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Red, white and bluegrass

Ron White and his wife Linda first met Kellish and Harding at a jam in Camden.

"The next day ... we dropped in at the farm to check it out and were immediately drawn to the place," White said. "Since then, we've become best friends and we drive the 50 miles each way almost every weekend."

White owns Stone Creek Music in Williamstown. He designed and installed the sound system for the "Rolling Hills of Bluegrass Americana"- the formal name of the informal jams. His store is an official sponsor for the events.

In addition to the weekly fests, Kellish and Harding throw several barn dances throughout the year.

"Any kind of dance is taught," Kellish said. "Callers go through each step before the dance so everyone will know what to do."

I attended The Pompey Hill Chill Dance two weeks later. The band, Harvey Nusbaum and the Salt Potatoes played while Carmen Giunta, the caller, taught us all how to contra dance. He had his work cut out for him, and so did we, through lots of laughs and instant camaraderie. Au natural.

"You can get high on the music," Kellish said. "You don't need the alcohol."

Kellish's parents purchased the 152-acre farm in 1948, which includes a house on the property that dates back to the early 1800's. Before her mother passed away, she had plans to sell the farm. Her daughter wouldn't have it.

In 1982, Kellish moved back from Colorado and built the log cabin that she now rents to individuals or groups in need of a gathering place. She met her husband shortly after moving back home.

"My mother died nine years ago. It's been therapy to bring back the house," Kellish said. "We always had music in the house. I never played an instrument but I'd always sing with the radio. My father could play any musical instrument. Music was always there."

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