Thumbs-up: Couldn’t we all use a bit of music in our lives about now? A movie partially filmed in Todd, “The Mountain Minor,” is now streaming and with network availability found at Set in a time removed from ours but in a place many of us call home, the magic and music of this movie may be the diversion you need now.

Thumbs-up: And staying on the theme of music, a well-done to the Jones House for continuing its summer music lessons, albeit virtually, in instruments from the banjo to the ukulele. Personal sessions are available. Visit

Thumbs-down: to a pandemic that has canceled the arts in other formats, including the decision by the Blowing Rock Historical Society to cancel the Artist in Residence series at Edgewood Cottage for 2020. With so much uncertainty about the future of COVID-19 at this time, the decision was rightfully made, but a disappointment to our community and the 26 High Country artists who had been selected to present their work. Already, we are looking forward to 2021.

Thumbs-up: to a partnership between NAMI High Country and the Appalachian Regional Library system to broaden our community’s commitment to inclusivity through reading and discussion. The first author talk is scheduled for less than a week from today, at 4 p.m. June 16, via Zoom. Visit

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