Alone and Blue/Hector Brown
Tim O’Brien used to do a song in his ‘Hot Rize’ days called ‘Hector Brown.’ It is the bluegrass statement on ‘lives of quiet desperation.’ The chorus goes, “if you don’t think an old man can be alone and blue…let me tell you my friend, he’s just like you.”
Believe it or not here in Harvey County we still make a few house calls. There are a lot of little old folks who live just like Hector Brown in the song.
There was one old fellow I used to see who loved for me to bring my mandolin. If you are one of those hard-hearted insurance kinda guys don’t worry; I didn’t send in a bill. In fact, at times I’d thumb through the code book and say, “Hey Bill; what kinda ICD-9 code you reckon the government would take for mandolin picking and watching ‘Bonanza’ re-runs?”
He was confined to bed from a stroke and could barely talk, but he’d always laugh his a^^ off. Bill was a Hector Brown kind of guy, but he endured it all with dignity. I like to believe I helped some.
When I age out of the Doctor gig that’s how I am gonna spend my time. I’ll go out to the house of folks like Bill, take a plate of chicken and my mandolin, and see if I can make their day better. By professional mandolin standards I am an average player at best, but so far no one has complained.
I’ll get back to my tour schedule next week. I’m tired and need to recharge. I wanted y’all to think about the folks confined to home. When you get down to the bottom line, I think that is why I play mandolin more than anything else. I’m gonna play some this weekend. Who knows, maybe it’ll be a bright spot for some soul like Hector Brown.
Tags: bluegrass musicYou can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.