February 22, 2015;
Bob the Harmonica Player
By Liss Jones
For those of you that followed me when I was writing for THE LEVISA LAZER, on a weekly basis, know that my “bestest” buddy Bob “Neller” New and I were into most things that most kids of that period of time were into.
Except Bob and I sorta pushed the limits a little…but we had loads of fun, clean fun doing those things. You will also recall that we sometimes fancied ourselves as musicians, especially Bob and his musical instruments. We even formed a duo musical group, The Highbottom Roving Singers. We would roam The Bottom singing “The Streets of Laredo.” We sang to whomever would listen for practically nothing…well the fact is…we did not make any money whatsoever…so we disbanded after ½ day of roving.
Bob tried playing the guitar…and got pretty good at it…to the untrained musical ear, that is. Tiring of that instrument…Bob decided that he wanted to try the harmonica. So off he goes in search of the perfect harmonica.
After a few days or even a week, I stepped out our back door and I hear this whining sound, coming from across the open field between our house and the New house…then it hit me…Bob had a harmonica. Off I go to see it. The closer I got the more it sounded like someone wheezing in and wheezing out.
At the New house, sure enough Bob had a brand new, shiny harmonica…it really looked expensive…and I’ll bet he paid at least 50 cents for it. Little did I know that for the next few months…no matter where we went, night or day, walking or riding or sitting around, under Mr. New’s whitewashed maple trees or at George Adkins General store the not so mellow sounds would emit from that, now annoying harmonica…We, the boys of The Bottom did get some relief, for about two weeks when Ole Bob developed a raw tongue from playing that not so sweet sounding harmonica. Soon Bob was back at it…liking Bob the way we did…we decided to endure it…although we NEVER asked Bob to play something on THAT harmonica.
After a time, the harmonica was history…don’t know where it went…but in all honestly, we were sorta happy for its demise nor did we volunteer to look for it and sorta discouraged Bob from looking for it also!
You know, like most folks that sit around and reflect on their childhood and the memories created during childhood…life couldn’t have been any better, than it was back then…but the kids of The Bottom were the luckiest ones, for having grown in a closely knitted, loving place…….in THE BOTTOM.
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