My Grandfather Skogen was in a band. My brother blames him for he and our sister and I (and mum, in her way) being ‘too nice’, but I think that was just a good thing we were given: a place to grow kind. He was also well-known as a horse breeder, and in the pony pull and draft circles – and he was in a band. I think he played guitar. He played with his brothers, dances and weddings and such, all over. They never made much money on it, and many nights performed at a loss.
Did you know that they used to let you cut records at the country fair? It’s true. There was a booth where you could up up and pay a little bit, and a man would have a machine that recorded you and make you a little cardboard record, right then and there. You could take it home with you. Somewhere in the basement of my grandparents’ house (which has just been put on the market), there was once a record or maybe more than one, a recording of my grandfather and his brothers playing and singing, and maybe speaking and arguing and laughing. Living. Breathing. Loving. Making music.
I have a terrific need to somehow find that recording, and hear it. I think I need the tears that may (I hope will) come when I do. I think it’s only then I’ll stop blaming myself for being too impatient to learn, when he tried to teach me to play the guitar.