I Heart the Banjo: Hillbilly Tang Really Melts My Butter

crazy_banjo_player I am a sucker for the banjo. That hillbilly tang really melts my butter. I even floated up the aisle with my father on my wedding day accompanied by a banjo solo. Did you know that banjo players spend half their lives tuning and the other half playing out of tune?

Saint Peter up in Heaven, wanting the new arrivals to feel at home, promised to spend some quality time with each one. He asked his first arrival of the day, “Hi! What’s your IQ?”

“150,” he said.

“Great,” said Peter, as he showed the man in, “we should get together tomorrow and discuss the Theory of Relativity for a while.” He asked the next person, “What’s your IQ?”

“120,” she said.

“Fine, fine,” said Peter, “I’d love to take some time with you Wednesday to discuss current world politics.”

To the third person, he asked, “What’s your IQ?”

“42,” drawled the fellow.

“Fantastic!” cried Peter, “I’ve been looking for years for somebody who could help me with a banjo solo!

I’m just getting warmed up. That makes me slap my knee and guffaw every time.

I remember going to the North Idaho Bluegrass Festival 30 years ago and knowing that I had found my people. I enjoyed every second.  That great enjoyment was a function of the overall ambience, good folks, good weather, the outdoors location and even the smells and visuals as the “guy in the all-deerskin outfit.”                  hqdefault

Old-timie music makes me cheerful. I had a thing for Pa on Little House on the Prairie. Sometimes in the evening after supper and chores, he would take his fiddle down from the mantel and bow a song or two with a button or two unbuttoned on his plaid, work shirt. Made my little heart race.

Anytime I’m stressed at the parlour I crank up John Denver’s “Thank God I’m A Country Boy” and dance around in three minutes of undisturbed pleasure. In fact I’m looking for it right now – and it’s gone! Borrowed by someone who needs country comfort? Stolen by a lad or lass whose sensibilities I am offending? I will pass no judgment.  Please, whoever had the sticky fingers, shove it in the mailbox or tape it to my side door.

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