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He Planted Oldtime Music in my Soul

Sunday, February 3, 2008

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. 



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Genre: Old Time
Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

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Playing Since: 1997
Experience Level: Purty Good

[Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]

Occupation: Interpreter for the Deaf

Gender: Female
Age: 69

My Instruments:
2-Tyran Banjos, 1-Chuck Lee Orvilla, 1-1924 Vega Tubaphone, 1-Keven Enoch Fretless, Goldtone Plunky

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Reeltime Travelers, Skillet Lickers, Polecat Creek, Mark Johnson, Tom Ryan, my dear friend Walter Daves, the Incredible...Carolina Chocolate Drops and the Crooked Jades.

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Created 10/17/2007
Last Visit 4/20/2022

I started playing bluegrass banjo back in 1997 and played for a few years. I met my wonderful husband in 2004. He had been playing bluegrass and oldtime. He slowly converted me to oldtime. I sold my Earl Scruggs Mastertone and purchased my first open-back banjo from the North Georgia banjo maker, Tom Ryan. I have been playing clawhammer banjo now for almost 3 years.

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