Pickin’ and Piddlin’ fundraiser held for Old Logan School

Sharon Schuler Kreps
The storytelling thing is getting to be pretty big in a few places like Florence and Troy. That’s where I got the name; Troy calls theirs ‘Piddlin.’ I think ‘Pickers and Piddlers’ just sounds good.”
C. Blake West


LOGAN – The Logan Preservation Foundation recently hosted a night of music and storytelling at the Logan Junior High Community Center. The evening was filled with bluegrass music by the band Chimney Branch and piddlin', or storytelling, by local folks. BBQ plates, hot dogs and homemade ice cream were enjoyed, which made for a night of fun and entertainment. The night had a dual purpose: to reunite old friends from the community and to raise money to maintain the old school building.  

Logan Jr. High School played a main role in the Logan community for over 80 years. Although it closed its doors 2006, the building still stands and is now used as a community center. The Logan Preservation Foundation was formed to help preserve the school for the use of the community. Their mission is to provide a safe place for community functions and special events and to provide opportunities for the community to teach, promote and preserve the heritage of the Logan community through the restoration and preservation of the Old Logan School.

Chimney Branch played the night away and several guests got up and buck danced like champs. Several songs were crowd favorites, including a song about Cullman County sweet potatoes. The group was very energetic and really hammed it up as they played. 

Even though the Logan Preservation Foundation has held several musical fundraising events in the past, they decided to do something a little different this time. They added storytelling by a few of the locals.

“The storytelling thing is getting to be pretty big in a few places like Florence and Troy,” said Attorney C. Blake West. “That’s where I got the name; Troy calls theirs ‘Piddlin.’ I think ‘Pickers and Piddlers’ just sounds good. We are going to try and do this a couple more times, see what we can come up with. I’m hoping it will really take off.”

West served as the night’s emcee and after telling a couple stories about his silly 6-year-old son Brooks, he introduced the night’s first piddler.

“Tonight our first piddler is Coach Riley Duke,” he said. “Coach taught here at Logan Jr. High School for 30 years,” he grinned. “Yeah, he taught here for a very long time. He is a great guy and has lots of stories to tell.”

Duke shared several stories about his teaching days at the Jr. High School. It was obvious he loved his job and had a tender heart for his mischievous students all those years ago.

Other piddlers that night were Sharon Schuler Kreps and Mike Ledbetter. Kreps told a couple stories from her childhood and Ledbetter told of his adventures during his days as an airline pilot. He and West shared a few funny stories from their days in and around Auburn. Even though the piddlin’ part of the night was something different and new, everyone seemed to enjoy it and laughed at some of the silly stories that were shared.

The Logan Jr. High Community Center proved to be an excellent place to meet new people and have good fun. There will be more Pickin’ and Piddlin’ events this summer, but in the meantime, citizens can help save the school by joining the Logan Preservation Foundation or by renting rooms for events such as reunions, showers, birthday parties, etc.; attending fundraisers and volunteering. For information, contact Amy at 256-338-1675 or email loganjrhigh@gmail.com.

Visit the group online at loganjuniorhigh.com or http://qrne.ws/logan.