California musicians in solidarity with Appalachians
Musicians in southern California got together recently to celebrate the mountains they know and love, and at the same time send a message of solidarity to those fighting to preserve the Appalachian mountains.
The third annual Music for the Mountains festival took place July 21 in Green Valley Lake, California in the San Bernardino Mountain range.
“Three of the bands that performed featured the music of Appalachia and some very moving songs that describe the plight of the miners and also the people who have to live with the devastation of strip mining,” wrote Sandi Huckaby, a festival organizer. “I heard many comments from people about how much they liked the music.”
Jim Cope, one of the musicians, was a Vista volunteer in southern Appalachia during the 1960s so had first-hand knowledge of the impacts of strip mining. He sang some beautiful Appalachian ballads, and wore his "Stop Mountaintop Removal" t-shirt.
Workshops, contra dancing and jams made the day enjoyable for all ages. The Sierra Club had a booth with copies of Plundering Appalachia, provided by KFTC, to help festival-goers visualize mountaintop removal, and a petition to the local member of Congress asking for support to end mountaintop removal.
A quilt raffle raised more than $500 that festival organizers will share with KFTC and Appalachian Voices.
Huckaby took the awareness-building a step further with the presentation of a proclamation signed by their local County Supervisor Janice Rutherford declaring the San Bernadinos “Sister Mountains” with the Appalachians, recognizing that the “beautiful, unique and irreplaceable natural environments of these mountain ranges must be protected for future generations.” KFTC Chairperson Steve Boyce also had signed the proclamation.
“It was very moving and a real highlight of the festival,” reported Huckaby.