Marfar’s Birthday Weekend

        One thing I learned from my wife was how to celebrate.  Christmas goes full tilt from Thanksgiving to Epiphany.  And we don’t just have birth-DAYS, but birthday weekends.

       I was off duty all weekend, and as we say in bluegrass it was a large time.  The only ground rule was she got to set the agenda.   Seeing as she was the Birthday Girl, it was only fitting.  So, Friday night we started with a chick flick. (remind me to tell you about “The Mirror has Two Faces.”) 

        Saturday was the big show at the Senior Center with Guitar-ed and Feathered.  They all did wear black slacks, but dang if they didn’t choose fuchsia for their blouses.  I got off the hook, though, when I said my black on tan print shirt accessorized better with my complexion.  I had no idea what it meant – I read it on one of my lady readers’ weblog.  That seemed to impress the band,  and they went along with my chosen attire. 

       We went to the warm up room and I could tell right away this was gonna be a different sort of gig.  For one thing they were nervous, like a bunch of kids, and my guys have gotten over all that.  It was like way back when we first started out with all the nervous anticipation- made you feel downright young.  The atmosphere was quite unfamiliar- I’m not sure what those ladies wore for perfume but I’m positive it wasn’t essence of chewing tobacco, sweat and Old Spice.

        All ’em did just fine; both the lead and harmony work were on pitch, and they even started and ended together, an essential performance prerequisite.  As a tune rocks along, you can tangle it up some and get by, but if you wreck the ending people don’t forget it.  Marfar did extra good on the bass, and they let me sing one- it was a variety show, and I was sure enough that for them.    

        By the end of the show they indeed did have ’em all smiling.  My wife has some special way with elderly gentlemen- it never fails.  One of the seniors had been a bass player for Mac Wiseman on a swing through the Carolinas in the 50’s.  He dug my wife’s playing, and came up after the show to tell us a bunch of old tales.  Bluegrass people are about the same everywhere you go.

        That night we went to hear the River Band.  Somehow Sammy Shelton found out about Marfar and did a bar of Happy Birthday for her.  For those of y’all outside the bluegrass world, you just gotta hear Sammy- the cat rocks the banjo.  One thing even a lot of bluegrass people don’t know know is he is also a very fine electric Tele guitar man, and sits in with a number of country and rock bands when not on tour with the River Band.  (This is why he had to let his hair grow out so long.)  Neither a little rock ‘n roll or long hair bother the bluegrass crowd, though.  They are very tolerant people, especially if a man can pick like Sammy.

        Sunday we slept in (we had subs lined up for our church band gig) and ate cold pizza then went shopping first thing.  They had some fine specials out at the mall, and I got her the present I told you about- a GPS that talks to you.  It was her birthday present, but I figured it would save me some trouble down the bluegrass road.  You know men- they never want to stop and ask for directions!

        The whole thing inspired me enough to go be a doctor for another week.  Happy Birthday Weekend Ms. Marfar!

Dr. B

Explore posts in the same categories: Guitar-ed and Feathered, memorable gigs, mini-posts

16 Comments on “Marfar’s Birthday Weekend”

  1. banjobilly Says:

    Sammy still plays for the Lonesome River Band.

  2. drtombibey Says:

    Oh, you are thinking of Sammy Shelor. He does play for Lonesome River Band, and might be one of the top ten banjo players in the world.

    I believe they were in western N.C last night. Did you catch the show?

    Dr. B

  3. banjobilly Says:

    Yep. There were at the Old Rock School in Valdese. Rocked the house too. Sammy’s got a new band, the mando man is from Deetroit, and he can blister it.

  4. drtombibey Says:

    Thanks Billy. I’ll have to get out and see the new line-up. Haven’t seen their 2008 configuration yet, but it sounds like Sammy’s got it going on.

    Dr. B

  5. pandemonic Says:

    Sounds like a wonderful weekend. Happy belated birthday to Marfar!

  6. drtombibey Says:

    I guess she worries a little about another year, but she is just a young’un. I tell people I met her when I was a young doc, and she was a patient in the newborn nursery! ( In reality, I wasn’t quite that bad.)

    Thanks and will pass on the birthday best wishes.

    Dr. B

  7. Ted Lehmann Says:

    Isn’t Sammy Shelton shirt tail kin to James Allen Shelton, too? He may have picked some with your cousin six times removed on your mother’s side from Pecan Grove. I’ve never managed to see him, but I’d sure like to. Maybe I’d even buy a pair of his signature brass picks. – Ted

  8. drtombibey Says:

    That might be right. Sometimes I get ’em all mixed up. I like that Shelton Special too- I believe that was Alan (?Allen) Shelton. Or maybe I’m confused. At any rate, they are all good.

    Dr. B

  9. mrschili Says:

    Happy birthday, dear lady!

  10. drtombibey Says:

    Much thanks from Ms. Marfar, guys. As the byline says, “My advice: if you have a wife who plays music better stick with her. ” One of these days I’m gonna tell how she got into playing the big bass fiddle.

    And she is a dear- what that woman has put up with through the years- the doctor thing keeps all kinda crazy hours and there has been a wild assortment of bluegrass buddies, late night jam sessions and eccentric golf pals. Oh well, at least I’m a loyal old soul.

    Dr. B

  11. Lynn O'Carroll Says:

    Sounds like a wonderful weekend…a chick flick, a gig, and a day of shopping. Happy Birthday Marfar…many, many more.

  12. drtombibey Says:

    Ah, for those of you who don’t know, Lynn O’Carroll and her sidekick Myrd are the definition of nurse. The best anywhere, and both have worked with ole Dr. Bibey over a quarter of a century. (Hired them out of the same new born nursery where I found Ms. Marfar.)

    Dr. B

  13. Parson Bob Says:

    Birthday Weekend! What a great idea, and you had the timing down just right, even to Sunday morning’s cold pizza, always a gourmet feast. You all are on to something here…spreading the joy over more than just a couple of hours. The possibilities are endless, maybe even into doing segues directly from one celebration to another!

    But you’ve given me a great idea: Birthday Weekend! Thanks…

  14. drtombibey Says:

    I wish I could take the credit but this comes from the mindset of my Marfar. The woman knows how to celebrate. Dr. B

  15. sshay Says:

    Your story about how Marfar celebrates reminds me of my mom. She was the middle child in a family with 7 kids and born in 1931–fun times, I’ve been told. She had only one birthday party her entire life. (I heard that from her every year when I whined about something I wanted and didn’t get.)
    Mom married her high school sweetheart when she was 18 and he was 19, and together they had 6 kids.
    Although her growing up years were less than fabulous, Mom knew how to celebrate–especially Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years. She invited all the relatives and cooked for days, and we used real dishes. No paper plates.
    If it weren’t for people like Marfar and my mom, I’m afraid some celebrations would have died out a long time ago.

  16. drtombibey Says:

    Sure enough true. Christmas at our house wouda been a plastic Charlie Brown tree, some popcorn, a couple two liter Coca-Colas, and overall a very dull and lonely holiday.

    Dr. B

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