By Florence Hodges, Staff Writer
More than 100 people gathered at the Gazebo in the Rutledge Park last Friday night to hear A.J. and Liz Nance perform. A.J. and Liz Nance have performed at the Rutledge Concert Series for the last three years, but most of their performing is done throughout North Carolina. They were introduced to the series by Aunt Joan Ekstrom and her husband Pete. “At the age of 13, Liz picked up my guitar, we taught her a few cords and she has been playing ever since,” said Ekstrom.
A. J. grew up in Lexington, North Carolina, however Liz is a Georgian. “I am from “a time and place where women did as they were told and held back the tears to keep the family together” said Liz. “You can’t talk about the skeletons in the closet, but she could expose them in the form of song”, and that is what Liz does. Small but special is a good motto for Rutledge, said Roger Harrelson at the show with wife Paula. These residents of Fairplay come down on most Fridays because they like Yesterdays and the Caboose. The whole downtown venue is a good atmosphere, stated Paula. “It’s great that they do this,” said Alan Smith. He and Angie are residents of Rutledge and attend the series as often as they can. Debra Daniels, another guest, invited her friends; Emily Bunn and Lina Rodgers from Lawrenceville down for the concert. “You can bring the kids and let them run around and have fun while you listen to the free concert music,” said Daniels. New to Rutledge, Jim and Cheryl Hargreaves “moved down from Minnesota on July 3rd which was quite an adjustment to their plan to move in two years after the initial visit to Rutledge,” said Hargreaves.
First time visitors Jack and Claudette Desrochers of Covington found out about the series from their son who lives in Madison. This week’s winner of the Dinner Table contest was another Family and Friends event. The group: Jim and Leslie Turner, Ray and Angela Stapleton, Tim and Cindy Ferguson and Kim and George Barrett are very old friends who have been gathering at the park even before the concerts said Mrs. Turner. “From 1997 or so until now, we have brought both children and grandchildren to play here,” said George Barrett, “This is a great place.” he added.