The Fabulous Fourth is a long standing tradition in Columbus, NC. Even back in 1989-90 when I was editor of The Polk Country News Journal that was located a couple of blocks from where they set up the stage for the bands to play. During those days, I wrote about the event, but I also played - once as an acoustic duet with my friend Wanda Lu Greene (Paxton), and a couple of times with Carey Upton and The Rockland Tramps. It’s always a good ol’ Southern family fun occasion. No booze, just hand squeezed lemonade, sodas and water.
I went this year with my friend Colleen Knights and met up with Steve and Laura Flacy and young Zack. It’s always a blast seeing my friends The Silver Travis Band and their families at these things. I love all the various band wives and kids, and I always love to see my sweet “adopted” kids, Abby and Josie Parrish, Joey’s beautiful girls.
The festival was pretty much the same as always. The first thing we saw when we arrived was a pickup truck with two flag poles on the rear bumper, flying an American flag and a Confederate Rebel flag. Political correctness never has been much of a concern in Polk County. I spotted no less than four other Rebel flags last night, on t-shirts, bandanas, and one motorcycle tank. Of course there were the staples of The Fabulous Fourth, the vendors. Barbecue, funnel cakes, Tupperware, leather crafts, heating pads (cloth pillows stuffed with beans, heat ‘em in the microwave. I love mine!). roasted corn, burgers, dogs and fries, cotton candy, shaved ice, fried Oreos - yes, fried Oreos.
The Silver Travis Band rocked out a nice set, mixing old Southern rock covers with originals. The crowd loved ‘em, especially the original songs like “Chain Gang” and the Marshall Tucker Band covers like “This Ol’ Cowboy.” Randall Calvert smoked the guitar as always, and John Gillie rocked the other guitar, with Michael Satterfield on drums, Joey Parrish on bass and Rick Cash on vocals.
As an unexpected surprise, I ran into my old friend and former band mate Carey Upton. His band is called Project X, and they were awesome. They played three of Carey’s excellent original songs that I used to play in his band years ago. The cover songs were great too. I especially enjoyed their rendition of Journey’s “Sererate Ways.”
The fireworks were beautiful as always and wrapped up a fun evening in my old stomping grounds. A truly fabulous fourth.
- Michael Buffalo Smith
Joey Parrish, Silver Travis
Randall and Rick.
Steve Flacy, Zack Tomko, Laura Flacy and Colleen Knights.
Laura and Colleen
The Water Girl.