Midwestern tour group enjoys Southern hospitality

Published 11:00 pm Monday, January 21, 2013

Music is the universal language and food comes in a close second.

A group of tourists with Neihart Tour and Travel of Braddyville, Iowa had supper at the We Piddle Around Theater and enjoyed a “sampler” of “Come Home, It's Suppertime” performed by members of the cast with music by the Benton Brothers and Company.

When the two are combined, the “accent” is on fellowship.

The busload of Midwestern tourists didn’t understand every word of the folklife sampler presented at the We Piddle Around Theater Saturday but they said they had a good time.

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Niehart Tour and Travel of Braddyville, Iowa got off the beaten path Saturday night for supper and stories at the community theater in Brundidge.

The group enjoyed a traditional Southern winter supper of vegetable soup, pimento cheese sandwiches and teacakes, bluegrass music by the Benton Brothers and Company and a story sampler by members of the cast of “Come Home, It’s Suppertime.”

“Neihart Tours comes through Pike County often on the way to the beaches and had requested to visit the theater with sawdust on the floor,” said Sheila Jackson, Troy tourism director.

“The Brundidge Historical Society agreed to provide supper, music and a story sampler for the group and they all had a great time.”

The soup, sandwiches and teacakes were all homemade; the music was traditional and the stories were of the rural South during the Great Depression.

“Everyone could relate,” Jackson said.

Jackson said she welcomes the opportunity to showcase Troy and Pike County to tour groups.

“Neihart Tours has stayed in Troy before and visited sites in the city, including the Johnson Center for the Arts,” she said. “The group of 42 stayed in a local hotel in Troy Saturday night and the tour leader is making plans for next year that include a two-night stay in Troy. Tour groups are good for Troy and all of Pike County. We are excited when they choose Troy as a destination.”

Marilyn Stamps, director of Tourism’s South Region, said that tour groups help put cities and counties on the map.

“We welcome these tour groups because they help promote our area,” she said. “When these tour groups have a good experience, they go back and tell others and that’s good for Troy, Pike County and all of Alabama.”

Jackson said the 42 members of the tour group left the We Piddle Around Theater having been well entertained and having enjoyed an evening filled with Southern hospitality.

“I watched as those in the tour group joined in the singing of the old hymns,” she said. “There is a commonality among all people. Music and stories bring us together in a special way.”