Thursday, May 24, 2012

Little Yellow Bug

Me and Grammy Rose
Back Roads - written by Davy Rasmussen
Song Lyrics

So what do you get when you cross a Frenchmen, an English woman, a Scott, a few Indians, a Danish musician and possibly a milk man or two from an origin unknown....   why that would be ME.    Or quite possibly you.   I mean sure, we may have an idea of who our biological parents are, but do we really understand the past and all the lives, all the decisions, all the friends of friends and all the love that it took to give us this breath of air today?

When I wrote last and mentioned that "I owe ALL the music in my soul to my Mom", perhaps that was a little narrow in thought.  Believe me, she does deserve honor and recognition for the musical influence she gave me... but perhaps it goes a little deeper than that.   My bedroom, like many of yours, is scattered with family pictures.  Most are of family I know, but I have a few from several generations back that my Grand Mother gave me on one of my visits to see her.   The faces are strangers to me, but when I stop and look closely,  sometimes they feel familiar.   There's one picture I have of my great, great, great, uncle who has a violin in his arms.   Maybe he was the one of ones that planted some of the seeds of music that genetically found their way to me many years later.

Mom's Mom and Dad... dancing - maybe this is
is where the music comes from.
Grammy Rose loved photography and genealogy and did lots of research in her days digging up the lives of all those that came before us in our family.   She had a old yellow VW bug and drove around from library to library and spent many countless days traveling down the back roads of the past.  As a kid I remember thinking that it was really a waste of time and that life should be more about today and tomorrows and not so much about the past.  

Sometime in my early adulthood, Grammy sent me a book that she compiled with one side of my family tree.  I can't image how many hours she spent gathering the skeletons of the past and aligning them along a timeline.  This was way before the internet and the resources we have today, but seeing it laid out in front of me with pictures and maps, and lines that connect the parents to their children,  newspaper articles and government records of birth, property, marriage and death.... it stirred my imagination and somehow made me feel more real.  I have a sense of belonging now when I remember that all the souls and countless other undocumented lives...  are the reason for me.

My Rasmussen Family with me on the far right and Grandma and Grandpa on the left
Recently we had a wonderful older couple from Seattle come and stay some time with us in the Hollow as B&B guests.  Around the breakfast table we learned of their southern states adventure and how Linda was trying to find some of the places that her ancestors had came from.  Her husband Art was visiting VA centers and hospitals along the way and was sharing copies of the book they wrote about his time in Vietnam.   The two of them were not only traveling down the true, beautiful, back roads of Tennessee, but were also winding around corners of the back roads of moments past.   I don't always pull out my guitar and sing to our guests when the leave, but on this day I knew the song they needed to hear.  It tickles me to think that maybe they were humming this tune as they mosied together on their journey.  

Just two days shy of her 99th birthday,  Grammy Rose left us this past year.  She gave us a wonderful legacy of a family tree that will be treasured for generations to come.  She signed one of her letters to me with a PS at the bottom that says it all.... "Don't forget to snap a picture, write it down or sing it loud so someone else so can experience it too".   I bet she's still out there somewhere, still driving her little yellow bug, taking pictures along the back roads.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Mother's Day Wish

Through my Mother's eyes - written by Davy Rasmussen
My field of Gold (Sharon & Mom)
Every Mother's Day my Mom always asks me "Davy... will you play the song you wrote for me".  Sadly sometimes I try to get around singing it for one reason or the other, but usually she wins and I try to remember how it goes.  This year I know my wife Sharon will be hurting a little inside because she won't have her beautiful Mom to call or talk to, and that has made me love mine a little more. So I sat outside in the garden a few days ago with my guitar and recorder and tried to capture the song.   I thought it would be a nice mother's day gift if she could play it any time she wanted to have me in her living room.   Of course I knew that it wouldn't free me of my mother's day live performance, but hoped it would make her smile.   There was a symphony of birds that joined in as I sang, and I think they actually got a bit louder as the song echoed through the hollow.

As promised, I played it for Mom in person on Mother's day.   As I sang the last words and opened my eyes to look at her, she had big drops of love falling down her cheek and the guitar instantly became the insides of a hug sandwich.   Since we all have mothers, and some are here and some have left us,   I decided that I should share the recording with friends and family on facebook.   One of the comments I received was that if she was my mother, she would ask for me to sing the song to her once a week instead of once a year.    The comment made me stop and think about how fragile life really is and how I'll truly miss the day I can't sit by her and play the music she planted as seeds so long ago.    It was her voice and the music that she wrote that filled my childhood ears and widened my heart with melody.   The Christmas I unwrapped my first guitar was the year the garden was turned.  I owe all of the music in my soul to my Mom.   Though I'm sure she would love to hear me sing this same song every week,  instead I'm going to try and make myself  write/blog once a week until next mother's day about these heirloom seeds from her and many others, and I'll include the songs inspired by these moments in time too.  Perhaps my feather friends and their background singing will join in only for the chorus on the next recording.  :-)