Kid’s Camp; Strawberry Park and The Journey of The People’s Mandolin
“Is there an age limit for the kids in this class?”
One child rolled his eyes. The director looked my way. “Have a seat, Doc.”
I wish you could see all these young children at the kid’s camp here. They are instructed by seasoned acoustic musicians whose only reward is the satisfaction to be a part of passing it on. Saturday the kids learned a bluegrass number, a gospel song, and a fiddle tune. I thought back to when I learned to play. I sure did scratch up a bunch of records.
They even taught me one I didn’t know, “Hull’s Victory.” It’s a traditional number from 1702, so I guess it was a couple of years before my time. I quoted Sam Bush to the kids. “You can learn something from every mandolin player you meet.” I appreciate you guys showing me this one.
I met Isabelle, the child who is gonna have the “Traveling Mandolin” for a month, and also her parents. The kids are gonna play today right after Darin and Brooke Aldridge’s set. Isabelle will be given the mandolin at that time.
I brought my kids up in the music and they still play. I wanted to give them a gift that would last a lifetime. These kid’s folks feel the same way. The only difference is they have the good sense to be more organized about it. Mine learned in jam sessions with middle-aged men who chewed tobacco and went outside to drink some kinda near lighter fluid-like shine stashed in the bed of a pick-up truck. It was no kinda way to raise a little girl but she came out fine in spite of it all, as did my boy.
A lot of folks here at Strawberry Park signed my proof copy. Zach of the Farewell Drifters picked it up and looked at the cover. He leaned over the table and flashed a grin. “Honest Lawyers?….”
I laughed. “You bluegrass young’uns are always smart. My agent said it was imperative I show conflict on the cover and here you picked up on it with one look.” I’d spent a half day worried over the subtitle of the “Mandolin Case” before I opted for “Country Doctors, Honest Lawyers, and True Music,” and this young man had a read on it in fifteen seconds. Oh well, everyone in bluegrass knows how quick these kids are coming up behind us. We’re very proud of ’em all.
The proof copy of “The Mandolin Case” has been given the green light, and the presses will roll Monday AM. Also my web site is due up any day, and I’ll post about that as soon as it is operational.
As the project approaches release, I have to admit to a little apprehension. I hope it makes bluegrass proud; they have always done right by me. If y’all spot a typo let me know and I’ll correct it. It’s hard to get a perfect cut on the first take, but we all gotta keep trying.
Dr. BJourney of The People's Mandolin, Writing
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