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Take Me Back to the Place Where I First Saw the Light

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Well, things happen for a reason. I do believe that and things usually work themselves out for the better. Unless, of course, you're about to be sentenced to a long prison term.

But the fact that I lost my job indeed poses opportunities for me. Northeast Indiana was never the best fit for my wife and me. We came up here in 2007 because I was offered a rather lucrative position with a startup organization. I wish that organization well, but like I said, the fit just wasn't right.

Although I was not born in the South, I have spent most of my 54 years on the planet in Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia. I have joked that I am an "Alabamian in exile." I really felt that way after experiencing my first winter here in Fort Wayne. It was rough on me -- 50 inches of snow. I don't care much for winters here in the upper Midwest and look forward to escaping the ice and snow.

The way I see it, the job loss has provided me with an opportunity to return to a place where I long to be. It's a place where a waitress calls me "hun" and where I can drink sweet tea and order grits, fried okra and fried green tomatoes.

So it is my intention to come home to the Sweet Sunny (Soggy lately) South.  

It was in the South where I learned a gaggle of old-time fiddle tunes, most originating in the South in some form or fashion. And I befriended Southern musicians who cared about protecting and preserving the music. And despite the fact that SEC football is almost a religion, I could like these people even if they were Tennessee or Georgia or even Auburn fans. Roll Tide!

Here in Fort Wayne, the opportunities to play old-time music is very very limited. The only old-time fiddle player in the area is Terry Thacker, a Kentucky  native and cousin to the late great Art Stamper. Terry has wonderful Kentucky fiddle tunes in his DNA and I will miss him when I eventually do leave. But we'll stay in touch.

Because the landscape here is devoid of old-time music, when I get a hankering to play with others, I drive 8 or 10 hours and go down to Tennessee or Alabama. That's where most of my musician friends are. That's where I cut my teeth on this music. For example, in Birmingham, where I lived for more than 20 years, I habitually played  tunes with five different fiddle players. Thinking back on it, I was pretty lucky, even if Birmingham itself is a screwed up place. (Most of my friends there would agree.)

My friends down South have been urging me to "come home." Well, I will, but I do have to get past that minor hump of  finding that right job. But somehow, someway, I'm confident that will come with time.

My full-time job is now looking for job in economic development, my chosen profession for the past 10 years. The openings right now are few and far between, but I do trust in the Lord. I really do.

I spend much of my days sending off resumes and letters and networking and hopefully doing all the right things. Despite being a banjo players, there are some people who believe in me.

I try not be angry or bitter for what has happened to me here. That will get me nowhere fast. Acting out as a victim will only hurt my chances of finding future employment. Rather, I look to the future in a humble but confident manner. And despite the current recession, despite the unknowns, I see this as an opportunity that maybe was meant to be.

So stay tuned, sports fans.

Eventually fretlessinfortwayne is going to be changing his name to fretless in some place below the Mason Dixon line.






An Admission of Neglect

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 4 comments

Waiting in line

Friday, July 24, 2009 5 comments

Clifftop or Bust!

Thursday, July 23, 2009 3 comments

Back, Refreshed and Pumped

Wednesday, July 1, 2009 3 comments

There May Be Hope Yet

Monday, May 25, 2009 8 comments

Not a damn bit funny

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 7 comments

And then not do it

Friday, March 27, 2009 1 comment

Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks

Saturday, January 31, 2009 3 comments

Another vintage banjo

Friday, January 9, 2009 3 comments

Endeavor to Persevere

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 3 comments

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Playing Since: 1990
Experience Level: Purty Good

[Teaching] [Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]

Occupation: Other

Gender: Male
Age: 67

My Instruments:
Bart Reiter, No. 240, made in 1987; fretless; fretless Ramsey minstrel banjo; Burns No. 8, a handcrafted banjo by Jason Burns of Birmingham, Ala., with a 12-inch pot and Dobson tone ring; Chuck Lee semi-fretless with 11 in. pot.

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Fred Cockerham, Kyle Creed, Tommy Jarrell, Uncle Dave Macon, Art Stamper, Benton Flippen, Charlie Poole, Owen "Snake" Chapman, Clyde Davenport, Bruce Greene, Rafe Stefanini, Gid Tanner, Brad Leftwich, Roan Mountain Hilltoppers, John Salyer, Bob Townsend, Freight Hoppers and that feller with the hat -- Joe Newberry.

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Created 6/17/2007
Last Visit 3/20/2022

I've spent most of my life in Tennesee, Georgia and Alabama. Moved to Texas in 2010 in search of greener pastures. Found them.

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