One Man and His Horn: Lexington, VA

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!

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