i love my banjo. it lives with me and smiles at me every time i walk into the kitchen. it vibrates and rings when edgar barks, singing along with his baritone. i once fantasized about playing. i bought the books. i took the lessons. i wore the fingerpicks. but my brain would not wrap around the complicated picking patterns and the chord patterns. my frustration was deep, and i had to let it go. i didn't want the cloud of frustration to mar my love. but the sound of a banjo that brings the mountain music into me is what i love even if i can't make it myself.
my banjo found me in new york state, somewhere between watertown and cooperstown. we were taking my grandmother to cooperstown where she had spent a summer when she was young.....one of her fondest memories of youth that she would talk of often. so we packed up the van and drove the 4 hours. and on the way, stopped to browse an antique market. and there sat my banjo. a man who specialized in old instruments had a wall of banjos. and mine called out to me. built the same year my grandma was born, 1903. a 5-string open back, made by morrison.