Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 46

SOUTHCAROLINA
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL:
GREER GOES GLOBAL,
MARCH 28.
Demonstrations of sports,
dancing and singing, food
vendors, arts and crafts will
showcase the variety of cultures
in and around the area. Greer
City Park.
864-848-2190.
HILLBILLY DAY, JULY 4.
Demonstrations and
competitions for sheep
shearing, yodeling and
clogging abound. Other
activities include a hillbilly
costume contest, greased pig
contest, music and more.
Mountain Rest.
864-638-9070.
SOUTH CAROLINA
FOOTHILLS HERITAGE FAIR,
SEPT. 29-OCT. 4.
Craft vendors, livestock
displays, wagon rides, heritage
vendors, antique tractor display
and an ag simulator are just a
few of the ways to learn and
play at this event. Between
Seneca and Westminster.
864-275-5253.
TENNESSEE
WILDERNESS WILDLIFE
WEEK, JAN. 24-31.
This week is filled with exhibits,
performances, workshops,
classes and other programs to
celebrate the creatures and
cultures of the region. Pigeon
Forge.
865-453-8574.
SMOKY MOUNTAIN FIBER
ARTS FESTIVAL, APRIL
17-19.
Classes - such as weaving and
needlecraft - family activities
46 | BlueRidgeCountry.com
found, would be to simply
know what you're talking
about. That's why not just
anyone can get a job here.
"We would like for them to
have some mining
experience," Dixon says.
"You're asked a lot of
questions that only a coal
miner can really answer."
The coal mine tour
stops at several stations
with talking figures
explaining the history of
coal mining methods,
starting with picks and
shovels. Then, it's the tour
guide's job to add a few
comments - and, of course,
drive the car.
"We don't really go fast.
It's not really a thrill ride,"
Slusher says. "But what
they like about it is just the
eerie part of going in a cave.
They're in here where it's
dark. That scares them a
little bit. It's a fear factor,
more than anything."
WHILE IN LYNCH,
KENTUCKY:
Take the underground coal mine
tour at Lynch (606-848-1530/
portal31.org); stay overnight and
enjoy breakfast at the nearby
Benham School House Inn in
Benham (606-848-3000).
-Joe Tennis
Upper: The wrasslin' environment is rich at Boogie's Pro Wrestling
Camp in Shawsville, Virginia.
Lower: Owner Jimmy Valiant hams it up with Su Clauson-Wicker.
MY TRY AS DIVA. OR,
LEARNING TO FALL
Even before I enter the
building, I can hear the
thud of bodies hitting the
floor, punctuated by fleshon-flesh
slaps. My back
tightens and my neck
begins to ache vicariously.
Pro wrestling, not a good
idea for my 60-plus-yearold
body.
Jimmy "Boogie Woogie
Man" Valiant, owner and
founder of the Shawsville,
Virginia wrestling camp I'm
visiting, doesn't necessarily
agree with me. At 72, he
wrestles in tournaments
and exhibitions nearly every
weekend; then he shows
new wrestlers how to do it
every Sunday at his Boogie's
Pro Wrestling Camp.
"I don't do everything I
used to," he admits. "And I
do two hours of stretching
exercises every day."
The average age at
Boogie's camp is about 19.
Students enter the ring by
catapulting over the ropes.
I'm more inclined to lie
down and roll under; only
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015

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