A tribute to Doc Watson.

The world has lost a shining star.  Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson, May 3, 1923-May 29, 2012.

I grew up listening to the flat-picking strains of Doc’s guitar and his plaintive mountain folk-music voice.  That was before he acquired the label  “folk artist.”  After he became famous and was playing Carnegie Hall and other well-known venues all over the globe, he made it perfectly clear that he was not ashamed of playing on the streets of Boone, NC, with a tin cup at his side.  His marvelous talent was the one thing he had to sell in order to support his young family.  You see, Doc Watson was blind from infancy.

I had the good fortune to see and hear him in person several times over the years.  The last time, when he was 83 years old, I was able to wait in line for a chance to speak with him.  I introduced myself and told him I, too, was from Boone; and I thanked him for all the years he had entertained me.  Ever the gentleman, he took my hand in his, kissed it, and then thanked me.

Rest in peace, Arthel “Doc” Watson.  The angels are rejoicing!!  And so is Merle.

I leave you with my favorite Doc Watson song.  Click here.

Click here if you would like to learn more about this fascinating man and his long career.


Leaving on a jet plane.

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.  ~ Maya Angelou

Here’s to Peruvian friends, present and future!

I couldn’t resist this photo of an Eastern Airlines version of the Boeing 757 which I found on Wikipedia.  I know that Eastern is now defunct, but I have many fond memories of the company as I worked for them in my youthful working years before I became a teacher.  A  part of our journey will be on the 757 so it seemed appropriate to post a picture of it.

If you like, listen to the song written by John Denver and performed by Peter, Paul and Mary here.  I also have many fond memories of the music of John Denver and P, P and M.  If you’re my age you can sing along.  If you’re much younger than I, you can take a little musical-history journey through the Folk Era Hall of Fame.  🙂  Enjoy.

I hope to be able to post a photo from time to time while I’m gone.  I learned to do so by phone a few days ago, and I understand that many hotels in Peru have wi-fi.