Tag Archives: Pekin (Indiana)

Philip LaFollette, Woodworker

Philip LaFollette is a woodworker who makes furniture at his Pekin, Indiana workshop.  LaFollette says he learned woodworking mostly by reading and practicing, improving his skills over time.  While he is experienced in architectural woodworking and woodturning, LaFollette’s personal focus … Continue reading

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Jim Smoak, Banjo Player

Jim Smoak is a banjo player, songwriter, and music teacher based in Pekin, Indiana. Growing up on a South Carolina farm, Smoak commonly listened to his grandfather “knocking the banjo” in the clawhammer style. Smoak soon dedicated himself to learning … Continue reading

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East Washington Strings

As an intern at TAI in the summer of 2008, I helped document music communities in my home county, Washington.  Based on an article in a local newspaper, I learned about an informal after-school music program at East Washington Elementary.  … Continue reading

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Blue River Music Association

As an intern at TAI in the summer of 2008, I helped document music communities in my home county, Washington.  I paid several visits to the Blue River Music Association in Pekin, participating in and recording music sessions.  The Association … Continue reading

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Initial Stages, “Asking Around”

I started my work in Floyd County in early January.  Many people were returning to work after holiday breaks, and it took some time for conversations about the project to get started.  Once they did, I had plenty of suggested … Continue reading

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Images from the 2011 Pekin 4th

Photographer Greg Whitaker helped us capture some images of this year’s Pekin 4th of July Celebration. We’ll be drawing on his work for a TAI Rotating Exhibit Network panel about the celebration. Greg got some great pictures of the Spirit … Continue reading

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Notes from Yesterday’s Pekin 4th

I made the trip from Bloomington to Pekin this weekend to catch the 181st consecutive Pekin 4th of July Celebration. The parade was even better than last year’s, featuring classic entries (the Spirit of ’76 Band, the Bucking Model T … Continue reading

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Musical Spoons Record Attempt at the Pekin 4th

This weekend marks Pekin, Indiana’s 181st consecutive 4th of July celebration.  As part of this year’s event, Pekin musician Steve “the Spoon Man” Tankersley aims to assemble the largest-ever spoons ensemble.  To read more about the record attempt (and how … Continue reading

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New Instruments by Larry Hopkins

Last Wednesday, Jon Kay and I talked with instrument builder Larry Hopkins at a TAI community meet-up we held in Washington County.  Larry has done demonstrations for TAI in the past, and is featured on our folktraditions.com website.  He says … Continue reading

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Barn Graffiti on Highway 335

Just south of Pekin, at a bend in Highway 335, a simple barn stands beside a large cornfield. The sides of the barn facing the road are commonly covered with spray paint graffiti.  As a youth, I passed the barn … Continue reading

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