Things I think of while driving in my beloved Sierra Nevada Mountians; I got up at 4:30 AM this morning, my usual time fer old retired pipefitters who caint break the habit of gittin’ up early to go to work. Go figger! [ My ol pal Slim can vouch fer this habit I’ll bet!] I been retired fer 18 years December 1st and I’m STILL gittin’ up at 4:30! SOOOO, throw on my sweats, turn on the coffee, [HEY it makes REAL GOOD COWBOY COFFEE!] If they would have had coffee makers on the Chisholm Trail, THIS is the way it would have been did ! I will pit MY COFFEE MAKER COFFEE AGAINST ANYBODY’S, ANYTIME, ANYPLACE! Nuff said about that! Shave, shower, dress, check E MAIL, and fix a snack fer me and a friend visiting from the great Commonwealth of ‘ol Virginny. Far up the ‘ol truck and head fer the “High Country” of the Sierra’s, and the Carson valley of Nevada. We went through my very favoritest place on this earth which is Hope Valley, a high mountain valley on Hiway 88. Turned left on hiway 89 to Lake Tahoe fer a look see, then over Kingsbury grade down to the beautiful town of Genoa, Nevada, where we had a WONDERFUL bloody mary cocktail in the OLDEST bar in the state of Nevada, at the Genoa Bar. I must state that next to my friend Carl Pagter’s Bloody Mary’s, which he took at least 10 years to perfect his recipe, the bloody mary’s at the Genoa Bar are the bestest in the West! From there, we went to one of my very favoritest places to eat, JT’s Restaurant in Gardnerville, Nevada. A wonderful Basque restuarant that serves some of the VERY finest Basque cuisine in the west! Well, after a great steak sandwich, replete with a Picon Punch cocktail, Spumoni ice cream and coffee after lunch, we headed north to Carson City fer some souveniers fer family. It was jes about then that I realized that I was up fer the welcome message fer this Thursday! Right on time tonite,[ Wednesday evening ] my ol pal ‘Da Rick” Cornish called to remind me that I “was up” tomorrow AM. I assured the boy that I was on top of it and my friend and I had discussed jes what I was gonna write about earlier in the day. [ Actually I forgot about it, and I thanked “Da Rick” profusely fer callin’ to remind me] .
Back when I was in high school, I played Violin in the school orchestra all the way through high school. Yep, here I was, a great big ol’ 6 ft, 2 inch tall country boy that the football coach had bugged all of my school years, to knock my brains out playin’ football! All to NO avail, because I wasn’t a jock like all of my buddies, my interest was in music. Not only did I play in the orchestra, but I beat the BASS drum in the Pep Band at all of the football games.[ With ALL of my jock buddies girl friends! Ha ha ha ] Fun times fer a 17 year old country boy. NOW, here’s where the “country boy” part comes in. From the time that I was about 6 er 7 years old, I took music lessons on the fiddle [ Violin ], and learned to read music quite well. I also discovered early on, that if I heard a tune one time, I could play it by ear from then on. When I was in high school at Stockton College the orchestra had at least 50 to 55 pieces in the orchestra. It had a first violin and second violin section [ I was the second chair in the second section ] , a Viola section, Cello section, woodwind section, brass section, acoustic bass section, tympany section, etc., etc. to put it in short term’s, it was a HUGE orchestra fer a high school at that time. WELL, my pal Bob who was the first chair in our section could “sight read ” music at LIGHT SPEED, BUT, he couldn’t play ONE NOTE by ear! About 3 er 4 times a week, our instructor, a most wonderful man, Dr. Lucas Underwood who was educated in Germany, and a most gifted Cello, and Piano player would be explaining a certain passage to the Viola, or Cello section and my buddy Bob would ask me jes exactly HOW the ol Bob Wills tune “Faded Love” went again? Well, needless to say I’d play it fer him and almost immeadiately Dr. Underwood would say: VAT IS DAT I HEAR? MR.RHYNES! Is DAT YOU PLAYING DER “OKIE MUSIC” AGAIN? OUT,OUT,OUT< MIT YOU! GET OUT!, Soooo, I'd pack up my fiddle and leave the class, only to be met by "Doc" as we all called him the next day at class. He would call me to one side and say in the most loving of tone's; Mr.Rhynes, WHY do you play that coarse music, when you are such a GOOD violinist? You have such POTENTIAL to be a GREAT violinist! [ Doc's words ] My reply was always the same: Doc, Jes WHY do you love classical music? He always said that was what he was raised on and loved. Well I told him that country and Bluegrass music was in my blood and Genes, and that was what I was raised on too, and my people had been playing it for centuries jes like his people had. I know he "kinda" understood, BUT, he jes could not get past what he called "coarse music". I assured him if he would set down and listen to Bill pick the " far" out of Wheel Hoss, and TRY to play the licks that he could on the mandolin I'm sure he would gain a new appreciation of the "coarse music" that I and thousands of folks loved.`Dr. Underwood never did understand jes exactly WHY I loved the music I do, but we reached the agreement that the next time I played Faded Love fer Bob, I would do it in the hall where he couldn't hear it. In the remaining months of orchestra class, I only got kicked out about 6 er 7 times fer playing a Bob Wills tune, but "Doc" always had a smile on his face when he yelled at me; VAT IS DAT I HEAR?OUT,OUT, OUT, MIT YOU! Dr. Underwood and I remained the best of friends unil he passed some years ago. I learned a lot from him, and I'd like to think that I gave him a little understanding jes WHY I love the music I do to this day. He was one of the finest men I have ever had the privelege to know, and I caint wait fer Bill Monroe to pick Wheel Hoss fer him, so he'll know jes WHY this music of ours grabs you by the throat and wont let go! Hang on "Doc" yer in fer the ride of yer life! Watch that WHEEL HOSS BOY"S! <