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Impress Girls with the Banjo

February 5, 2021
Buy a banjo from Hansen’s Music in Billings, Montana.

My psychiatrist, Dr. Stiles, added a prescription, Rexulte 2mg/daily.  Doesn’t mean anything to you?  Good.  It’s not meant to.  The point is, I’ve developed a trusting relationship with my psychiatrist.  I think I was lucky.  I’ve been taking the additional medication and I feel improved.  Of course, other aspects of my life have changed.  (Turn, turn, turn.)  They have worked in concert to make life bearable for me.

My oldest son Todd, and my spouse, P., threw in together to buy me a banjo.  A typical 5-string Deering banjo.  And a book.  I’ve played other instruments and I know the importance of taking extra care and time to learn the fundamentals.  This is what I’ve learned over nearly 72 years of existence on this planet.  Glossing over the fundamentals of a skill is a grievous mistake.  Don’t do it!

I spend a few minutes at a time, perhaps 3-5 times a day, working on the basics.  I start by accurately tuning the instrument.  I use an electronic tuner.  Then I go to Exercise C.  I’ve mastered making the G, C and D7 chords.  Well, the G chord is simply strumming the strings without fretting any.  The 5-string banjo was tuned to open G.  I’ve played the guitar and the ukulele a bit, so I know how to make chords.

My time’s been spent picking individual strings in rhythm.  That’s why I’m still on exercise C.  In a month I may be ready to play my first song, “Boil Them Cabbage Down.”

I tried to quit Facebook, but I mourned missing my friends.  Some folks I communicate with regularly are on Facebook only.  Some I am quite fond of.

Therefore, I fell off the wagon.  

Set for Delaney Hardy’s play, The Vote.

I’ve auditioned for a play that will show on Youtube, or perhaps Fb.  It is one of the Anton Chekhov plays, The Bear.  Or The Boar.  I will play the part of a retired artillery lieutenant, Grigory Stepanovitch Smirnov.  I’ve been dreaming I’m him, a loathsome type, who has been jilted by ten women.  He has walked out on a dozen others.  For him, love is clearly dead.  The show will play in March.  It’s supposed to be funny. 

Smirnov doesn’t play the banjo, but Steve Martin plays it wonderfully.

I’m also working on creating a set for a play for Delaney Hardy, an amazing young woman who wrote and directs a play, The Vote.  It’s about Jeanette Rankin, and the vote is, no doubt, the vote she cast, in opposition to the entire U.S. House and Senate, to declare war on Germany.  I haven’t had a chance to read her play, but I’ve read about Ms. Rankin, from (near) Missoula, Montana.

My dear departed friend, Michael L. Fiedler, knew Jeanette Rankin, who died in 1976, in California. Michael’s older brother Eric took care of Ms. Rankin for a time in her dotage. I’m thinking that was a time when she lived in Georgia, but I’m not sure.

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