Friday, February 24, 2017

Precious Memories

Today is a day of reminiscing and the fact that a childhood song keeps coming to mind does not help. One of my all time favorites is "Take My Hand Precious Lord". Our family simply loved gospel music. Dottie Rambo, W. Elmo Mercer, and the Chuck Wagon Gang were staples in her home. My father's parents and his sister were our closest neighbors on Koppick Knob. Dad's sister, Aunt Dot, could play the piano and better yet the mobile accordion. We could take it everywhere and have music. When she was younger, a group of musicians asked that she tour with them, but her parents refused to let her go. For those of you that don't know what an accordion is, google it. It is a wonderful thing that looks difficult to play, but Aunt Dot could play that machine like nobody else. That is probably because nobody else was allowed to touch it. We often gathered around the family piano and would sing until the late hours of the night. One day Aunt Dot decided she was going to figure out ,as we say in the South, what voice range or voice part my cousin Angie and I were. We were probably only 4 years old at the time. This was too young to really know, but she was determined that we would harmonize when we sang. I already knew that I could not hit the high note like Angie or my mother, so I was not thrilled. I wanted to be outside playing. Angie went up that scale like an angel and then it was my turn. I decided if I couldn't hit the note, I should simply just belt it out as loud as possible. Wrong decision. The look on Aunt Dot's face when I hit the note of high C, made me realize that whatever I did it hadn't been pretty. She did keep her composure and said Angie would be the lead part or soprano, I would be the alto, and she would be the tenor. Angie looked in horror and said she hope Alto had lower notes or she would have to wear ear plugs. Aunt Dot work diligently with us and I did learn harmony. I also learn quite a few gospel songs which we still sing today. Some of the next generation took it a step further and actually majored in music in college and have higher degrees in the art. I loved to think that a Little Great Aunt in the Appalachian mountains had some influence on that decision. So when we do have a family reunion, I can always hear that three part harmony that I learned as a child and I always request that we sing,"Take my Hand, Precious Lord". Now that I am older and life is so precious, I typically can't stop the tears from flowing when we sing that song. However, when I look around at my family I see that I am not along and my entire family will be singing with tears flowing. Love those memories. The little things we do together are the best. Singing and Hiking are two of my favorites.

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