This is a photograph from one of Walter Sprouse’s birthday parties. One day Walter just showed up at the hollow (a group of houses, and a small community, in a hollow that ran up the side of a small mountain, on Route 29 south of Charlottesville, Va.) and after introductions, started playing his banjo and singing very old songs.
It was the kind of simple music associated with the early 1900’s in the Virginia highlands. Walter’s birthday became a yearly party at the hollow, where Walter would play for hours, and everyone else would “kick back.” Walter seemed to feel quite at home with the younger folks. He had a very gentlemanly demeanor and his main interest, second to his family, was the old songs. The photo was taken with 35mm camera and Tri-x film.