Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Shendandoah in my top desk drawer -- jcarolek

Yesterday afternoon I was looking for some things. I had lost track of a DVD recorded of a concert we gave a couple of years ago....I wanted to find it, to listen/watch it. So, I was on a hunt. In my top desk drawer in my office, I found a LOT of interesting items. There were the usual -- paper clips, pens, pencils, free AOL discs, stick-it memo pads, a single shoelace......

And no DVD.

Just as I was about to move on to my NEXT hunting ground, I spied something lying quietly at the very back corner of this wide and deep, but shallow, desk drawer. My old Hohner harmonica was nuzzled snuggly against the left and back sides of this "holder of odd items." Ahha! I had a FIND....my DVD quickly forgotten for the moment, I snatched up my old harmonica, put it to my mouth (yeah, 40 years of cooties, to be sure) and blew.

I honestly had no idea what song would come out of my mouth through the grid of tones that is the harmonica....I know it has been more than ten years since I last "discovered" it! But, no, matter, like a bicycle, you just get on and ride, confident that the old skills will be there and not let you down....and from the recesses of memory and moving of the spirit, came the strains of Oh, Shenandoah....and I played.

From there I played several others, marveling at how the old rusty, beat up harmonica could still bring me such joy. I was ten years old the afternoon I sat out on the little balcony outside my bedroom window in England and put that harmonica to my lips for the first sincere time. I was determined to learn to play like my father played....I can be honest in admitting I never achieved his skill on this simple instrument, but I, as with most musical instruments I picked up, was able to sufficiently amuse myself.

And here, nearly 40 years later, I am returned to that balcony over the garage, the one that holds so many memories for me, with the simple strains of a familiar tune on an old Hohner.

And I had to smile when I came downstairs and John asked me whether that was me playing upstairs...um, yeah.....he said he thought it was on he computer! LOL I guess he thought I was watching some kind of old hillbilly thing....little does he know....the hillbilly is just a part of me!

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