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Yarn Exchange to hold special Memorial Day performance

Cameo Waters • May 25, 2018 at 4:32 PM

On July 29, 1967, a fire broke out on the U.S.S. Forrestral, an aircraft carrier stationed in the Gulf of Tonkin and engaged in combat in Vietnam. A Zuni rocket discharged on deck, setting off a chain reaction of explosions, happening so fast there was no time to clear all of the aircraft from the deck. Incoming pilot, the future Senator John McCain, was able to fly his aircraft off the deck. But 134 service members lost their lives in the tragedy, and another 161 were wounded. This story is recalled by Preston Hurlburt, who was in the radio room at the time of the first explosions and unaware of the carnage above although he was in looming danger as the vessel became engulfed in flames.

This Memorial Day, May 28, the Jonesborough Yarn Exchange Radio Show will perform stories that honor the men and women who served in our armed forces and made the ultimate sacrifice. Stories will also be shared from their family members and those they served with - people who were left behind to carry on their memories.

Joining the cast this month will be fan favorites Freddie Vanderford and Brandon Turner bringing their famous Piedmont Blues from Buffalo, South Carolina. Vanderford, who was inducted in the South Carolina Folk Life Hall of Fame for his contribution to Piedmont Blues Harmonica, has become a frequent music guest of the Yarn Exchange Radio Show, electrifying audiences with the unique talent he learned as an apprentice with blues harpist Peg-Leg Sam Jackson.

Tickets for the event are $5 and are on sale now at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center by calling (423) 753-1010. Tickets are also available online at Jonesborough.com/tickets. This production is sponsored by Ballad Health and the Tennessee Arts Commission through Jonesborough’s Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts at the McKinney Center.