June 4, 2017
THE 'JIM' WHISTLE
My wife and I were discussing bucket list items over dinner out. The list isn't long. I shared that one of my dreams would be to sit in on a couple of sets with the Homestead Pickers. I'm not talking about the 'pity invite' where you come up, and after just a few notes there is more wincing than toe tapping, I'm talking about gaining a respected skill set as if Ron Block walked up with his banjo with that "anyone want to pick" look in his eye. Someone gets him a chair and suggests one of those lengthy reels, and off they go.
My wife was listening to me weave my dreams with moist eyes. Not the moist as in admiration and inspiration but the moist where you realize the other person hasn't quite caught on and you're waiting for that moment when they do. She had listened to everything I was saying and, looking down at my fingers, suggested that the only thing I might be able to play is the 'Jim' whistle. Now I know what a tin penny whistle is and I'm familiar with the Jaw harp, but I have not heard of a 'Jim' whistle. As I sat their drawing a blank, her eyes were almost tearing, the dam about to break; I said "J-I-M W-H-I-S-T-L-E?" spelling it out to make sure I heard her. She put me out of my misery and said "no 'G-Y-M' whistle". Ok, so that's probably not going to happen, but it sure would be great to be a part of that great music.
Don't worry Dan, you guys are the masters of the strings and won't have to share the stage. None-the-less I am inspired and need to sit down, wipe the dust from my six strings, maybe take some lessons. But if that doesn't work out -- there's always the 'Jim' whistle.