Kids running up and down rows of Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, and Ginger Gold’s playing hide and seek. Branches laden with red and yellow fruit. In the middle of the orchard a small wooden stage for musicians, story tellers and who know what…. and a long table filled with pies, maidrites,the smell of black coffee and apple cider in the September air.
That is what applejam looked like in my mind even before I drove the first nail , or picked up the phone in 2002 to find some musicians -Flash forward to September 12th 2009. We just wrapped up our 11th Applejam.
The Bible talks about us making plans but then the Lord directing our steps. That is a great word picture for what has happened with Applejam. If you’re reading this and don’t believe, I understand, I really do. I spent the first twentysome years of my life thinking the same thing. But when God decides to reel you in, you’ll know it.
After each Applejam my wife and I would critique everything- what worked, what didn’t, what would make things run more smoothly? In 2003 it rained, we still had 40 people show up, so on a lark we moved everything into the basement of our 100 yr old red barn- no lights, no electricity, listening to a 3 piece Mennonite group while it drizzled outside. (We still had fun) After that, we decided to set up in the barn….just in case. I wired the barn with enough circuits to support a 5 piece band. (Remember U2 is my favorite band…you just never know)
As a result of Applejam we’ve hosted musicians from literally all over the world. We have a small bed and breakfast that we see as a watering hole for traveling musicians. We’ve even been known to barter on occassion- talk to me about singing for your meal and a place to lay your head. Did you know there is a subculture of musicians traveling the country?
Here is a pictorial highlight of Applejam 2009:
Jesse resident artist
Tom and Pam. Tom played a Neil Young cover that sounded just like the original. Someone told me this was the first time Tom had performed in public for at least 10 years…what a treat.
Some of the crowd
Kathy, Beka and Angie surprising their Papa
Addy and friend dancing to Fran Snyder
Sam, Kailee ,and Patrick- on short notice (30 minutes) they put something together- all I can say is Wow
Fran (on the right) drove over an hour by herself and her two little ones to perform- sang some original songs. I asked her if she would come back and play at another one of our events- she was delightful.
This young couple (and their son) worked tirelessly behind the scene- They spent an extended weekend with us. I think we all made lots of memories
Here is “Lena” my dad’s first cousin doing a comedy routine
Fran Snyder- He was our headliner this year, came all the way from Kansas. Great sound and a lot of fun.
View of the barn after dark…with music and light flowing through the cracks.