This week we welcome C.J. Chase to Author Memories.
C.J. lives in the swamps of Southeastern Virginia with her handsome husband, active sons, one kinetic sheltie, and an ever-increasing number of chickens. When she is not writing, you will find her gardening, watching old movies, playing classical piano (badly) or teaching a special needs Sunday School class.
by C.J. Chase
Fiddling was common in late nineteenth century Appalachia. My grandpap Oliver Perry Reese—named for the famous naval hero—also learned to play, and he bought his own fiddle once he left home. Back then, you could order a violin and bow set from the Sears and Roebucks catalogue for as little as $2. Contrary to what many believe, most of those violins are not valuable today. They were cheaply made instruments for a time when poor people had few entertainment options other than folk music and square dancing on a Saturday night. Pap’s fiddle never had a case or even so much as a chin rest.
With the advent of phonographs and radios, and with automobiles making transportation cheap and easy, the need for local folk bands diminished. My mother played clarinet in her high school band as buses allowed consolidation from one-room schools into large high schools, but neither my mother nor any of her nine other siblings learned to fiddle.
And thus, over the years, Pap’s fiddle saw less and less use. I took violin lessons for a short time. Then my father died, and faced with a decision between violin and piano, I chose the more practical piano. After all, I had many options for playing piano at church, but our rural school district didn’t have an orchestra.
Calvin fell in love that weekend. For six months afterward, he insisted he wanted to learn the fiddle. Finally deciding he might be serious, we found a Suzuki violin teacher. Now 16, he plays both classical violin and fiddle. He has his own fiddle, one of much better quality than Pap could ever have afforded himself. Prosperity allows for that.
As a member of a ceili band of young fiddlers, Calvin has performed before thousands in local arenas, churches and concert halls, with groups as disparate as the massed pipe bands at the Virginia Tattoo and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
I like to think Pap would be proud to see the legacy continue.
Book Trailer for C.J.'s debut novel: Redeeming the Rogue
Redeeming the Rogue, Love Inspired Historicals
Read an excerpt here.
Available August 2011
Barnes and Noble
Christian Book Distributors
You can visit C.J.'s cyber-home (where the floors are always clean) at http://www.cjchasebooks.com
Remember to leave a valid email address
if you want to be entered in the Welcome Prize Giveaway.