Queen Esther sits in the library of the Booth Mansion in Grammercy Park, New York City.
Queen Esther sits in the library of the Booth Mansion in Grammercy Park, New York City.
Portrait of the Artist by DM Gillock

This is me a few Decembers ago at a New Year’s Eve Eve event at The Booth Mansion — otherwise known as The Players Club — a private club located in a tony neighborhood in New York City called Gramercy. Because New Year’s Eve is for amateurs.

Prohibition Productions started this “hey, let’s throw a massive party on the 30th” trend amongst the well-heeled vintage set awhile ago, to avoid tourists and the Bridge and Tunnel crowd and anyone else that doesn’t get it. The 31st became a day for sleeping in, to give yourself a chance to recover from the good time that was had by all the night before. …


Because the Scots-Irish of Appalachia didn’t invent Americana. Or the banjo.

Image for post
Image for post
Queen Esther, UpSouth. Photo by DM Gillock

I have strong memories of folk music swirling through my Southern, unapologetically black childhood. Music class in elementary school meant clapping on the one and three, singing along with Burl Ives recordings and doing the hokey pokey, and learning songs like Oh, Shenandoah and The Blue-Tail Fly without an understanding of the history of violence that gave birth to them. (Jimmy crack corn, indeed.) There were folk museums to explore, and abysmally picturesque, fun-filled field days to be had that found quite a few of us zipping around a Maypole when we weren’t square dancing. Of course, these programs were in place at a time when school funding in America included movement, playing an instrument and learning about music. …

About

Queen Esther

Relaxing on the axis of the wheel of life.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store