My First Instrument
Me_first_accordionI started playing the accordion around age six or seven. There was a local music conservatory called Hobart Harmony House that gave out six free lessons as a way to hook the student. My older brother started a few years before me, but he didn't take. I did.

The six free lessons went well enough. I used a borrowed instrument for those first lessons. If I was going to continue, I needed an instrument of my own. With instruments costing well into the thousands of dollars, it seemed my burgeoning musical career was to come to a quick end.

Enter my Grandma Sue. Grandpa Les and Grandma Sue were no blood relation, but they were my Godparents. They lived just up the street from us. They both played a huge role in my formative growing-up years, but I'll save most of that for another time.

Grandma Sue loved the accordion. One of my fondest memories growing up was walking up the street on Sunday evenings to watch Lawrence Welk with Grandma Sue on their big COLOR TV. I don't know how big the TV was, but it dwarfed our tiny thirteen-inch black-and-white set at the time.

Grandma Sue made a deal with my dad. If he would pay for the lessons, she would buy my instruments. Yay for Grandma Sue! I eventually outgrew the shiny white and gold accordion and replaced it with a more typical black and white Lindo model which I still have today. I don't play it much anymore, but I drag it out from time to time and crank out a few tunes - for Grandma.