Brownie Scott might look like a kid, but make no mistake, the child is an expert on the subject of five string banjos. She not only plays as well as any man alive, but her knowledge of prewar Mastertone banjos rivals Jim Mills. I know this is true because I have consulted sources that range from a PhD in education, an aeronautics engineer, and a world-renowned honest five string banjo lawyer. They all confirm the bluegrass truth; Brownie Scott knows banjos.
Brownie is world-famous all throughout Harvey County. You’ve seen her play somewhere. Her Daddy nick-named her as soon as he looked into her eyes, which were a doe-like deep fawn-ish hue right from birth. She’s only 5’3″ and maybe 105 pounds, a regular pixie, but a determined young’un. When she was in Little League she’d run right through the outfield wall to catch a fly ball. There was no give up in the child.
No boy ever complained about a girl on their team after Brownie Scott came along. She was the lead off hitter for the Harvey Jr. High Mad Hornets every year. Brownie could throw, hit, and bunt with the best of ‘em, and those skinny legs could run like a middle school Bambi. She’d steal second almost every time she got on base which was often.
But most of all Brownie could play the banjo. She was the most requested sideman in the history of home. Most of the guys who picked music with her were middle-aged men who chewed tobacco and wore Red Camel overalls. One time some fool tried to hit on her, and Snookers Molesby knocked him out cold. When he came to he said, “What made you go and do that, Snook?”
Snookers said, “I was trying to save your life, ’cause that little girl mighta killed ya, and if she’d decided to spare you every man in Harvey County would have anyway.”
Brownie went on to Belmont, then to Yale, where she earned a business degree. Now she tours the world. She and her husband own a recording studio; he’s a fine mandolinist and a good friend of mine. They have three children, two are dark-haired like her and one is more tow-headed and favors his Daddy.
Brownie was one of the messengers in “Acquisition Syndrome.” Of course the highfalutin’ never suspected her at all. They made an oft-repeated error in history; the under-estimation of country people. It is one thing to under-estimate a country doctor, but better think twice about a young lady who found a way to conquer the banjo world, ’cause that’s a tough ticket.
I’m still learning about Brownie, but more will follow as I sift through the back-story for “Acquisition Syndrome.”