Van, the Mandolin Man

When I was a little girl I remember daddy buying one of our first pieces of furniture (I say that with a smile, not sure how mom felt about that)…a blonde Fender Guitar and Amp. From that time on he was hooked. He would practice all the time, and over the years he eventually traded his electric guitar in for a mandolin, not that he stopped playing the guitar entirely but the mandolin became ‘his’ instrument of choice. He began playing with some country fella’s in California but it seemed ‘bluegrass’ was what he really loved. I remember some fellas and a couple of gals, gathering around mama and daddy’s small living room when they lived in California; banjo, mandolin, bass fiddle, acoustic guitar and fiddle all joining in the fun. He traveled the circuit and played as often as he could at different events and venues around the surrounding areas.

When my folks decided to return to Arkansas, after living in California for over 50 odd years (mama called it their last ‘big’ adventure), daddy had no trouble finding others to play bluegrass with. His younger brother, Billy, played bluegrass as well, and one thing led to another and soon daddy was off and running. I wish I knew this song they are playing, but suffice it to say we all had a great time that night, and the highlight for me, was of course my mandolin playing ‘pappy.’ My sister once said to me, (both of us having no appreciation for bluegrass or country much when we were growing up), “Listening to daddy play bluegrass is kinda of like having a spiritual experience.” I’m not sure about that, but I got what she meant as only sisters can and do.


My precious mother passed on May 21, 2015. My last entry about her on Blogger was taken about a year before she passed. There is so much more to the story but this was where we were at, at that time. I sure do miss her and love her. Love my daddy too, he’s no spring chicken, but he’s busier than most youngins’ these days. Mama had Alzheimers, and this link to the blog is just part of the journey.  I love the pictures I posted too, and will probably rewrite and transfer that blog on here at another time. <a href=”


Not the greatest quality picture, but this was my mama at her best. She had the most beautiful smile, graceful hands and ways about her. In her younger days she was a bit of a tomboy, but you sure couldn’t tell in her latter years.  Daddy and Mama grew very close the last few years of her life. I would say they ‘fell in love’ all over again but it was a deep, compassionate love. Daddy would say, after she passed, ” I think I needed her, more than she needed me.”




The Door

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Deep in my heart of hearts there is a room with a special door, that oft’ these days I choose to open, full of precious memories.

Precious memories, unseen angels,
Sent from somewhere to my soul.
How they linger, ever near me,
And the sacred past unfolds.

Precious memories how they linger,
How they ever flood my soul.
In the stillness, of the midnight.
Precious sacred scenes unfold. Continue reading