultural knowledge, and developing and negotiating social relationships . . . a variety of 'unplugged' traditional games are featured; none require a computer chip or an Internet connection!"  Gee, imagine that. 


The first group we went to see, after eating, was Asani (First Nation & Metis vocals) from Edmonton, Alberta in Canada, another favorite.  The women in this trio are "steeped in their musical, cultural and linguistic traditions."  Wherever you've seen quotation marks it usually denotes an excerpt from the festival's program. Each group or artist is described there.  Unfortunately, I do not have the space (or the typing skills) to include the extensive information provided. 




There was about half an hour break between the performances by Asani at the City Hall stage and Joe Thompson at the Legacy stage.  Since we were in the same area, I took the opportunity to visit the Crafts & Guilds tent as well as another glance at the Folk Arts Marketplace. 


I mentioned in page one that the Carolina Chocolate Drops had been under the tutelage of Joe Thompson.  They appeared with him at the legacy stage.  There was an insightful discussion about cross-cultural traditions . . . as well as some wonderful music. 

  When they are not doing their own performances, the other artists get to be "tourists" too, as is evidenced by this member of the trio Asani taking a picture of Joe Thompson and the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
That's a serious photographer look!

Following our time with Joe Thompson, we left the festival for a couple of hours to attend a birthday party for a personal friend who is also an octogenarian. Upon returning, we headed for the Dance stage and tent, where the Dirk Powell Band was playing (and the MC was giving Square Dance instruction and doing the calling). Then we wandered over to Valley Court, got some Spiral Potatoes, a Bloomin' Onion, and two lemonades (photo was taken earlier in the day) to take out onto the grassy field with our fold up chairs.  And, yes, I know I was falling off the heart healthy wagon with this one, but it has been kind of a tradition as we settled in for the last performance of the day . . . by Dominique Dupuis (Acadian Fiddle). 

  Since we got to Valley Court a little early, we caught a few moments of Henry Butler (New Orleans Blues) as well.

To take a look at Sunday's activities click on PAGE THREE


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