The Ceiling Squardron of Abbeville, SC

The Ceiling Squadron

The Ceiling Squadron of Abbeville begins here…

So there I am, in the center of Abbeville, South Carolina. I am trying to get my bearings for the Genius Music Festival II. It is the re-start of the Festival that had occurred earlier in the year in 96, SC. I had no idea that day I would discover Ceiling Squadron of Abbeville.

Wandering around this impossibly beautiful, picture-perfect remnant of the Civil Wars’ Old South is an experience. The houses in all their Antebellum glory were intoxicating.

I found the small gazebo in the center of town. I waited for my contacts to come by as agreed. The grass, the trees, and the perfectly manicured lawns were a mesmerizing hue-circus of green. All kinds of green, and all shades of greeg.

I sat on a bench next to a big Statue of a Confederate Soldier. This was a nod to Abbevilles’ many Sons who served on the Confederate side of that tragic conflict.

Civil War, WW II

The Civil War began and ended in Abbeville. It ending when Andrew Jackson retreated here and declared the Confederacy finished.

Finally met up with Fred Engler, our sound technician from the previous year. We were going to shoot a video of a few new songs and one or two older ones.

Fred and his assistant, I and a load of gear, went across the park and into a tall, very thin building.  Two floors up, in the 2nd-floor space, we arrived and were going to shoot this video. Fred and his team were so efficient and professional, it took almost no time at all for them to get things set up.

Which gave me 30 minutes or so to wander around the floor we were on. It was long, 2 car-lengths or so wide, and sloping away from the front windows. Everything was helter-skelter about the space, especially where we had set up. The clutter got thicker into the far back end of the building. A little darker down towards the back.

Long Ago But Not Too Far Away

Someone had spent years making hundreds of models of WW II Fighters and Bombers, with care and precision they had applied decals, and painted them accurately and carefully hung them about 12″ below the ceiling with clear fishing line.

The floor was filled with old boxes, some restaurant gear, a bicycle. There were some plywood sheets leaning against the far wall. I slowly made my way to the back of the floor, where there was a big window at the far end. It looked out over the parking lot and the trash bins in the alley. Not much to look at.

Fred shouted that he was ready to record, and as I turned to head back to the front of the building, I happened to glance up at the ceiling, about 20 feet above me.

Ceiling Squadron of Abbeville!

Someone had spent years making hundreds of models of WW II Fighters and Bombers, they had applied decals with care and precision, and painted them accurately. Then they were carefully hung about 12″ below the ceiling with clear fishing line.

The models were beautiful and stretched almost the entire length of the building. Who did this? Who made this atmospheric armada?

There was not clue anywhere. But from the dust, they had been hanging here a long time.

It was Breathtaking!

Boeing B 29 Superfortress, The B 24 Liberator, B 17 Flying Fortress and so many more like the US and RAF fighters and a few of the German fighters, too.

Boeing B 29 Superfortress, The B 24 Liberator, B 17 Flying Fortress and so many more like the plus the fighters and a few of the German fighters, too.

This was so unexpected, so beautiful and so completely lost to outside eyes, I had to document and share this remarkable discovery.

This was so unexpected, so beautiful and so completely lost to outside eyes, I had to document and share this remarkable discovery.

The Ceiling Squadron of Abbeville, SC

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Eric Sommer: About the Artist

“If there’s a place for musical perfection, it’s wherever you’ll find Eric Sommer – A blistering acoustic style plus a variety of slide and open tuning formats will knock you for a loop…” wrote Studdie Burns, New Melody Maker/UK in 2013. “How one guy can do this so well is remarkable, but if you look a little deeper there’s a batch of road miles around this lad… and it all makes sense.”

Eric started his musical career in the Boston area under the eye of legendary promoter Don Law and was onstage at The Paradise Theatre in Boston for a record 40 appearances. He has been a regular player on many national and international tours and showcases, and worked in Europe for two years with Nick Lowe and acts Bram Tchaikovsky and Wreckless Eric; during this period Eric worked on Danish, German and British rock stages, returned to Boston and formed The Atomics

Eric Sommer, Boston… & The Atomics

As a founding member of Boston’s legendary pop/new wave cult trio “The Atomics”, who toured non-stop with Mission of Burma, Gang of Four and The Dead Kennedy’s and were on the leading edge of several musical transformations, Eric never lost sight of his acoustic roots, returning to his heroes and mentors often: David Bromberg, Steve Howe(YES), Duane Allman (Allman Bros.), Bert Jansch, Davy Graham, Robert Johnson. Mr. Sommer’s current project with power trio “The Solar Flares” shake up Chet Atkins and David Bromberg’s influences with those of Randy Travis and British Rocker Elvis Costello – a remarkable mix.

And to keep track of it all, Eric started keeping notes, which evolved from napkin scribbles to paper and pen efforts, writing stories, making poetry and capturing the roads and bridges as they went by, plus people, places and… more people which become his notes, then become characters for songs, stories, and prose.

Eric currently has four volumes of verse, 5 studio albums, a LIVE in AUSTIN DVD as well as an electronica project titled “The Smallest Particle” and more on the way… this blog is an attempt to keep track of it all…

Amen.

 

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You can reach Eric directly at ericATericsommer.com and see more of his projects here on this website. Red Chairs, Black Pancake and Blue Turtle are all available here, as well as all current releases. Please share and comment below.

So many beautiful models
Flying from the Ceiling
WW II famous bombers in great detail
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