Friday, October 19, 2012

Meeting Larry Groce of Mountain Stage

I’ve never found myself around town during the times that Mountain Stage has had events at the Creative Arts Center in Morgantown, but I have a number of friends in the area who are musicians, and I’ve always had a deep appreciation for the music of Appalachia and around the US from the Carter Family to today.

On Saturday, as the groom and groomsmen were getting shaves in preparation for my friend Derek’s wedding, Larry Groce, the host of Mountain Stage came waltzing into the barber shop. Of course, we let him cut line amid our wedding preparation. He had to get out of town within the hour for a concert gig.

It was great meeting a person who has done much for music, for Appalachia in general, and for West Virginia specifically. It turns out that he lives about a block away from Derek in Charleston, and he was extremely conversant, pleasant, and down to earth.

Sometimes celebrities, whatever the status, can come across smug or condescending. Not Larry Groce. In fact, he had an air about him that seemed a celebration of many of the finer attributes of West Virginia.

And what made his visit even more fortuitous, was the fact that the groom and one of the groomsmen had dedicated themselves to playing multiple instruments (guitar, drums, mandolin, piano, vocal) and both were huge fans of Larry Groce himself. In face, Cameron, one of my long time friends and a groomsman, was able to get his photo taken with Mr. Groce.

I believe that all of our lives are filled with opportunities to meet remarkable people. We just need to open our eyes. Some are people like Larry Groce who have earned a degree of remarkability based on their fame or vocation. Others, are more remarkable because they choose to live their lives with an intentionality that is lacking in many. The only way to discover these people, in my opinion, is to live one’s own life with eyes wide open and with an intentionality with regard to discovering the remarkable gifts and nature innately present in every human being.

May we each keep our eyes peeled for the remarkable, and in our own intentionality and purpose may we begin to live our own forms of a remarkable life.

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