Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Getting in Tune, Part 2

A small coda to my previous  post:

 Music was the primary thing that Daddy and I had in common.  While there is a bit of musical ability on my maternal side, the real musical genes came down through my Grandmother Ivy.  She was the eldest in the William Henry Frankum family, which collectively was double, maybe triple, dipped in musical talent.  They could all play something - fiddle, guitar, piano - and most of them and their descendants did and continue to sing and make music at every opportunity.

The older I got, the less that Daddy and I had to talk about, but there was always music.  (And, to a lesser extent, Westerns.  We both liked reading Louis L'Amour westerns and watching John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies.)  We just did not have a lot of common interest and he was frankly baffled at the fact that both his children ended up working with computers, something that had him completely buffaloed.

So while other folks may fondly remember playing a game of catch in the side yard with their fathers or going to ball games or rebuilding engines or what-not, the thing I remember fondly are the Sunday nights we would go over to the church early and spend an hour playing hymns together before services.  We would switch around, one of us on the piano and the other on the Hammond organ.  He could play by ear and I could only play by note, so I would start something and he would join in and we would make our way through whatever hymnal I had at hand.  I learned a lot of old songs that way, some of them wonderful songs that have sadly faded into obscurity.

I inherited other things from my father - primarily half of my ability to write and a sad inability to understand math - but the love of music and the ability to make music definitely came from him.

Buddy Wilcoxen, tickling the ivories in the 1950s
At Aunt O's house, with me already getting ideas of collaboration,
Mother holding David in the background

Aunt O (Ora Lamb), my grandmother's sister,
playing their father's fiddle, 2003
Little brother on the guitar, left, and cousin Dean Frankum on fiddle


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