When I Almost Had Dinner With the Carter Family

by Adventure Wynn

I went on a literal pilgrimage to the Carter Family Fold in SW Virginia when I was about 30. It was a thrill just driving up to the place in the shadow of Clinch Mountain. I was as impressed with that as much as anything. I even asked a kid at a gas station, "Is that Clinch Mountain?" Like a hill-billy fanboy.

I was almost star struck when I got to the house. It's the same house AP was photographed standing in front of. So anyway it was late in the day...definitely a weird hour to pay a visit. The music venue was closed and there wasn't anything happening. But I knocked on the door and Sarah's grand-daughter Rita Janette Carter answered the door.

She immediately said after I introduced myself, "Darlin', if you were a little quicker you could've joined us for beans." So that's when I missed out on dinner with the Carter family!! I asked if I could pitch a tent in the yard. She said, "Of course you can but if you want you can just sleep in the music room..or the stage if you want." I said, "I'd love to as long as you don't mind me snooping through everything." She said, "Not at all." I couldn't believe how kind this lady was 3 minutes after meeting me. I told her, "I knew you folks were going to be this nice." She laughed and said, "Well...we are just simple country folks." And then she said, "Its a shame you didn't come last week, Johnny was here." Could you imagine, I could've had dinner with Johnny Cash.

So I accepted the offer to sleep in the music room and ate a hit of acid and snooped through the Carter Family archives. It was awesome! All the family portraits not to mention the electronics and mixing board was just setting there. I found a CD laying there that was titled "Johnny's last live performance" from the week before. I slipped out early the next morning and split without thanking them anymore...I'm sure I covered that the night before....in retrospect I should've let them invite me to breakfast...another lost opportunity .

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