I woke up this morning before the sun came up. Light is now just peeking over the mountains and casting an amazing color throughout the valley. I am watching five deer grazing in the pasture. I am having a "wow" moment. Life is truly a blessing. The music that I play is a part of this blessing. I can thank my grandfather for planting the seed a long time ago. He was a hard working farmer in rural Michigan. After a day of hard work he would settle down in his old chair and start to fiddle. He would play tunes like Ragtime Annie, Golden Slippers and Soldiers Joy. Did I appreciate his music and sit at his feet taking in the melodies that he would spin? No. I was a kid and Grandpa playing the fiddle was just the way life was. In my teen years while I was listening to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton, Grandpa was still in that old chair fiddling away. When I was in my twenties while listening to the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac, Grandpa was still there.
I grew up, got married, had children, listened to "Country Music". I lived in Florida at that time and my grandmother and grandfather bought a winter place near us, a modest mobile home. My grandmother died, and I know his fiddle comforted him. Later, I remember taking my children up to visit him and while walking to his door, I could hear his fiddle. A rush of memories would flood my mind. My kids nicknamed him "Grandpa Jingle Bells", because he would play the tune for them.
My grandfather died. My father went to his house and found him sitting in that old chair, and laying beside him was his fiddle. It was a sad day. That was about twenty years ago. Life goes on, but it's not until now that I understand what my grandfather gave to me. I can attribute so many blessings to him because of who he was and his music. My only regret is that I didn't have a chance to tell him that. I would give anything to be able to sit with him next to that old chair and play a few tunes. Maybe one day.
'Banjo Builders' 12 min
'Shrill 1st String' 1 hr
'A Horse Called Mud' 2 hrs
'Shubb Capo on flange' 2 hrs