Front Porch: Fall 2004

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Front Porch: Fall 2004

by Harry L. Watson
Southern Cultures, Vol. 10, No. 3: Fall 2004

"Imagine hanging out in Harvard Square wearing a sunbonnet stamped, 'It's a southern thing. You wouldn't understand.'"

On a sunny afternoon last spring, an ad hoc string band assembled outside our campus coffee shop. An overturned washtub laid down the beat, a gentle-eyed fiddler flourished away, and a rapt banjo picker hung soft streamers of notes around the melody. I couldn’t place the tune exactly, but it was soothingly repetitious, lively without being raucous. The music was so infectious that a nearby foursome had playfully started a reel, one boy murmuring his calls to the others. A solitary clogger shuffled quietly on the side.