I was asked to do a benefit for a church outside of Philly for a group of kids going down to Appalachia on a summer work program. They wanted to do an hour of family music before several bluegrass and old time groups came on, so I shared the space with a wonderful storyteller.

In negotiating the gig, I was offered my CD sales (I said that no one buys CDs any more), and asked if someone could at least come up with $50 to cover my costs. They agreed.

It was a sparse beginning on a warm October day, but I set out. Gradually, I worked up relationships with various folk eating at a table across from me, a few folks and kids who committed to sitting in front of the stage and teens on the playground equipment off in the distance. The grandmoms always make for a good audience and several kids picked up instruments from the bag, and we were off. The storyteller did a couple of finely done stories (we had some connections with PennPat back in the day) and I finished up with the Knockin’ Freeze dance.

As I packed up, the coordinator thanked me for my set and handed me a check. I pocketed it and he said that I should check to see if it was right. It was for $100. Surprise!. That was a very nice touch on their part, and a nod to the needs of the musicians.