0719 PV Headshot Jean Shriver.JPG

Hey, we all get random emails, don’t we?

There's this cookbook outfit that keeps sending me mouth-watering pictures and recipes, not realizing that, after more than sixty years in the kitchen, I’ve now given away my cookbooks and hung up my aprons.

And then there’s some outfit called Houzz, or maybe it’s Fuzz or Buzz, that thinks they can lure me into redecorating my living room. Not a hope.

That room has looked exactly as I planned it since the day we moved into this house. And it’ll remain that way until the day I move out. Hopefully, feet first.

As for political ads, as soon as they figure out whether you lean right or left, they’re all over you like a warm shower, begging for your signature, or your dollars, or both.

But last month I got a new come-on. It was an invitation so bizarre that it has me scratching my head and wondering what mischievous breeze could have blown it into my mailbox.

The Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp in Colorado seems to think they have a chance of getting me, first to sign up and secondly, to show up as a musical participant in their program. This is very mysterious.

My last encounter with a stringed instrument was in fourth grade when I took cello lessons at my elementary school.

I must admit it wasn’t the mellow sound that inspired me to tackle an instrument bigger than I was. Truthfully, I was goaded into that rash deed by wartime gas rationing. See, my school was a mile away from my house. Because gas was in such short supply, my mother made me walk that mile. Like the lazy little schemer I was, I figured on days when I had to take my cello to school, they’d have to give me a ride.

Sad to say my instrumental career did not go smoothly. I kept breaking the horsehair bow, thus forcing my mother to buy a new one. The last time it happened, I was too chicken to confess I’d done it again. I just kept playing “Reuben, Reuben, I’ve been thinking,” over and over. This was a piece that called for just plucking the strings—no bow action.

Soon after that my cello lessons came to an end.

Therefore, you can imagine how gob-smacked I was to find the Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp was actually inviting me to participate in their program.

Along with my lack of prowess on a stringed instrument, you have to figure that a person in their mid-eighties is unlikely to take up the challenge of sailing into unfamiliar musical waters.

I know as well as the next guy how people today are touting the achievements of the old. With breathless prose they cheer on nonagenarians running marathons.

We see Betty White showing up on television, sporting her sunny smile while her nineties go ticking on. But there has to be a limit.

Can they really think they’ll turn me into a violin virtuoso? At eighty-six?

I have pressed unsubscribe several times, but the Fiddle Camp won’t take no for an answer.

Hey, I wonder if that place gives cello lessons. I do have some experience there.

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