Blue ribbons, busy days and more to come

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 29, 2005

It's been a busy October, folks. There's rarely a dull moment for the newspaper staff, as we venture hither and yon to cover the stories you read in our publications.

The other day I was researching the effects of methamphetamines on the brain, looking for clever Halloween costume ideas and snapping photos of cute kindergartners in Georgiana.

From the sublime to the scary - we never have time to get bored, I assure you.

I had a wonderful time covering the city's very first blues festival. I admit, I was worn out by the time Sunday evening arrived (drat that fibromyalgia), but the experience was worth every ache and pain.

The weather was nigh to perfect (though I would suggest we offer those fantastically talented musicians a little more shade next time around).

The food? Dee-licious. Fried green tomatoes, camp stew, sweet tea, funnel cakesŠumm, umm, good!

Cookbooks were popular, too. Barbara Middleton told me the Butler County Historical Society had to re-order their latest cookbook. &#8220Would you believe we sold over 1,000 copies in the past year?” she said with pride.

St. Thomas's &#8220Without A Doubt” also offered festival-goers some great local recipes. And I must not forget to mention the official Blues Fest cookbookŠumm, umm, good!

As for the music at the festivalŠah, that was food for the soul.

I was amazed at quality of the sound system. When I would step up near the stage to shoot some photos, I could literally feel the giant speakers &#8220breathing” in and out. I enjoyed watching my musician cousin, Arthur Lloyd &#8220Rock” Killough, clad in Liberty overalls (Daddy's favorite brand) tapping his toes and obviously savoring every moment.

Shoulders shimmied, heads nodded, and folks were practically dancing in their seats throughout the acoustic blues competition in the afternoon and early evening.

By the time Willie King and the Liberators cranked it up, and a cool cat named Thomas started dancing in front of the stage, folks started getting up to &#8220shake off that rheumatism,” just as King advised.

The mood was infectious. A gaggle of young girls laughed and started to swing dance, while some &#8220oldsters” tried their hand at the twist.

Little Jimmy Reed, no spring chicken, leapt from the stage onto those big speakers, and right down to the ground to play his electric guitar in the crowd. The young woman who performed with King as guitarist and vocalist also joined in on a couple of numbers with Little Jimmy. The redhead evoked a little of Janis Joplin with her bluesy rasp.

To have all those professional musicians in one place; a bevy of talented blues artists, each with a distinctive style, playing right here on a stage in Greenville - what a fabulous treat! Kudos to Ansel Strickland, Nancy Idland and all the sponsors, volunteers, performers and vendors for bringing such a special event to town. I hope it's the beginning of something great for Greenville.

Congratulations to Jennie Crenshaw, who was featured in last week's Lifestyles section. Her &#8220Chicken Alice” took the blue ribbon at the Alabama National Fair. You go, girl! Thanks goes out to the entire Crenshaw family, who fed me so well the afternoon I visited, I didn't need supper.

Last weekend I visited the Johnson Farm east of Greenville for the Women of the Outdoors event, the first one held in the county. The weather was gorgeous; there was more good food, great camaraderie and plenty of valuable instruction in everything from nature crafts to firing a pistol. More to come on this!

Next week, I'll be checking out the cute trick-or-treaters, and writing the first of my series of articles on methamphetaminesŠas I said, never a dull moment.

Angie Long is Lifestyles reporter for The Greenville Advocate. She can be reached at 382-3111 ext. 132 or via email at