• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Here's Johnny - Facebook follies

I'm a little down on social media these days - well, most days, actually - and among the reasons I'm sort of boycotting Facebook and its ilk are the strangers by whom I'm approached. In the last week alone, I've gotten Facebook friend requests from two people I don't know and never will know, mostly because they're not real people. This has happened before ... A "Noemi Touchet" tried to friend me last week. Her Facebook page, as this is written, shows that she has two friends, both of whom are men and one of whom is shirtless. On her page is a picture of "her" accompanied by a descriptive phrase and a very bad word that appears to be part of a web address. A few days later, "Jennifer Agyemang Prempeh," an alleged resident of Khumasa, Ghana, who was allegedly born in Sun City, South Africa, also sent a friend request. On her page are several pictures of her, one showing "Jennifer" on a laptop computer. There's also a touching if punctuation-lacking note from a male admirer: "You ever want to come to California you're welcome to stay in my home you will have a great time with great people myself included" Well said, sir. Dear Noemi and Jennifer, I'm sure you are wonderful people who are trying to bring this broken world together, but I'm not gonna bite. The last time I said yes to a friend request from a person I don't know - in an attempt to spread the good work of The Sun and not for prurient reasons, I might add - the mythical stranger quickly hit me up for a gift card. I don't even buy gift cards for people I know. Social media's all well and good, but I'm a newspaper reporter and columnist, not a sugar daddy. I'd be a lousy sugar daddy, mostly because I'm a newspaper reporter and columnist and thus hardly sugar-laden. As Stan Lee used to write, "'Nuff said.'" Hillbilly Daze Saturday was my fourth Hillbilly Daze. Each year, the Silver Fox (aka editor Steve Peterson) tasks me with writing a preview of the annual Millville festival. Each year, I ask festival organizers, "What's new this year? Please tell me something new so I don't repeat repeat myself." Mr. Watts came through. This year's preview story included the fact that the musical guests would be playing in the peaceful park across McCracken Pike, rather than in the pavilion next to the community center. The Silver Fox also sends me to cover Hillbilly Daze - and you know what? I like it a lot. I was a little worried when there only appeared to be three official participants in the parade, followed by a fairly long line of cars with drivers wondering what they'd stumbled upon. Might the 37th annual Hillbilly Daze be the last? But ... Before noon the driveway in front of the community center was full of people checking out the booths and line dancers and bouncy houses. The field where most people park was full of cars, trucks and tractors. Across the street, Rick Caudle paid homage to Hillbilly Daze founder Jim Conway by serving Conway's famous burgoo, which Caudle stirred with an old wooden paddle and had cooked for 20 hours or so in an even older kettle. By the time I got to Caudle's tent, a dozen or so burgoo-lovers were lined up in front of me, and I feared I was too late. I wasn't. The weather was perfect, the burgoo was wonderful and the company was even better. Hillbilly Daze, though it's publicized on Facebook, leaves a far better taste in my mouth than much of what passes for social media these days. If Noemi and Jennifer ever come to America, I'll tell 'em to check it out.

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