Friday, September 28, 2012

A duet for one

Take a deep, deep breath, Donna, and just do it. I just might hyperventilate. Crying is a real possibility. But I have to do it. He’d be really disappointed with me if I let those banjos sit in the corner gathering dust. So I printed the song lists that Mike and I used to play and I listened to digital recordings of some of our duets. I tuned one of the banjos and I started to play with the recorded version of him. I’m rusty, can’t play up to speed, but I’m starting to remember. I can almost hear him saying, “Okay, can you slide there, maybe add some more D noise?”
Last night I went to the Birchmere to see Stephen Wade, one of my absolute favorite banjo players. Our affection for Stephen Wade was just one of the things that Mike and I shared. If Mike were still alive, he would have been there with me. He would have ordered iced tea and pulled pork and he would have had that intense look that he got on his face when he got swept up in the music. I listened to Stephen Wade play, once again entranced with his crazy passion for the music, and thought about what music means to me, what music meant to Mike. I have to find a way to reclaim the music in my life. I have to play. And now I have to find a way to play without Mike playing with me. It’s going to be different without him, but tonight I started to figure it out, playing by myself, loving the music so much, trying not to cry.

And, yes, that's a photo of us playing on the 4th of July 2010. We were busking at the farmers market. Just look at all that cash in the banjo case. The crowd loved us. (Ha!)


  1. I love your stories about Mike. I miss him so much even though we didn't see each other very often....I just always new he was there. Keep your stories coming.....I love each and every one of them.

  2. Thank you, Susan--I'm sitting here right now playing along with him, doing a Dylan song, listening to your little brother's deep voice. Can't tell you how much I miss that man.

  3. Touching story, indeed. And I just love the picture ...

    1. Thank you. And it still makes me cry to hear him play.