Doggone It, He’s Playing WHAT???

My Dearly Beloved is a music junkie.  When he takes a walk or does any work outside, his ears are always clogged with ear buds.  He can be standing only a few feet away, but  I am unable to get his attention, short of tackling him.   I try not to complain, since this is progress of a sort.  He used to walk around with the music of Dire Straits emanating from the pocket of his shorts.

He does have musical talent in that he can identify ‘most any song from the 50’s and 60’s and tell you who sang it and what year it was released.  He still has his shag dance moves, including the double back Suzy.  But as for making music?   Um… no.

He “whistles,” but there is not a hint of a melody there.  The man can whistle sharp and flat–on the same note.   It’s scary.

Since retiring, he has been adding to his lists of activities, determined not to be Earl in the Pickles comic strip, at least not on a daily basis.  About three weeks ago, much to my surprise, he left for the hardware store and came home with an instrument from the music store in the same shopping center.

That was right as I was packing to go to Birmingham to convene with my knitting/e-mail friends for a few days.  DB would stay here with our girl Scout, the wonder dog, who sticks to him like velcro.  He planned to practice his new instrument.

So, when I left for Alabama, he had a banjo on his knee.  104242697 - Version 2

(Why yes, Susanna,  I DID have to say that.  )

He e-mailed that things weren’t going as planned.  Whenever he played, Scout would leave the room.  The dog that accompanies him everywhere— the garage, the kitchen, the bathroom–the dog that goes to bed when he does–vanishes when he starts playing that banjo.


Image 6

The main isn’t Earl Scruggs, but I don’t find his banjo practicing nearly as bad as his whistling.   Scout apparently feels differently.  Perhaps she is banjo-phobic?  DB was truly dismayed.






On my way back from Alabama, I stopped in Atlanta and picked up Granddog Ivy, our granddog golden doodle.  Her peeps had a lot planned in the coming weeks, so we decided that Ivy could come stay at Camp Granddad.

She and our girl Scout are real pals, romping in the yard or wrestling in the house.  They love being together–except during banjo practice.  When DB sounds the first chord, Scout leaves the room.  Ivy, however,  immediately goes and sits beside DB, watching him and listening intently to every note.









She stays with him during his entire practice session, while Scout makes herself scarce.

It IS  strange because except for the banjo music, the two are inseparable.  Really.  Inseparable.

Image 14

This morning, DB said that for the first time, Scout stayed in the room during his practice. He was delighted to play for both dogs.

“Do you think I’m playing better?” he asked.

Yes, definitely. . . because you’re playing SOFTER.

At this rate of progress, I may be able to remove the earbuds from my own ears pretty soon.

What is the least often heard sentence in the English language? That would be: Say, isn’t that the banjo player’s Porsche parked outside?
– – – – – – Jackson Browne


7 thoughts on “Doggone It, He’s Playing WHAT???

  1. NCMountainwoman

    Kudos to DB! Better watch out…it’s said that learning a new musical instrument really sharpens the mind. My own dearly beloved is so tone deaf the children used to fight over who had to sit next to him in church. And unlike DB, mine has no sense of rhythm at all. Can’t clap in time to the music.

    Loved the photograph of Scout covering her ears!

  2. If I had a bucket list, learning to play the banjo would be on it. My Dad took banjo lessons when I was taking guitar lessons in high school. We attempted one duet. One. I don’t think he continued his lessons for much longer.

  3. Arkansas Patti

    Love to watch the “shag” dance. Coolest dance there is. Any man who can shag should get some leeway with the banjo.
    Cracked up at Scout’s reaction.

  4. Both dogs have excellent taste, so what if it goes in opposing directions.
    I also think you should make an effort to support your man – I have the feeling that no one else will for the moment.

    Can I borrow his memory for occasional flashbacks into ‘early music’?

  5. My brother-in-law is fond of saying, “you have to do something.” Perhaps, Ivy has explained to Scout loyally extends to Banjo playing. Strumming on the old Banjo….

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