Friends, I just received word that Mike Slone who worked with the Hindman Dulcimer Homecoming in Hindman, KY died. I copied this from the Appalachian Artisan Center Facebook post:
Arrangements for our dear friend and accomplished luthier apprentice, Mike Slone will be at Nelson Frazier Funeral Home. Visitation will be Friday January 4th six to nine p.m. and visitation on Saturday. Funeral will be Sunday January 6th at eleven a.m. with burial in the Slone Family Cemetery. Mike Slone was a tenacious student of local musical heritage and in particular, of the dulcimers of "Uncle Ed" Thomas and McKinley Craft. In 2012, he began making quality replicas of these significant instruments at the AAC Luthiery and in 2014 was granted a KY Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant to further this work. He became a certified Community Scholar through the Kentucky Arts Council. He was a major contributor and curator of the Museum of the Mountain dulcimer, on permanent display in AAC's Cody building, and he coordinated the Hindman Dulcimer Festival in 2014 and 2015.
Mike Slone was the co-recipient of the 2016 Kentucky Governors Award in the Arts on behalf of the AAC's Hindman Dulcimer Project. We hold Mike Slone's family in our hearts as we honor the memory of a "true original". A strong voice in the telling of the story of this region.
My sympathy goes out to Mike's family and friends. He was an enthusiastic proponent of the mountain dulcimer
Aww dang! Mike reach out to me some years ago and told me he had saw I was on the Ancestry website and informed me I was related to McKinley Craft. He wanted me to come look at the McKinley Craft dulcimer they had down there but I kept putting it off. He was always nice to talk to. Prayers for his family and friends!
“It is far. But there is no journey upon this earth that a man may not make if he sets his heart to it." H. Rider Haggard
I didn't know of Mike before this post, but I read the entire story in the link and I have too many things I would like to say that won't fit on this site.
Family history, I have over 1800 names in my own family database. I've been working on collecting our family history since the 1990's.
I understand his "correct use" of the word "hillbilly". Also, my house is on a hill and mowing the yard and keeping up with the trees would make me a hilldavie, but it just don't sound right. You can call me hillbilly if you want to.
Mike mentions some of the modern dulcimer players and I'm okay with their success. I think the real modern era success for the dulcimer will be when one of us plays it simply and/or sings along with the accompaniment by fretting only the dulcimer melody string(s). Then again, I don't need to be famous, I'm happy playing my dulcimer in solitude.
As for "Appa - lay ' shun" verses "Appa - latch - un", I was introducing our next song, "Barbara Allen", as a popular tune in the Appa-lay-shuns, (or is it Appa-latch-uns?) last night at the assisted living home where we were leading a sing along. One of the older residents said "Appa - latch - uns". A person about my age born and raised in the Clinton, TN, area said "Appa - lay - shuns". I hope I don't offend anybody if I don't say it right.
Everything else in Mike's story just plain hit the spot.