Now we play old time and bluegrass music. I play 6 or 7 instruments, though I am not great on any of them. My brother Joseph plays four or five and he is great on all of them. I have about ten little adopted brothers and sisters, all much younger than me. Nearly all of us play--guitars, banjos, mandolins, dulcimers, dobros, auto harps, fiddles, bass fiddles, harmonicas, bodhrun, and guitars. My daughters play mandolins and my wife plays an auto harp.
Lido loved the same music I did, ancient mountain songs of beauty and meaning. I made him a three string banjo and I hoped we could invent a style that he could play considering the limited use that he had of his right arm. We never got successful with that but he found that he could keep time on a bodhrun, an ancient Irish drum that is generally played with a tipper. Lido could not maneuver the tipper, but he could play an older style using only his hand.
There really is only 24 hours in a day and as my girls got older and I spent more time in the horse lot, we performed less and less.
It has been a little over two months since he died and Lido had his last concert on Saturday night. My brother Joseph is not merely good, he is a prodigy and has garned a tremendous following among regional blue grass fans. The day of the funeral he decided that on Feb 28 he was going to put on a big show for Lido. He assembled a number of bands and put on a seven hour show at the Isle of Wight
Academy. It was a huge success. I had been sick all week thinking about going to the show and I really did not think that I could sit through the show and think about Lido that for that long of a time.
But something interesting happened and I hope that it will take hold. As I listened to Joseph singing songs that I taught him the words to when he was five years old, I thought about teaching those same songs to Lido when he was a bit older. When Joseph was talking about playing on the bus with Kenny Baker and Bill Monroe. I thought about Lido following Jeanette Carter, daughter of Sara and A.P.Carter of the Original Carter Family all around the Carter Fold. I remembered how he had to assemble his gear to hunt with me when he was too little to carry a gun. He took his essentials--lots of candy and a stack of Carter family recordings on cassette tape. I remembered him at the right hand of the great old time banjo player Leroy Troy everywhere he went at one festival and from that point on referring to Troy only as "my friend."
And...those memories felt good. Up to that point I had not had a memory that did anything but sear me to the core. Particularly since I think of Lido all the time, it certainly would be better if those thoughts could just stop hurting so much. After Saturday night I think that they might.
One last point, the audience could go in the back and have a fine dining experience put together primarily by my riders and their families. They worked at a grueling pace and did a great job. That meant a lot to Daddy and even more to me.
(Lido was about 10 in this picture and Stardust was a yearling)