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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Night Owl A Mudcatter's Thank You (105* d) RE: A Mudcatter's Thank You 20 Mar 02


No one died in the fire.......one fireman was injured by a live electrical wire......but has fully recovered now. He did have to suffer through bunches of jokes about how good he looked with short hair.

In that house also was lots of photographs and "memorabilia".

My older brother was killed in 1987 in a fiery traffic accident....on the Pa/Ohio border, while on his way home from a contradance caller's workshop in Berea, Kentucky.

I took my old lap dulcimer with me to the graveyard. It strikes me now as I am writing, how odd .....out of all those instruments that I was comfortable with..that at the last minute, I grabbed the lap dulcimer to bring with me for comfort.

It was a private burial, we held a public memorial service for him later.

After the casket was lowered and everyone else had left except his girlfriend, I took the lap dulcimer out of the car, and Alice and I sat on the stone wall surrounding the cemetary, under a huge white pine.....and I played for him......and her, and me. Just two simple songs.....over and over..... she asked me to play them some more....over and over.
The sound was perfect, peaceful... hypnotic...and soothed us enough after a while to stop our shaking. The songs were "River"-Bill Staines and "Rivers of Texas" I had learned from an old Sandy and Caroline Paton album I had. ( the album wasn't all THAT old.....just in case Sandy happens to read this...)

When my brother died, I left my job as a Paralegal, because my career involved giving legal advice, and crisis intervention....and my own house wasn't "in order".

Although it's been 15 yrs. now since his death..I continue to miss him daily......but my stomach no longer churns and the pain doesn't stab me any longer.

When we were kids, we went to summer camps every year......and learned BUNCHES of those fun, obscure songs. As teen-agers, he collected Everly Bros. records, I collected Elvis and Buddy Holly. We both bought other 45's weekly with money we earned doing odd jobs in the neighborhood. Because of our collection, he became a popular dj at our local "record hops".

Until he died, we could count on each other always.....a phone call away...to remember the tune or that obscure lyric from a camp song one of us was trying to remember.

Thank-you...Max, Dick, Susan, elves, Mudcats, members, and guests for asking the questions and giving the answers!

As adults, we both learned to play guitar....and through the years he collected every Gordon Bok album in existence....some of which had personalized signatures from Gordon to him. He also collected a variety of Contra-dance music and Hammer-Dulcimer music...and was planning to learn to play the HD.....he had just purchased the hammers and "learn to play" cassette tapes..and was planning to buy his Dulcimer when he got back from Berea.

After his death, I brought his tapes, albums and music stuff home with me...AND the Hammers he had bought for the HD. I also brought home silly stuff he had saved.. like our Captain Midnight decoder rings, and a letter he had saved that I had sent him...written in our "secret" code at camp.

In my home I had a small "memory wall" in the corner of my living room.....which had trinkets hung on it....which to me, represented my grandmother and grandfather's lives. I added my brother's hammers for the HD and a couple other things of his to it.

And on the small table in the corner, I put a sailing trophy he had won and had (proudly) given to me.


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