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Whippoor-What?

Have you ever heard “Deeper Than the Holler” by Randy Travis? If not, stop reading immediately and listen to it!

Now, not only do you know how to say “Whippoorwill”, but if you’re anything like us, that song has had some kind of effect on you. Perhaps you’re a lot like us, and the song’s effect is almost hard to put into words. For us, the song is about someone trying to quantify something unquantifiable. The best way the singer can express his love is by making it analogous to the natural beauty found in the country where he was raised.

On a dark and foggy early morning road trip to West Virginia, I was silently pondering what we should name our farm, our wedding venue, and our eventual home. Naming a business or homestead is no easy undertaking; find a name that isn’t taken, is catchy, meaningful, and inspirational, looks good in a logo, isn’t too long or too short, represents your brand, isn’t terrible to say, isn’t obnoxious, invokes just the right vibe, yada, yada, yada. I was overwhelmed and getting nowhere.

That’s when good ‘ole Randy came on the radio, singing about love, the country, and the song of the Whippoorwill. It all resonated with me. My home has always been the country. I’ve been beyond blessed with unimaginable loves in my life (husband, child, family, friends), and the song of the whippoorwill is one of the only memories I have from an early childhood spent with my family in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I vividly remember sitting on my mom’s lap, her nose nuzzled against my head as she did when I was small and snuggly and sometimes still does when she thinks she can get away with it. I would snuggle in and we would rock and listen to the whippoorwills. If you’ve not heard a whippoorwill—listen!

A few minutes after “Deeper Than the Holler” went off the air, my car was completely on autopilot. I was mindlessly driving, consumed with thoughts of the word “whippoorwill” and trying to talk myself out of it. An hour or so later, I called Jeff and told him about my inconsequential experience about one word on my morning drive. Much to my delight (and surprise), he shared the same sentiments I had. He loved the word, the song, and most importantly the feeling that they both invoked.

Feeling encouraged, I called my mom and relayed the story to her. She immediately told me to call my grandmother and ask her about my late grandfather’s farm.  I then called Nana and asked her about a small farm that my beloved Gramps owned in his younger years. The farm was on 80 acres in Brown County, down a gravel road and up a hill. She told me he called it Whippoorwill Hill.

And Whippoorwill Hill was born. Again.

Unfortunately, we have not personally heard whippoorwills at the farm, but our neighbors have heard them. In the coming years, we would like to focus efforts on creating a habitat to encourage whippoorwills to settle and nest on our farm.

As an aside, there is a plethora of music, poems, and folklore dedicated to the melody of these cute little owl-like birds. Listen to one of our favorites.
For more information on Whippoorwill Hill or booking your event, please call or email us at (812) 327-4218 or anne@whippoorwill-hill.com.