Re: Merry Christmas - The Lost Harp

"Jack Ely" wrote:

I remember my first harmonica, it was a Marine Band 364 (I know now, 
though I didn't know at the time).  I was frustrated by it at age 9 
or so when I got it in my Christmas stocking and found that I 
couldn't play it.  So in the dresser drawer it sat, until one day 
around age 14 a friend at school showed up with his new Blues Harp.  
He couldn't play that either, so we traded, the 364 for the Blues 
Harp.  Then I took a trip to a music store that changed my life.  A 
guy who worked there, who became a friend for life, told me about 
cross position, and showed me how to bend a note, or, more correctly, 
showed me that a note could be bent on that very same harmonica.  So 
it wasn't the harmonica, it was me!  Home I went to spend hours 
working at reproducing that bend (see the thread on dedication, 
sacrifice, and the availability of free time).  Soon I was back in 
the music store, asking about common keys, converting to cross 
position and buying more harps.  By 16 I was playing in a band, and 
at 18 I was thinking about a career in music, though I abandoned that 
in favor of something at which I could actually make a living.  

Thirty-two years later, I still carry a harmonica in my pocket all 
the time (drives my long-suffering wife crazy), and I practice ever 
second I get that my hands and mouth are free (again, see the thread 
on dedication, sarifice and the availability of free time).  My love 
for the instrument hasn't waned, and I still plan to someday have 
a "career" in music (though it will more likely be in retirement).  I 
am convinced that there's a harmonica fairie that puts harmonicas 
into the dresser drawers of young children to see who'll "get it" and 
who won't.  

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen and Gentlewomen, let nothing you dismay,

- -tim

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