IN THE VALLEY A TRAIN CROSSES THE POTOMAC
The area in West Virginia was originally settled by British colonial hunters and traders in 1725. In the 1750s the colonial Fort Pearsall there involved the residents in the French and Indian War. The town was officially chartered December 23, 1762 and named for the Cinque Port city of Romney, Kent, England by Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron. In the 1780s during the American Revolution (American War of Independance from Great Britain), former Hessian prisoners built homes in Romney.
Romney, WV changed hands between Confederate and Union armies an amazing 56 times, but the people of Manchester did not waver in support of American President Abraham Lincoln. A statue of Lincoln in Manchester commemorates the dedication of its working people in the fight for the abolition of slavery in America. Manchester today is a centre of the arts, media, higher education and world class hotels. Romney, WV, remains a small rural town, surrounded by nature much the same as it was in 1725.
My name is Bob Mayhew. I was an Eighth Grade student at Romney Junior High School that summer of 1968. Myself and other kids enjoyed your summer here as much as you and your bandmates. We would sneak down to hear you play and jam in the barn. Yes, the barn still stands. We talked you into playing a benefit concert in the gym at RJHS, which you graciously did and very nearly blew the windows out of the old school. I distinctly remember never having heard music that loud played that well. As to the loudness of Mind Garage. It seemed that way to a 14 year old boy because all I had ever heard to that point was the minor amplification of my buddies' garage bands and I seem to remember the large speakers on poles that you set up on the stage at RJHS. That loudness was not a bad thing. Indeed, it was powerful and wonderful and the music and lyrics were uplifting. My father and his business partner purchased Valley View and I purchased the home from them. My wife Kim and I have spent the last 30 years restoring the old place. Valley View still resonates with the laughter and music from that long ago time.
Upper level overlooking the Valley, where the band relaxed and came up with ideas for songs that eventually became The Early Years album and the first Mind Garage RCA album. Just a short walk across the road and over the hill to the barn full of equipment where those ideas were turned into songs at all hours of the day and night.
A Wooden structure then. Larry is exiting after a jam session.
The speakers on poles used at RJHS show are just inside the doorway on the left.
CIRCUS FARM Sky of Blue May come my way Still I sit here restless days And clouds still linger in my sleep Watching over peaceful dreams Drifting shadows from the sun Wake me mornings on the run Shocking dreamers from the dream Fishing fishes from the stream Flying upward to the sun Living Kingdoms shot the gun Keeping sparrows in my sleeve Magic moments while others sleep
Photos courtesy of Allen Appel, Bob and Kim Mayhew, and Jack Bond
© 2005 Mind Garage