Fiddlers haven't exactly received the best press throughout history. Hillbilly and fiddle seem to go together, while mountain man and violin conjure up an entirely different vision. And how about Nero, the one who fiddled while Rome burned? Or Ole King Cole, that merry old soul, called for his fiddlers three - as he lived the life of luxury?
My mother often wondered what happened to her father's fiddle. He was a coal miner in western Pennsylvania who picked up his fiddle whenever he had a chance, rarely, according to her descriptions of their rough life.
Fiddles have always been mainstream here in the Appalachians. In fact I read in a book (as I was researching a completely different topic) that fiddles were essential to pioneer living and campfires and settling down with horses roped for the night. Not for the joy of music to sleep in a comfy lullaby sense, no, fiddles were needed for defense from things that go bump in the night, or woof, or grrr.
A screeching draw of the bow across the fiddle strings was enough to send the predators running for the hills. Maybe they used sticks instead of the bow, or anything else handy to screech a high note on the strings and frighten the coyotes or wolves or bears or ... you name it. Well, fiddlesticks! I can only imagine.
|This picture I took last night is a little blurry, |
but clear enough to see what goes on at the fiddlers convention
The only predators threatening them are fans seeking autographs.
|A must at a fiddlers convention -|
Wooden board for clogging
Catch of the day,