Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Piano

What a day it was, when they moved that upright piano into the livingroom of the farmhouse. At the age of about fourteen, I don't recall any previous discussion about such an extravagant purchase, but there it was! Singing and music was always a part of our family gatherings. We would gather around and my Aunts & Uncles would bring out the guitars, accordian, harmonica and now we had a piano!
After every meal, I would leave the table quickly and go figure out tunes and diddle around on the keys till I was summoned back to the kitchen to help with the dishes. Playing by ear came naturally, and soon I taught myself to read notes. Many times I would try to play through the hymnbook and imagine myself as church pianist.
I wanted to take piano lessons more than anything, and yet this did not seem to be a priorty at that time.
However, I did become the church pianist and did quite well for many years. However, I was in real trouble if I was called upon to play something I was not familiar with, or if the key signature had more than 2 sharps. (flats were no problem) Also I could not figure out the timing of a new song and this made for some extremely embarrassing situations.
this summer, we took a trip to a Gospel Music Convention. What a smorgasbord feast of singing and music that was! The Saturday matinee featured a "Pianorama". Four large grand pianos on stage and four of the most talented pianists I have ever heard let loose. How I wished I could have learned to play like that.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Twelve year old Jake and his younger pal, Tyler, were just trying out their slingshots, shooting small rocks at fence posts and trees. The long farmyard driveway was lined with beautiful walnut trees so they began picking the green walnuts off the trees and found that they were better, smoother amunition than having to find suitable stones. What could be more fun than shooting at moving targets, so they hid behind trees and aimed towards the road at passing vehicles.

My brother, Dave, had just delivered some heavy implements to a farm down the road, when a shocking bang hit the windshield, cracking the glass. He stopped to investigate the damage and looked around to see where the rock could have come from. The BEEP,BEEP,BEEP sounded loudly as he backed up the big rig to two opposite driveways.

He walked onto the right hand yard, where a gentleman was mowing his lawn. After a short conversation they ascertained that there was no way that he could have caused the damage. When Dave was about to climb back into his truck he noticed a whole lot of walnuts strewn beside the road. ah ha.
As he walked down the driveway of the left farm yard, the trees told him that he was onto something. Nearing the house, evidence verified that this could be where the shot had come from. There was no answer at the door, but he could sense that someone was hiding somewhere, so he searched behind buildings and in sheds finding no one and found out later, that they had run for cover in the back forty. They knew they were in trouble!

Upon arriving home, he phoned Bob, a policeman friend, saying, "I have a hunch that some young kids are shooting walnuts at cars, and have no idea what damage they can cause."
He gave him the address of the place and after a few days, the policeman made a call to the farmhouse. After some questioning the young culprits were coerced into admitting their guilt.

Bob phoned Dave and asked, "Do you want to press charges?" Dave replied "No, but I want them to pay the $300 deductible and I want to talk to them personally."

The wise parents insisted that the boys pay their debt from their own allowance, so when Dave arrived at the house, they counted out their hard earned money in five & ten dollar bills and sheepishly handed them over to him.

Then Dave took the two aside and said, "I could have let this little incident pass and my company could have easily paid for the windshield, but then you would have got away with doing something that could cause an accident or serious harm to someone. You two guys are very lucky to have parents who are teaching you to take responsibility for the consequences of your actions. and I want you to remember this."

With a pat and a handshake, he left two very relieved, shaking young lads with a lesson they will never forget.

What a wise brother I have! He may have just saved two young fellows from a life of crime!