By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
A Second Saturday event at the Blount-Bridgers House showcased local diversity, from the food to the music and the artwork.
Whitney Houston’s classic love song “I Believe in You and Me” rang out throughout the historic house Saturday morning, through the powerful voice of local musician Kristian Herring.
Herring sang everything from jazz to Italian operatic-style numbers to gospel music, with his Edgecombe County High School Gospel Choir joining in for several numbers, including “He Never Failed Me.” Photographs of influential African-Americans from the region hung behind Herring in the second-floor Hobson Pittman Memorial Gallery.
“There was a nice variety (of music) and it was paired nicely with the exhibit that we have,” said Joyce Turner, executive director of the Edgecombe County Cultural Arts Council, which hosted the event.
Herring had at least one fan in the audience during his performance – 23-month-old Aneila Govoni-Mylniec, who danced around in circles and even joined in the singing of a high note in one of the songs.
“She liked that music,” said Govoni-Mylniec’s mother, Genevieve Govoni, who said she enjoys coming to the Second Saturdays.
“I like the music and the food — the farmers’ market aspect of it,” she said.
A representative from the Tarboro-Edgecombe Farmers’ Market, Aaron Carpenter, sold his homegrown produce on the back porch of the Blount-Bridgers House.
“You name it, I got it — corn, preserves, jellies and jams, new potatoes, cabbages and squash,” he said.
Another local food offering at Second Saturday was homemade tortillas prepared by members of the Hispanic ministry from First Baptist Church.
Local Hispanic singer Jose Mosqueida, 20, known on stage as Jose Korona, lent his vocals to the Second Saturday crowd, as well. Mosqueida sang contemporary popular favorites, including “Halo” by Beyonce, “We Found Love” by Rihanna and “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse.
“Beyonce and Rihanna are my favorite artists, because I like raspy tones,” Mosqueida said. He said he liked performing in the small setting at the art gallery.
As Mosqueida sang, artists and craftspeople sold their wares on the first floor of the house. Just inside the front hallway, Linda Little of Wilson sold her beaded jewelry. Little’s friend, Janice Raynor, also of Wilson, sold her handmade bags, kitchen towels and potato pockets.
“She and I usually go to these things together,” Little said. “I think it’s pretty cool. I like it better when you’re outside, but you can’t really do anything about the rain.”
Raynor offered a variety of handbags to Second Saturday shoppers, from beach-themed to animal patterns to John Deere.
“We even have Elvis Presley,” she said. The bag had a “Blue Hawaii” theme.
“Homemade is more personal,” Raynor said. “It’s something different than you would buy at the store.”
Annette Hathaway enjoyed looking at pottery made by P.J. Shafer of Rocky Mount.
“I love pottery,” she said, as she contemplated buying a small decorative piece of pottery with grapes on it to hang behind her stove.
Karen Johnson and Roger Rivenvark of Speed sold their homemade jams and jellies on the first floor of the Blount-Bridgers House.
“I’ve lived here my whole life and this is the first time I’ve been inside the building. I love it,” Johnson said. “People need to stop and think about what they have in their community.”
Turner said the rain had an impact on the turnout at the Second Saturday despite the decision to have the event inside the house. Next month’s Second Saturday, a “back-to-school bash” set for Aug. 10, will be held on the back lawn of the house.