The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Grand Opening Mountain Style

By Susan M. Thigpen © 1984-2012

Issue: August, 1984

Click on photos below to see larger images.
grand opening mountain style 1sGood mountain music and flat foot dancing - a grand opening mountain style. grand opening mountain style 2sThe yoke, oxen and wagon in the photograph are for sale. The yoke was carved by Alvie Nester and the late Claude Spangler to log with. grand opening mountain style 3sCow rides added to the fun at E. M. Nestor & Son in Laurel Fork, Virginia.

E.M. Nester & Son, at Laurel Fork, Virginia has been in business for 38 years, but recently, when they built a new building (next door to the old one) they decided to hold a grand opening.

We were on our way to do a BACKROAD tour when we passed by and saw a team of steers yoked together in the old fashioned way, hitched to a wagon. Seeing the crowd, we stopped too. As soon as we opened the car doors, we could hear the Bluegrass music being played by Rafe Brady, Don Brady and Charles Shelor. When we got closer, we also saw flat foot dancing by Fanny Brady ( who admitted to being past 82 years of age) and 77 year old Roosevelt Puckett.

There were country clowns with straw hats and bandanas along with their painted faces to give balloons to the children. There were hot dogs, free drinks and door prizes, but what caught my fancy was a cow with a saddle on it for children to sit on and perhaps have their picture taken.

There was a large crowd of well wishers and customers at Nester's Store that day. The feeling of community was so strong that you could almost touch it. E.M. Nester & Son, you sure know how to throw one good Blue Ridge Mountain style grand opening!