Life Goes On

Some friends pulled a few strings and we were able to rent a house close to home while 6 Potomac Street is rebuilt.

The new place is just a short walk to a farm. They have horses and Chincoteauge ponies. I don’t have a camera anymore, but I will be strolling over with my harmonica to sing old cowboy songs to the livestock.

The fire was electrical. The flames went up the west wall of the house like a blast furnace. The heat was so great the entire attic flashed. We were lucky to get out alive.

Dear Old Dad’s 17-fret tenor with the painted head survived. I don’t know how. Everything around it was destroyed. Dad’s banjo is slightly crispy, but fine.

My rosewood harmonica, a Suzuki Pure Harp, also made it when some of my other harps either melted or warped from the heat. Needless to say, the Pure Harp is one heck of a harmonica.

Everything else besides a few small things is gone. The pants I am wearing are about four sizes too large. I don’t have a belt, so I am using the sash from my bathrobe Jethro Bodine style. It goes well with my slippers and Redskins stadium coat somebody gave me. I feel like Zoolander modeling Derelicte.

One of my Dobros came through with just smoke damage. Even if I got it cleaned up, my hands can’t handle the six-string anymore. It has been given anonymously to a kid who needs it. As much as I loved that guitar, sharing it brought as much joy as my years playing it. Once I’m back at Potomac Street, I’ll be giving the father and son lessons on my porch.

I looked at replacing my banjo. In just can’t do it. That part of my life has passed.

So, I’m changing directions to an instrument that will utilize all of my musical skills in different ways. Back to being a beginner again. I won’t say what the instrument is as you all would have questions that I do not wish to answer. After over twenty years of working for other people to play, I want to do this for myself. That’s why I don’t want donations. I just want to make some music with my dad. Once I have scrounged enough of my own money to cover it, I’ll give the luthier the go-ahead.

It will take a few months for the instrument to be built. During that time I’ll be singing to the horses.

Go make some music. We’re not exactly fine at the moment, but we’ve been through worse than this.

God bless, -Patrick