Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sand Crick and Cripple CrEEk

I'm wondering if  locals who have purchased Scott Wyatt's book are changing their tune when it comes to cricks and creeks.

Are they calling his recently released novel Beyond the Sand CRICK Bridge, or are they allowing their local tongues to call Sandpoint's "jewel" a CREEK?

Say that title out loud without thinking about it and see where you fit in the grand scheme of local vernacular.

As I think back on how the title has rolled off my tongue over the past couple of months, I think I've subconsciously abandoned my usual Sand Crick (a lifelong geographical influence for me) for the more "citified or Eastern-ized" Beyond the Sand CrEEk Bridge

Sorta like EEKonomics as opposed to home ECKonomics. 

I'm finding the same situation with my banjo playing.  

It's "Cripple CREEK."  I've never heard anyone refer to the longtime banjo favorite as "Cripple CRICK."  

That brings to mind that I've been plucking a lot of "Cripple CrEEk" lately, and ya know what:  it's starting to sound like a song.

Not everyone's version of "Cripple CREEK," mind you, but when I pluck the right strings and get my slides, pull-outs and hammers right, my version actually sounds hauntingly pretty. 

Fiddlin' Red told me the other day that I was "on the cusp" of finding true enjoyment with my banjo plucking.  

He also sternly instructed me that the banjo NEEDS to go on the road trip, suggesting that two weeks of idle fingers may cause me to regress in my musical skills. 

It didn't take much persuasion from Fiddlin' Red to convince me that taking my banjo along could be a lot of fun especially when we're driving by some crick out in the middle of nowhere and we need a break from Sirius radio.

Now, I don't know if Bill would agree with that, but I think it's a good idea.  

I'm throwing in a couple of lawn chairs, and, along with the pedal pushing for panty waists, I'm figuring sittin' beside a crick along the road playing my banjo from time to time could evoke some nice memories---or scare off the coyotes.

This weekend I have given a couple of "concerts," here at home and down at Life Care.  

On days when I don't take my banjo to Life Care and when my mother is alert, she'll ask, "When are ya going to bring your banjo?"

So, I tell her I'll try to do that.

On days when I bring my banjo, and start plucking, she falls almost instantaneously into a deep sleep.  

Still, I pluck away, and one time a week or so ago,  she did clearly announce with her eyes closed and her head propped to one side, "I can hear you!"  

Fortunate for me, she offered no commentary.

My mother is famous for her commentary, and let's just say she's brutally honest with her assessments.

Yesterday she slept through the whole concert, but I still attracted a crowd.  One lady came into the Life Care library and told me her mom played the banjo---had been doing it for 35 years. 

I quickly told her of my 6-week stint of lessons---just so she didn't get any ideas that I sure was bad on my banjo.

Later, another elderly gentleman wheeled himself in the door, saying, "I thought I heard a 5-string banjo."  

Then, he told me how he had played the base fiddle.  He also mentioned a Keith Carter and his wife who used to play at Hurschel's Litehouse.

To which I said, "Well, that sure proves you've been around here for a while."  

I doubt that the majority of our current population would have a clue about Hurschel's Litehouse (precursor to Hawkins family involvement and Litehouse, Inc.). 

The gentleman said he was a Doverite by the name of Shaffer. 

So,  I asked him about a few Doverites that I knew and the only one that stood out was GEORGE Eskridge.  When I heard that, I felt assured that he, indeed, had some firmly planted local roots AND that he probably calls the jewel of next door Sandpoint "Sand Crick."  

Anyway, if ya can't tell, I'm having fun with my banjo, and even if my plucking sounds more like "Cripple Crick" than "Cripple Creek," I'm happy. 

For all those who are downright sick of my repetitive hero worship, DO NOT read further.  

For all others filled with Gonzaga giddiness, please stand up, kick your heels together and clap out loud.

ZAGS:  25-2   It's a good morning in Zagville.   Happy Sunday. 

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