Sunday, February 28, 2010


Freddie is a banjo picker I've known since the early 70's in the beginnings of my earnest pursuit of music. Freddie called from Florida this morning.  He giving early warning he would be through here in a couple weeks, and to save he and Vickie a bed. This has happened every year for the past 20 years. Sometimes he does make it, and sometimes he doesn't.

Freddie and I have been through a lot in the last 45 years or so, and have always found the humor in what was put on our plates. If times weren't good, pull out the banjo and guitar, take a stiff drink and play your way through it. Works every time.

Freddy is an eccentric who always manages to think himself out of trouble, and into money. I'm an eccentric who doesn't get into much trouble that I can't muscle my way out of, but money was never part of the equation...unfortunately.

This is a Freddie story I had never heard. and I thought I had heard them all. Freddie said while driving back from Florida one fine spring morning back in the 60's, he heard his water pump screaming. Freddie is a "junk yard" mechanic, and has probably seen every make of car in the world, driven most of them, and junked the rest in his salvage yard.

He pulled into a garage in the small town in NC. Freddie always drives the back roads cause that's where all the deals are. Nothing escapes his scrutiny, along the road or a mile off in a farmers field, Freddie's gonna' spot it. If he thinks he can make a dime on it, he'll buy it.

 The mechanic he found was a good ole boy and told him it would be the next day before he could get the part, and since there were no motels, or much else in town, he told Freddie he could sleep in the garage that night.

As Freddie was rooting around in the trunk, a blanket came off a small copper device use in the manufacture of grain spirits.. The mechanic didn't say anything, and the next day fixed the water pump, and presented the bill. Freddie pulled out his wallet to pay him, when the mechanic said that he'd take what was in the trunk for the bill. Now, there's no telling where Freddie got it, but he weighed the bill vs what he had in the device and a deal was made. As he left, Freddie told him he would be back next year to sample the wares.

Freddie closes his Second- hand store for Jan and Feb every year to get out of the snow and go play music with the hundreds of friends he has in Florida. True to form, Freddie stopped by the garage for a sample of the wares. After the customary inquiring as to health, weather. family connections and other male posturings, Freddie asked him if he'd held up his end of the bargain and taken the fruits of the field and brought out there goodness in the mighty fine machine.

The mechanic hung his head and said "No, I found the Lord".

Well, Freddie sensing  an oppotunity aquire said equipment at a bargin price, offered to buy it back. The mechanic started to say yes, but checked himself, and motioned for Freddy to follow him to a more private part of the shop. He explained to Freddie that he had, in fact, found the Lord, but he was unsure as to how long his commitment would last, and decided that the best thing to do was to hold on to it. Freddie agreed that it was a wise decision in these troubled times.

It's always that way when your with Freddie!

Oh, check out this months copy of Bluegrass Unlimited. You might find Freddie.

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