A Blessed Life (12)
Hanging on the wall of my office at home is an old violin passed down to me from my Grandfather Morrison. William Morrison and Mary Withers Morrison were two wonderful people who blessed my life. At least two Sunday afternoons a month found us at their house for Sunday dinner with my aunts, uncles and cousins. Mamaw Morrison fried better chicken than Colonel Sanders, but I was always more fond of her baked country ham. My Uncle J.T. was an avid hunter and fisherman. Often the fare would include rabbit, quail, turtle or crappie. For some reason I never developed a taste for wild game, but I fear that was my loss.
After dinner on many of these Sundays a few more distant relatives and friends would gather to play music. Papaw Morrison played the fiddle, and of course there would be a couple guitar players and a banjo picker. The music was old time bluegrass. When I was about thirteen I got a guitar for Christmas and my grandfather taught me three basic chords. One Sunday afternoon hoedown he invited me to sit with the men and play. I didn’t really know how or when to play the right chord. Papaw said, “We’ll start with a C, and when I step on your toe, change chords. It will sound fine.” To my knowledge that was the beginning and end of my bluegrass career.
About this same time in life I joined the school band and chose to play trombone. For two years I was in the Bourbon County High School marching band. One highlight was our invitation to play and march in the Mountain Laurel Festival in Pineville, Kentucky. The other was being invited to march in the inauguration parade for former governor, Bert T. Combs in January of 1960. It was so cold that I thought my lips would freeze to the mouthpiece. Gradually love of sports replaced my love of music. It is likely, however, that my talent was limited. Proof of that was when I practiced the trombone. Mother insisted it had to be on the front porch, and for a fact, when I played, the Hereford heifers came running to the yard fence looking for the bull.
– Terry A. Morrison