To be insightful means to intuitively grasp things - an "aha!" moment!

About Me

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I am a member of the church of Christ. I have been writing things since I was little. Some have been printed, some posted. I write to teach or encourage; to blow off steam; and for fun! I had my own motorcycle in my 40s; I was a bluegrass music DJ for about 13 years; I've performed some. I am a member of the NRA. In 2003 (age 59), I became high partial legally blind; in 2005, I had to get hearing aids! Franklin Field said: "Poor eyes limit your sight; poor vision limits your deeds". And no kidding, the picture was made April, 2012!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

REALLY Harping on things

... on real harps! Right now, as to musical instruments, I own a piano, autoharp, 2 pennywhistles, 3 American Indian wooden whistles, several kazoos, 2 slide whistles, a bowed psaltery, a ukulele, a wooden train whistle, a good size toy piano, and an Appalachian dulcimer. I can actually play some of them. (I used to own an acoustic guitar, a mandolin, a console organ, and a hammered dulcimer.) I may be missing things but I don't think so! I've played piano since I was about 6 years old.

I learned of a harp circle recently, and attended it, even though I don't own a harp. The group is part of the RNSO (Ruth & Naomi Senior Outreach) at a big Presbyterian church near downtown. They meet every Monday afternoon for an hour, and play once a month at a big retirement home. There were 8 ladies, one who's been renting a harp only 2 months, plays no other instrument, and reads only a little bit of music.

I could have ridden the fixed route bus, free, but I wasn't real sure of the place, so it was worth my money to schedule paratransit. Also, Monday was a bit chilly, plus I would have been out after dark, and not seeing well or knowing exactly where the bus stops are in that area, well ... yada, yada ...

As soon as I walked in the door, introduced myself, the lady who was already there asked if I'd like to hold and try her harp! Wow! She turned out to be one of 5 or 6 there who have harpsicles (see These little folk harps weigh less than 5 pounds! They are made by a small family business in Rising Sun, IN. (And speaking of Rising Sun, I just finished reading a book called "Chasing the Rising Sun", by AP correspondent Ted Anthony - you can guess what the book is about - but I digress.)

For you who know something about music, the group plays everything in "C" (or "A minor" of course). They were working on "Edelweiss", "America the Beautiful", "O Danny Boy/You Raise Me up", and "I've Been Working on the Railroad".

Grace had a natural maple harpsicle; Mary's was light blue; the other harpsicles there were black.

I ordered a sharpsicle today (it has levers so you can play in 4 major keys and their minors) - natural maple but knowing me - and the fact that the natural maple one looked like light tan blah cardboard - I'll probably paint something on it eventually!

Here's a couple of pictures I took Monday night (yes, I got their permission). I did wander around, but I was sitting between Mary with the light blue harp, and Grace with the natural maple harp. The lady in the center back in the right picture is Lynn, who teaches computers in blind rehab at the VA. She's the one who told me about the group. She has no music in front of her because she is totally blind. I once asked her husband how many harps she has. Bill said "too many". She has 4!


Ted said...

Hope you enjoyed the book!

--Ted Anthony

Netagene said...

Oh yes, I most certainly enjoyed the book! I pick it up and open it anywhere just to "hear" Georgia Turner and others singing! Now I need to buy the Alan Lomax compilation!