GRAND Magazine - September/October 2008 - (Page 62)

inspirations Grandpa’s violin By Linda L. OsmundsOn B The music of memory ecause my parenTs divOrced, in 1947, I learned to dance to my grandpa’s violin. Daddy walked out, never to return home again, when I was in second grade. My mother gave up our little house by the railroad tracks and moved us to Grandpa’s farm outside the small town of Mesquite, Texas. In the evenings, Grandpa, tired after a long day of laying bricks for houses, always got out his tractor and plowed his few acres. I rode along. He taught me to hoe corn beneath an orange sunset. Most nights Grandpa sat beside a dim light and read his western paperbacks. Sometimes he entertained us. His dentures hurt, so he never wore them. He’d roll his lips off his toothless gums, then scratch his ribs and hop around like a monkey. Or he played his violin, harmonica and the mandolin he didn’t like. I only knew him to be a poor, tanned, wrinkled, toothless, hardworking man who drove a clunky old truck, loved to read, fiddle country music and play with my brother and me. But in his younger life Grandpa had practiced law and built bridges in Florida; he said he’d lived in big houses and driven new cars. After he lost everything in the Depression, he moved the family to Tennessee; and later, he’d followed my mother to Texas. The Depression didn’t affect Grandpa’s love of music. My mother says, “He always had a harmonica in his pocket.” He and a few other musicians would play western music at a local hall within walking distance of his house. One night when I was 11, I leaned against a post in the hall, tapped my foot and watched Grandpa play his fiddle. One of Grandpa’s friends offered to teach me to waltz. The man twirled me—One-two-three, One-two-three, One-two-three—while Grandpa played the “Tennessee Waltz.” Years later, when Grandpa passed away, I inherited his violin. I created a decoration and hung it on a wall, where it collected dust. I hung the violin on the wall, a decoration that gathered dust. Then, last year, I learned that my granddaughter had outgrown her student violin. At 9, she’d skipped the intermediate size and needed a full size. “I’ll have my grandpa’s violin refurbished,” I told my son, “and give it to her on one condition—it stays within our family even if she quits playing.” I took the instrument to a repair shop. When I returned for it, the owner tuned it and played it. My eyes filled with tears. “Sorry,” I said. “I haven’t heard that violin since my grandpa played it and I learned to dance.” I closed my eyes and pictured Grandpa on a chair, fiddlin’ away in the hall down the country road from the farm. I was 11 again, and I danced while Grandpa played the “Tennessee Waltz.” One-two-three, One-two-three, One-two-three. G 62 GRAND SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - September/October 2008

Grand Magazine- September/October 2008
Grand View:Priceless
Isn't it Grand?: Picture Perfect
Winners!: GRANDparent of the Year
Grand Central
Toddler Town:Grand-proofing
Ask Grand:Two Tired
Tips on Teens: The Bar Mitzvah Trips
Just So We Know:BPA Not Our BFF
Full House-Full Heart-Full Time:Confessions of a Backyard Grand
Grandbloggers: It Takes a Village
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
Family Food = Fun
On the Cover: Nora Roberts A Fine Romance
Everything Was Fine Until You Showed Up
Happy Big Sister Day
Looking Grand:Elementary, My Dear
All in the Family:Pasta, Present and Future
Inspirations:Grandpa's Violin
Grand Bazaar
More to the Story
Grand Finale:Long Ago Under the Sun

GRAND Magazine - September/October 2008