Concord Cool Kids Gathering, July 26-28, 2019

Concord Cool Kids Gathering, July 26-28, 2019

[Details/update July 21, 2019]

PDF of details here: WV.Gathering.2019.Details

Less than a week, dear friends!

Hope you are packing your bags (maybe some mosquito spray and old photos) for our lovely weekend in the Appalachian Mountains!

Just a few final details and queries below. Don’t forget to take my cell number along: 714.926.1098 and John Pyne’s cell is: 304.380.5447.


60 Ellison Ridge Road, Greenville, WV 24945

(seems to finally be showing up on Google Maps!)

That address in Google Maps should bring you to the mountain in Greenville – when you pass by the big stone entrance of Mountain Meadow (coming from Athens or parts West), take the next right…the entrance has green gates. I will try to put a “Concord Cool Kids Gathering” sign and maybe balloons on those gates if I can.

You are looking for two houses together (one with red trim and one with green trim). My white VW wagon should be there and probably Dave’s red VW GTI.

From the map it looks like you will ultimately be on the 122 driving into Greenville, WV. Greenville has a gas station/convenience store and Post Office (so don’t blink!). From the 122, turn onto Cooks Run Road…but stay to the right to continue on Cooks Run Road for 0.2 miles; then turn right onto Ellison Ridge Road. The 2 houses should be there.

Google estimates:

  • 52 minutes (40 miles) from Athens, WV (going up the 20)
  • 52 minutes (36 miles) from Princeton, WV (going over the 460 and 219)
  • 2 hours 46 minutes (144 miles) from Lynchburg, VA (going over the 64 and 219)
  • 2 hours 9 minutes (113 miles) from Charleston, WV (going over the 64 and 77)
  • 3 hours 44 minutes (206 miles) from Morgantown, WV (via the 79 and 41)
  • 6 hours (320 miles) from Baltimore, MD (via the 81 and 64)
  • 2 hours (91 miles) from Oceana, WV (via the 64)
  • 5 hours (285 miles) from Columbia, SC (via the 77)


We have 2 adjacent vacation homes out in the boonies, on top of a mountain, in Greenville, WV (Monroe County). The houses are called “Indian Creek Cottage” and “Hans Creek Cottage” rented through Grandview Cottages, website:

I’m a little concerned about cell phone coverage in the area – so if you can let me know when you plan to arrive, that would be helpful. Also, I could easily meet you at the Liberty Gas Station/Old Country Store in “downtown” Greenville on Route 122 to guide you to the houses…just give me a call/text.

FYI: the property owners are Shellie and John White (they own Grandview Cottages LLC). Their phone numbers are:  Office: 304.832.6552, Cell: 304.646.9135


  1. WHO is coming? This is what I have from folks as of July 21:

Reserved rooms in cottages:

  • Room 1: Rachael and David Clemens (2 nights)
  • Room 2: Linden Clemens, Adalid Araiza, Violet Briggs (2 nights)
  • Room 3: Terrie Bentley and sister Beth Bentley (2 nights)
  • Room 4: Clisty Dixon Hill (2 nights)
  • Room 4: Jason and Marybeth Craig + kiddos, Josh and Benny (2 queen beds in room; 2 nights)
  • Room 5: Goose and Beth Sizemore (2 nights)
  • Room 6: Richard Somazze and daughter, Lacey (and maybe friend) (2 nights)
  • Room 7: Lonnie Williams (Friday night only)
  • Room 8: ROOM AVAILABLE!!

Also coming:

  • Scott (Howard) Pitt (Friday evening and Saturday events; reserved couch in cottage)
  • John Pyne & Susan who live local in Union; maybe kiddos, Lissa, Maddy (and new baby), and Jacob
  • Tina Gray-Russell + maybe hubby (coming for Saturday events)
  • Kevin Dalton & Michele Binegar (coming for Saturday events, bed in John Pyne’s father’s house reserved for Saturday night)
  • Michelle Holstein (a “maybe” for now; we’d love another art teacher in our midst, please come!)


  1. WHEN are things happening?
  • Friday, July 26
    • 4:00 pm – folks are welcome to arrive for festivities (unpack bags if you are staying the 2 nights) or just arrive for the evening hang-out and group potluck dinner.
    • 7:00 pm – group dinner at Indian Creek house, grill available
    • “after hours” – festivities, games, music, and ‘setting around chatting’ …maybe a little guitar pickin’ and singing happening (open mic without the mic), storytelling?, s’mores over the firepits…no curfew just ‘good neighbor policy’


  • Saturday, July 27 [these activities are optional and flexible of course]
    • 9:00 – 10:00 am – group breakfast at the “Indian Creek” house; we’ll be cooking up some good eats so please join us whether you are staying the night or not!
    • 12:00 Noon – lunch in Union, WV; interested folks will meet over in Union, (about 15 minutes from rental cottages) at Calico Kitchen on Main Street in Union (or another nearby spot) for lunch. We may want to hit up the ‘Cheese & More’ shop in nearby Gap Mills and possibly the bakery across the street…lots of options to explore in rural Monroe County. This is John Pyne’s home turf – so he can show us the sights.
    • 1:00-ish pm – interested folks will do a little hike to the old Fire Tower; gather in downtown Union after lunch to head over to the Peters Mountain fire tower, “Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory” in Gap Mills, WV. It’s just under a mile hike in (low key) and John Pyne promises a breathtaking view – plus we’ll work up an appetite for supper! (And maybe we’ll see some actual raptors like hawks and eagles). Probably allow about 2 hours for the excursion.
    • afternoon – whatever you’d like – explore Union, come back to the houses to chill/nap/read, ask John Pyne about riding on the 4-wheeler or target shooting on Pyne Mountain – either this afternoon or Sunday morning, possibly head to Alderson (40 min away) or Lewisburg (hour away), play some games in the houses (pool table, darts, chess/checkers available on-site), play some games, romp in the woods…
    • 7:00 pm – big group potluck dinner at Indian Creek house; bring something to share, grill available; just come and hang out with everyone
    • “after hours” – festivities and ‘setting around chatting’ to follow…maybe a little guitar pickin’ and singing happening, storytelling?, s’mores over the firepits…no curfew just ‘good neighbor policy’


  • Sunday, July 28
    • 9:00 – 10:00 am – group breakfast; we’ll be cooking up some good eats so please join us at the Indian Creek house
    • 12:00 NOON – folks need to pack up, clean up, and clear out of the rental properties by noon.


  1. WHAT is/might be happening?

So, our weekend is completely flexible. The underlying intent is that folks have time to reconnect and/or make new friends with the awesome folks in our group – and enjoy our time in the mountains of West Virginia. Whether you are staying at the rental houses or not, here are some options available to you:

  • Group events – like Friday dinner, Friday ‘afterhours’, Sat and Sun breakfasts, Saturday excursions, Saturday night dinner + ‘afterhours’
  • I’m bringing a hand-crank ice cream churn – everyone who turns the crank for 5 minutes is in for a treat
  • The houses have game rooms – pool, darts, checkers…we’ll bring some board games too like Ticket to Ride, Mexican Train, etc. – bring your favorite game to share too
  • Hike around in the mountain woods at the houses
  • Bring your musical instrument and play – guitar, harmonica, washboard, voice, whatever!
  • Dave may bring some water bottle rockets to set off
  • Arts and crafts to share – Goose is bringing some ink paper to dabble with, I’m bringing some bisque fired pottery for folks to paint/glaze (I’ll fire them back in Chapel Hill and send back to you)…there are kids in the group + all of us – so maybe think of something cool to teach some of us – this group is FULL of talent, please share. Or just do your own knitting, drawing, photography, poetry weaving, etc.
  • Karaoke (possibly)…John’s girlfriend, Susan, got a karaoke machine…we’ll see…
  • Hike up to Peters Mtn fire tower on Saturday
  • Check out the Mennonite cheese store and bakery in Gap Mills
  • Cook up something special from your recipe stash for the group
  • Bring some old photos to share!
  • Read or nap on the porches
  • “Settin’ around” – indoors and out, plenty of space and time for that
  • Head over one evening to the local hippie honky-tonk, “The Rock” in Lindside, WV about 15 min away:
  • Whatever else you can think of…Improv games? Special talent/skill to share? Stories about West Virginia? Remote controlled helicopters?
  1. HOW can you help?

So, the most important thing you can bring is YOURSELF…with an attitude and expectation to have lots of fun! If you can bring some food/beverage, great, but really, it’s your beautiful face that will make this event.

I’ve put together a little online sign-up sheet in terms of food/beverage/stuff where folks can indicate what they can bring to share. If you think of something else, please feel free! But if you’re not able to bring something this time, no worries, we will have plenty! We are expecting roughly 20+ folks for Friday night dinner and roughly 25 folks for Saturday night dinner.

The link to the “Sign-Up-Genius” is:


That’s it for now. Perhaps I’m a little over the top in planning efforts – but I really want everyone to have a fantastic time at our gathering of very special folks…can’t wait to see everyone!

Much love,

Rachael (Green) Clemens and John Pyne


Rachael’s contact info:

Cell: 714.926.1098



John’s contact info:

Cell:  304.380.5447