Sunday, October 1, 2017

Music in the Bootheel

Music was a part of my life from before my birth. My father was a musician and he was one of a band of men on the fantail of the USS Nevada playing revelry when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Then in my growing up years there was always music in the house and dad mastered the art of recording music from radios onto audio cassettes.  He gifted me with a transistor radio when I was twelve.  Music was at my fingertips.

I never had any real aptitude for playing but years later, when our son showed an aptitude for music, he encouraged it and helped foster it. It was no surprise to anyone when Q majored in music in college.  The last 21 years of my working life were behind a desk and behind a stage in a university music program. It seemed like the normal ending place for me.

Sadly, music unraveled in my life as the family grew up and went in different directions. Our circle of friends didn't celebrate music as my father did. From time to time we would enjoy a group playing at a local cafe on a summer night but I found I didn't really connect with much of what I heard. And if I didn't connect with it, I'm sure it was an exercise in love and patience for my pirate because he definitely didn't. But suddenly I find it all changing.  There is a bit of a music scene in C'ville.

Saturday evening found me in the cozy home of Joy McGraw, joined by her sister Jane Rodgers and her husband, Dennis. The pirate had been sick all week and all I can say is, boy, did he miss out.  I connected and he would have loved it.  For starters, there wasn't an amp in sight. Two guitars, one mandolin, and several harmonicas produced an evening of beautiful music.  Joy's lovely voice harmonized with Dustin Walters. Jerry Lintner's guitar filled out the sound and Bill from Blytheville added a sound of aching longing to the strains as they played out. Bluegrass flowed into old southern gospel, Proud Mary and the Beatles and the Turtles followed in quick succession and back again to blue grass. By the time I left, we had all enjoyed an old highland ditty about a Scotsman and his kilt.

I was walked home by two new friends and was ready for more.  The local radio station plays a lot of old school country music and, most unexpectedly, I'm loving it.  I hear there is music at Little Pizza Heaven on some weekends and it's guaranteed accoustic, no amps and no drums. In fact, the next date is October 28th. Shout out to Mike and Jean.  That will make my pirate very happy.  And best of all, music has wound its way back into my life again. My dad is no doubt very happily listening in and tapping a toe.


  1. Beautiful and vivid description! Could almost hear it myself ❤

  2. Just another sign to me that you were meant to be there. So wonderful!! God almost orders us to sing for joy!

    1. Too true. I even did a little singing last night. I was pretty froggy. LOL

  3. I am so happy for you - you live in the area for the sounds of the heart.

  4. FACEBOOK COMMENT from Madonna S.

    So well said. Seemed like I was there with you. Hope pirate's health improves soon.

  5. Grandpa & Grandma are joining along in the fun of listening in sure

  6. Music was part of my growing up too and I have been thinking that I don't have music in my life these days. Not even a song in my heart to sing and worship. Thanks for spurring on the thinking on this.


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