No kid in my family, or the generation before mine, took music lessons. But we had the music in us. I know, because if Daddy was with us, there would be music wherever we went.
He didn’t need to haul around a guitar, a banjo, or even a pair of bongo drums. He was the musical instrument. Yes, you read that right.
Mom grew up on the West Coast. Dad was born and raised in West Tennessee, so we traveled back and forth across country many times. He always had the radio on. He’d listen to it all–hillbilly, cowboy country, rock-n-roll, or preachin’. But during those times when radio was not available, he made his own music.
He was not singing. There were no words to his music. Literally.
Daddy played the nose trumpet, the mouth harp, the pec drums, the ab drums–you get the picture? He also played the harmonica, but not as often. And once, when I was ten, I saw him strum an electric guitar.
Oh, this man was talented. He had rhythm. He was right on key, and his nose trumpet was to be envied. His audience adored him. We laughed till we cried and sometimes had to beg for a potty break along the way.
Mom was a little less enthralled by his grand abilities. When she wouldn’t laugh at his concerts, he’d make his pecs dance. Guaranteed giggles, especially from the peanut gallery.
Where did he develop these wondrous talents? We’re not really sure, but he definitely honed them in the Navy. I guess they had a lot of down time on board ship and had to learn to entertain themselves. And he was guaranteed a captive audience.
It’s not really something he passed on to the next generation. I don’t think either of my brothers inherited this talent. But in my mind and heart, I can still hear Daddy playing his music. The memory always makes me smile. And I really believe that was the purpose of his one-man concert.
“All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15 NKJV