I pulled into Lexington, VA Wednesday, just after 2pm. It was a beautiful day for a drive, and the coming up from Dandridge was long but scenic. When I got out of the car, I took a look around and asked a woman if she anything about rules or even a good spot that may present some foot traffic. She pointed me to A Joyful Spirit Cafe http://www.facebook.com/ajoyfulspiritcafe Though the owner wasn’t there, I spoke to April, who was working there. After checking with the manager, it was okay for me to play outside the cafe. They closed at 3pm and I got started at 2:30. I was able to stay after they closed, which I did until 4:00. It was a great spot. When the manager came out to get the outdoor chairs, I helped him to bring them in. I had some cool interactions with people and the overall feeling in this town was great!
I took a break and found a coffee shop (which unfortunately, I don’t remember the name) and for some reason, I couldn’t get online there. I asked the baristas there, where a good spot at night time would be. They were very helpful in directing me to a corner that would have some foot traffic due to the restaurant/bar there called The Palms. There was a great spot across the street, at the gate to Hopkins Green. The sidewalk was to narrow on the corner. I remembered a couple of young gentlemen aslo mentioned that to me earlier in the day. I had asked the proprietor of the book store on the same side of the street, if she would mind if I played in front of her business since she was closing. She did mind, and I understood her reasons. She also most helpful with some information for me.
I went across the street to Hopkins Green, a wonderful little park with some history. I was actually happier to be there, rather than on the other side of the street. It was Wednesday, so it wasn’t super busy and for the first hour, I received more tips from cars stopping at the light, than I did walkers, mainly because there weren’t a lot of them. I found that to be pretty cool. I started at 6:00 and went until 9:00. As the night went on it got a little busier and I met some really nice people, and I did well. Katie, Rusty and Kim stopped and Katie informed me about open mic in Buena Vista every Thursday. I explained I probably wouldn’t make it to this one, as I already have a schedule, but perhaps on my next trip through here I could do that. I asked her to write the name of the place down for me with the address. Later on, Trace and his daughter Ashlyn stopped by and we talked for a few minutes, Ashlyn liked the way I was playing “Over the Rainbow”
But I suppose the highlight of the night came toward the end of the night. There was a young lady sitting on the outside of the restaurant and she came over after about 40 minutes. Her name was Kelsey. Turns out she is a high school senior and she was doing here homework. She asked me a few questions and we got talking, she has some high aspirations for when gets out of high school. She is full of life and I admire her passion. I told her how I come up with my tunes and she gave me a great quote, “Happiness is only real when shared!” Earlier in our conversation, she told me she liked slow meaningful songs, so after I got that one started, I slowed it down and she loved it. Her friend Patrick came by a few minutes later and he said “Hey, what are you guys up to? I told him, “Working on a new tune, want to hear it?” He said yes. So I played Kelsey’s song and he liked it. Kelsey had a huge smile! I told him what it was and said “Give me a sentence” He looks at me and shrugs his shoulders and said “I have no idea!” I said, “We’ll work with that!” I got it and played it. They both liked it. The entire visit was about 10 minutes or so but it was really cool. Just as I was staring to pack it up, her father came to pick her up. I didn’t get to meet him, but I would have liked to. I wish Kelsey the best with her endeavors and I am grateful for meeting and getting to talk with her and Patrick!