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Daddy's Bass Fiddle

Lydia Marie Farmer, Illinois, USA
April 2000

Ihave kept this "buried" deep in my memory for a long time, so I'm going to try to remember most of the details.

In the early 1970's my father worked for the steel mill during the day and practiced church- jazz music at night.

Most evenings, if it wasn't a late shift, my father would return home from work at around the same time, sometime after six o'clock. He would go through the usual ritual of changing from his work clothes into his favorite old, green trousers and a white T-shirt, and black slippers. Then, after dinner, he would go downstairs to the basement and play his bass fiddle.

All through the evening, sometimes well into the night, we heard the same type of sounds emitting from the basement---doom-dee-doom-dee- doom-dee-doom-doom-doom-doom-dee-dah-dah---over and over again. It was never disturbing or loud because the bass fiddle has this real soft, deep sound to it. It was actually quite soothing to listen to.

In 1972, my father died, unexpectedly. About a week after his funeral, my sister, brother and I were upstairs on the third floor doing our homework when some time after eight o'clock in the evening I heard what sounded like the bass fiddle---doom-dee-doom--dee-doom---sound coming from the basement. Before I could move, my brother ran into my sister and my bedroom and asked me, "Did you hear that?" I replied, "Did YOU hear that too?" We stood there frozen, staring at each other for a few minutes. Then, in the same motion, my brother and I turned and ran so fast down the stairs to the second floor, turned the corner then ran downstairs to the first landing of the basement. We could hear the bass playing while we were running!

We slowly crept over to the light switch, turned on the light and then very slowly walked down to the the last flight of stairs to the bottom step. We turned on the second light, and then mechanically, turned our heads over the to the corner where the bass was and saw nothing. We just saw the bass sitting in the corner where Daddy had last placed it. We ran back upstairs. We were too scared to tell our mother why we were running.

I heard this "music" for another two weeks, same time in the evening, and then didn't hear it any more.

This is the first time I've ever told this story in public. It's hard to let go. I miss him. Thank you for letting us do this on your site.

Lydia Marie Farmer, Illinois, USA
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