I am just back from the 3rd annual Bob Parsons Tribute. A little-known celebration of a man who loved music in a very big way.
Bob Parsons was the man I called 'Dad'. Music was a very big part of who he was.
I don't know what it is like to have a social gathering and not have some homemade music injected at some point. That is a gift that Dad gave to his family and his friends.
Dad played the piano, piano accordion, guitar and harmonica. Between us kids and grand-kids we have covered off piano, guitar, violin, and mandolin with an odd percussion thrown in.
'Music and Friends' is a song by Simani, a traditional NL band comprised of Bud Davidge and Sim Savory. As a family, we sang a few of their songs, but 'Music and Friends' had a special spot for many. It is a great song that sums up how a lot of NLs feel: "nothing makes the whole world right like music and friends".
Our musical tribute takes place at the Royal Canadian Legion in Woody Point, Bonne Bay. For those of you not familiar with our geography, Woody Point is about an EIGHT HOUR DRIVE from St. John's! Me nerves. You don't go there for The Tribute and come home the same day. You probably can't even come home the next day (because you stayed up too late at The Tribute). It is a bit of a trek!
We have friends that make the trip with us every year. I know! Crazy, right! But good crazy. Really good crazy. Some of them are technically part of the family now, because they brought their own ugly stick! Amplified, and everything. They may be interested to know that it is pretty hard to get out of the family once you are in. Kinda like prison.
We have friends that cook for us when we are there. Again, crazy! Again, good crazy. There are no words to express how much I appreciate it when someone else feeds me. It is an offering that is never taken for granted. We had everything from chilli to a dedicated BBQ. My best friend even made marvelous, magnificent margaritas. Yum!
And, of course, some family and friends wish they could come along but, because life gets to make the rules, sometimes it doesn't work out. The year Dad died my oldest son was in Japan, and couldn't make it home for the funeral. But, he did attend via Skype! We had a sing-song at the legion and he played along on his violin. It was very special. This year, he was there in the flesh. Also special. Next year we are hoping that my other son, our sister and her kids will make it. We see too little of them all.
The highlight of the whole tribute, for me, is the ugly-stick competition. Way too much fun and a seriously hard thing to judge. There are some pretty awesome ugly-stick players around (imagine if I left the hyphen out of that one...grammar, you gotta love it!). Another treat is when other musicians join us. And there were lots of additions this year! All in all, a lot of fun!
Music and Friends. The music is much better with friends. A good life-lesson from a good man.
I didn't take any pictures of the tribute but it sure did remind me how much I wish I had four arms.
I've included some pics taken by my Aunt Helen.
note to self- send AH her photographer's fee ;-)
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