“The Mandolin Case” Proof Copy at Strawberry Park
Today I got the proof copy of “The Mandolin Case.” We took it to a picnic table to open the box. Mafar and Ted Lehmann took pictures and signed it, as did Irene. By happenstance, Junior Sisk was standing nearby. I’ve known Junior a long time. He’s from Southern Virginia, down near my way. A great singer, Junior is a veteran of the bluegrass road who is well-known as a man who “rides well.” (A good person to travel with)
As I held the book and looked over the cover, I couldn’t help but reminisce. Indie woulda been proud. I promised him I’d finish it and I did.
I asked Junior to sign it. “I hope in some small way this will be good for bluegrass.”
“I believe it will, Doc.”
Ted called over a couple of ladies I did now know and introduced them to me. Libby read the first few pages. “Well, I’d buy it based on the Author’s Note alone. I love the story telling.”
“Thank you, ma’am.” Man, this was humbling. She signed the proof.
She passed it to Lisa. (I found out later she’s been connected to the famous Grey Fox Festival for a long time) Lisa read a bit, then smiled and also signed it. She inscribed it with the words…”beautiful understanding of the healing power of music.”
I was moved to tears. Ten years of work went into the project, and this lady understood in the first five minutes I met her. Music does have the power to heal. She has to be true bluegrass.
Ted took us on a tour of Strawberry Park and introduced me to all sorts of new folks. I’ve got a notion this was the New England bluegrass royalty. I showed my mandolin to one fellow and he picked out some fine Monroe licks.
I’ve spent my whole life as a country doctor and seldom have ventured more than a few hundred miles from home. Of course I knew folks from the North could play. Gris was born in New Jersey and picked a bunch of bluegrass in New York. A lot people from up North tour through N.C. But I’ve never gotten a chance to jam with them like I will here.
I can tell you one thing for sure. To play good bluegrass it has to be clean, quick, and played with precision. That how they talk up here, so I’m gonna go warm up. I got a notion this is gonna be a serious jam session.