|Sam is on washboard in this picture but also plays mandolin and more|
With some of Sam's fiddle club friends starting out to practice in our back yard on Saturday, and moving to the front steps for a well received jam session for the neighbors, then playing at the Val Gallery to open for Greg Gilbertson at the release of his new album with art done by Matthew Bailey, I couldn't help but think of this picture of the Swedish String Band of First Swedish Baptist Church of Oakland, CA in 1906. Not quite like the Fiddle Club, this was the worship band for that congregation before they could afford a piano or organ. My grandmother Annetta (Nettie) Olson (became Erikson ca. 1919) is at the right of the back row next to the man with the mandolin. Next to her is her sister Olga. Some of these people lived long enough for me to get to know them when I was very young and they were definitely old. The man with the cello and the woman at the left end of the back row were the Burks (I'm not sure if or how they Anglicized their name). I well remember her playing the zither. Their daughter is next to Aunt Olga. So, Sam, after five generations, you are inheriting a great string music legacy!