January 26, 2017

The Blog Awakens

Seven years later…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. But family history (as a hobby) can be like that. You set it down for a while. Then something comes along to awaken the desire inside you. Or someone else picks up where you left off. In this instance it is the former.

In the intermittent time a lot has happened in mine but mostly my wife’s family. This past year her uncle passed away. He was a busy guy, always tinkering with this, fixing that, or fiddling with something else. He had a vast collection of antiques and musical instruments. When the family gathered after a memorial service, his widow gave almost everything away to people in the family who she knew would cherish each item. I was given a banjo.

Now, I’m not a musician but I do have an appreciation for bluegrass music. This banjo is in pristine, almost new condition. When I got it home, I caringly went over it to clean off the dust. I tuned it as best I knew how and then I gave the strings an inaugural pluck. It sang out with a beautiful twang. It was a wonderful sound, probably the first notes it played in years. I gathered information on when and where the uncle originally got the banjo (a gift from his father) and will keep it in an envelope in the case along with a picture of him playing it.

I have a lot of learning to do on the banjo. I never even planned on learning the banjo. But I can’t sell or give this beautiful instrument away. It was given to me with the understanding that I would appreciate it and keep it in the family. And I’m not one to just let it sit in the corner gathering dust. There is a pull that draws me to it. I have to learn it. I must learn it. I’m never going to be the next Earl Scruggs or Steve Martin. But I have to try.

As I prepare to also take up this genealogical journey once again, I have to wipe away the dust and tune my strings again. Every time I think I’m out, it pulls me back in. I might be a little rusty, but it’ll come back to me. One day I might set it down for my last time. But, like my banjo, I’m sure someone will pick it up again.

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