The Transylvania Times -

Dunn's Rock News


August 8, 2019

Susan Brown, Tommy Anderson, Cindy Carpenter and Elizabeth Galloway of the East Fork Gals will play the Dunn's Rock Community Center on Thursday, Aug. 15.

Raising The Rafters With The East Fork Gals

Even the most staid and rhythm-impaired folk among us will find it difficult not to tap a foot or bob a head to the rollicking old time music of the East Fork Gals. This foursome will play the Dunn's Rock Community Center next Thursday, Aug. 15, at 7 p.m. A burrito dinner will precede their performance beginning at 6 p.m.

The group originated 15 years ago with Elizabeth Galloway, Susan Brown and Cindy Carpenter. Elizabeth, a potter with Mud Dabber's, asked if the group could meet on Sunday afternoons at the shop to practice. When the weather allowed, the musicians would practice behind the store, accompanied by the gurgle of Dunn's Creek. My mother-in-law, Sybil, nicknamed the fledgling group, The Creekside Chicks.

The Gals' first gig was the wedding reception of Sybil and John Dodson's daughter, Becky, in October 2004. Since then they've been a Dodson family favorite. After my daughter was born in 2005, her "Pop Pop" would bring her out to listen to the group practice, bouncing her on his knee in time with the music.

Tommy Anderson joined the Gals in 2006 after he retired from Transylvania County Schools, acquired a new bass and was looking for a place to play it. Bestowing him with "honorary ovaries," the Gals welcomed this Henry, Tenn., native to the group. Tommy learned to play guitar in college, and fell in love with fiddle music when he moved to the area in the 1970s. He's been a fiddler with the popular Hog Town Squealers band for many years, and also has honed his skills on the mandolin.

Elizabeth Galloway, originally of Rock Hill, S.C., plays guitar and bass. She took guitar lessons from Mary Gordon and Hillary Dirlam, when she moved here 25 years ago, and quickly became a regular at Celestial Mountain Music's Tuesday night jams downtown.

Cindy Carpenter, a Plainview, N.J., native, picked up the guitar when she was a teenager. Enamored with folk music, she eventually discovered bluegrass and old time music. A lover of ballads, when Cindy would research the tales behind these songs, she would inevitably find references to Western North Carolina. Now, finding herself a resident of the place she once researched, she's continued her musical pursuits, picking up the banjo about 16 years ago.

Susan Brown started playing fiddle when she was in college at Virginia Tech in the 1970s. In addition to playing old time music, she also is a skilled square dance caller and has been a member of several clogging teams. She occasionally adds her autoharp skills to the group's tunes.

Luckily for the East Fork Gals, Susan also has an excellent memory for song tunes. Once when she was sick and unable to attend a practice, the group called her phone number, which they nicknamed "1-800-Dial-a-Fiddler" to ask for a popular old time tune they couldn't remember. Humming a few bars of the melody, she got the musicians off and playing from her sickbed.

The group looks forward to playing at the Dunn's Rock Community Center, where they have close ties. Tommy and his much-loved late wife, Teresa, were active on the center's board and the group has played square dances at the center. They report that the center's fine wood floors are one of the best dance surfaces in the area. No doubt their performance on Aug. 15 will be a happy homecoming for the Gals and a treat for the audience, who voluntarily or not, will find themselves dancing on the floor – or in their seats.

Community Playgroup

Round up the kids and come to the Dunn's Rock Community Center on Tuesdays from 2:30-3:30 p.m. for Community Playgroup. All area parents and children are invited to attend this free weekly event. Activities, crafts and snacks are provided by The Family Place. For more information, contact Melissa Pearl at or (828) 808-6638.

Somewhere Over Dunn's Rock

Last Tuesday, John and I headed out into the eerie peach-colored dusk to find a dry place to walk. On our way to Pisgah Forest, it began to sprinkle at Wilson Bridge, so we turned back on Greenville Highway and headed to DuPont. When heavy rain greeted us in Cedar Mountain, we reluctantly back-tracked home.

Knowing the condi-tions were right for a rainbow, we took a quick detour down Island Ford Road, so we'd have a better vantage for spotting one to the east. After turning around at Carroll Parker's barn, we found what we were looking for – a beautiful, but faint rainbow arching directly over Dunn's Rock. It confirmed what we've always know. We live right smack in the middle of a pot of gold.

Let me know what you've seen in the sky, or any other news, at


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