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MARY’S MEANDERINGS: Oct. 16-Making Music Before You Know It

People feel better about themselves when they make music, especially when playing the harmonica… I think.

My youngest brother, Mick and I learned that music lesson a long time ago, so long ago, I really don’t know when or how we learned.

Keep in mind, neither of us were ever in the same league or as good as Charlie McCoy who plays the harmonica and accompanies just about every famous band and singer, but money wouldn’t buy a tape I own of the two of us (my brother and I, that is) playing our harmonicas together, years ago. We’re not bad…not bad is all I have to say. Hearing that tape lifts my mood.

To play the harmonica, you simply push air from your lungs into the harmonica, then suck air back in.

Did I hear you say… “I’d like to play the harmonica?”

Well then…here’s all you have to do. First of all, purchase a M. Hohner harmonica in the key of “C”, at a cost of approximately $10.00. No doubt one of the first songs that comes to mind will be “You Are My Sunshine.” Now, find your starting place on your new harmonica and start. I promise, if you play this song over enough times in one day…pretty soon there won’t be any gray days.

Did you know that four of our presidents played the harmonica? Presidents Lincoln, Coolidge, Eisenhower and Reagan.

The harmonica was the first musical instrument in outer space. Wally Schirra played “Jingle Bells” aboard the Gemini VI spacecraft.

Remember reading about Frank James, Jessie’s oldest brother, whose harmonica deflected a bullet aimed at his heart? It destroyed his harmonica, but Frank lived to a ripe, old age.

I read where a truck driver once credited his life being saved several times because of his harmonica. He said it kept him awake when playing it while driving.

The harmonica is also credited with saving many a restless herd of cattle during storms and droughts and threats from wolves. The sweet and lonely melodies the cowboys played soothed their fears.

Some people might think of the harmonica as an instrument that Grandpa played while sitting in his rocking chair on the porch.

I think of mine as a constant companion…and so did my dear and late friend, Tommy Rogers. Just ask his wife, Shirley. She’ll tell you, how Tommy and I entertained her while she chauffeured us down the highway on our way to a Foster Grandparent’s Workshop day.

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