Last night Yianni and I went to the Ricky Skaggs and The Whites’ Christmas concert at the Tennessee Theatre. Wow! In addition to most of his Kentucky Thunder members, he also included The Whites: Buck, Sharon (Ricky’s wife), and Cheryl; kids, Luke and Molly; and their cousin Rachel. After intermission, violins, violas, and bass players were added. I was impressed at the clear singing and wonderfuly picking/playing. In addition to singing as back up and occasionally solo, Molly played the dulcimer and piano, and Luke played a really nice almost-Middle Eastern instrumental with his electric guitar, the drummer, and the fiddler.
I’m still trying to discover how Ricky is kin to my side of the family. Ricky was born in Lawrence County, Kentucky just a short distance from Flat Gap, where my relatives still live. My blind Uncle Andy Ed Skaggs once told me how we were related, but I didn’t write it down at the time. Uncle referred to him as “Rick” as if he were a next-door-neighbor-kind-of-a-cousin! My mother Irena was one of four children (Lexie, Alfred, Irena, Berchie) born to Flossie and Green Panther Skaggs who grew up in the same Flat Gap area. Flossie and G.P. were second or third cousins when they married at age 19; Flossie was from the “black” Skaggs because they were mostly brunette while Green Panther was a “white” Skaggs because most of them were blonde or light brown haired. Uncle Andy Ed (brother to my grandma Flossie) was married to Aunt Ova, and they had three children Arvin, Arlene, and Earl. Arvin and Arlene still live in Flat Gap. Another brother to Flossie, Uncle Alonzo, lived most of his life at Barn Rock, a shelf-like rock structure that once housed school, church, and wonderful children’s playground.
If any one knows this part of eastern Kentucky and how the Skaggs are related, please email me!