Agrarian Entertainment

Dateline: 7 January 2016 AD

If the above video clip is not one of the best videos on YouTube, I don't know what is. It was filmed in 1964 at the home of 82-year-old Bascom Lamar Lunsford of South Turkey Creek, North Carolina. 

The people in the film (young and old together) are making their own entertainment. They are having a very good time. This is a glimpse into a simple, down-to-earth way of life that is virtually gone. It's something special, for sure.

In the following  movie clip, we see the octogenarian, Mr. Lunsford doing a bit of dancing himself. Then he and his wife pay a visit to the home of Bill MacElreath.  With a cigarette in his mouth, the nearly-80-year-old MacElreath dances and plays banjo like nobody's business.

Personally, I'd like to know more about Mr. MacElreath's home as shown in the picture. Did he build that remarkable stone house himself? He looks like he was a working man in his day and probably did. I tried to find more information online and came up with this picture of MacElreath in front of his stone home (with a dead rattlesnake)...

In the following clip, we get some insights into Bascom Lamar Lunsford's early days. And we can hear one of the locals tell Bascom (on a narrow country road) how to get to Bill MacElreath's house.  

In the following video, David Hoffman tells the story of traveling from Long Island to North Carolina back in 1964 to film the "pure American culture" you see in the living room of Bascom Lamar Lunsford (in the first video above).


Elizabeth L. Johnson said...

Great scot!!! What fun, and so clean and wholesome!!! Like this, Herrick!! I wanna clog!! Better than playing computer games (I've never done that), or watching the boo tube, any day!!

SharonR said...

I notice, too how the Lunsfords went visiting in what they probably deemed their "second best" clothes, complete with tie and jewelry. Wonderful videos. The gathering of family and friends, making their own entertainment is a beautiful. I could see family resemblances in the crowd.

Anonymous said...

Awesome videos!!! Found my feet moving to the music, too. Thanks for sharing....made my day!

Anonymous said...

Awwww, buck dancing, a/k/a flatfooting!!! May I introduce your readers to 'Squirrel Butter' a hubs & wife team? Look 'em up on youtube. She's the awesome Charmaine Slaven and he's Charlie Beck the banjo player I believe is his name. Here they are w/The Tallboys!


Go, feet. GO!!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Herrick!! Made my day!!

Evelyn Watkins
Longmont, Colorado

Janice said...

Actually, Lunsford is from South Turkey Creek Road, Leicester, NC.

Lynn said...

Loved it! Our banjo playing son moved 2 years ago to GA, and in his particular area, the natives don't care for banjo playing. I sent him the links just to refresh his memory. Thanks for making my day!

Everett R Littlefield said...

Well I'll tell you Herrick, I watched all of them at least twice. It was so reminiscent of this place most of the time I was growing up . Every Friday and Saturday night, if there was nothing going on at the Fire house, folks of all ages seemed to gravitate to someones house and the dancing and fun would start. It was all spontaneous and if the instrument players got tired then out would come the old 78rpm records, Then the new fangled 45's! It was always a great time with NO booze involved. I was a great time to be alive back then. By 1964 I had already been in the USN for eight years! Damn, I'm OLD! So Mr Bob Hope would have said, "Thanks for the memories". Best to you and the kids and tell them to save me a couple of leftover pancakes! Everett

Herrick Kimball said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. I'm glad to know you enjoyed these clips as much as I did.

I didn't know one of your boys was in GA (I miss your blog updates). And it's hard to understand how ANYONE would not like banjo music!

David Hoffman didn't say South Turkey Creek was a road. That's good to know. I Google mapped the location and I think I found the Lunsford home. I even took a short "drive" down the road. That's some real nice countryside there! Would you happen to know the road and town that Bill MacElreath's rock house is on?

You really ARE an old-timer. I think David Hoffman missed a great opportunity to capture some of your island culture back in the day with his moving-picture camera. And he wouldn't have had to travel so far.

When I was a kid I mostly just sat a couple feet away from the television and stared at the screen for hours on end. :-)

Sheila Gilbert said...

Mr. Bascom Lamar Lunsford was a lawyer, and on Sept. 4, 1973 he passed away at the age of 91. He was married twice, and his registration is listed has him at 38 yrs. old, and living in Old Fort North Carolina in 1918. He married Nellie Triplett on June 2, 1906, and she passed away in 1960, he married Freda English, and I don't have a date for her. Lots and lots of photos and history of him on Ancestry too. I have 2 photos of him, one when he was very young, and another when he was about mid age. If you would like to see the photos, let me know and I will pass them on to you. Loved the video. Sheila

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi Sheila—
It's amazing what you can find out about people on your Ancestory web site. I've watched several (maybe all) the YouTube clips about him and have seen many of the old pictures. He was also in the newspaper business. Thanks for the comment.

jenny said...

I live in Madison County, NC and every fall there is a Bascom Lunsford Heritage Festival. It's wonderful family entertainment! I can get more info on him from the university if you'd like. And I'm definitely going to check into the history and location of Mr. MacElreth's beautiful stone home. I have a deep love of stone homes (one of the reasons we bought our home was because of the stone foundation; it even has an old mill stone built in). Thank you for sharing! I had not seen these clips.