I was late. On the way to interview Jim Avett over a plate of Lexington’s famous vinegar-based barbecue, I had veered right when I should have veered left.
It was so plainly illustrated on the napkin set before me: The first thing Avett did when we finally sat down was pull out a pen and show us where I had gone astray.
He wasn’t angry — “After all, who hadn’t been lost before,” he assured me — he just wanted to make sure I knew the right way to go. I was a newcomer to this town and especially this side of town, and Avett sympathized.
“I’ve been to Lexington a bunch of times and I have no clue as to how I ever got out of it,” he said. “I just started driving one way and just kept on going until the sun set on my ass and I got out of town.
“But anyway, all right – go ahead.”
I wanted to know if Avett had watched the Grammys, and wondered how spectacular it must have felt to see his sons, Scott and Seth Avett of the Avett Brothers, share the same stage as Bob Dylan.
But Mr. Avett was quick to quell any notion of a sudden prideful epiphany. For him, the Avett Brothers’ performance at the Grammys was just reaffirming what he already knew.
“It does a daddy or a mama good when other people recognize or validate what you saw in your children a long time ago,” Avett said. “I was no more full of pride for our children on Grammy night than I have ever been.”
Yet in all his modesty, Avett couldn’t stop some semblance of awe from beaming through.