Bluegrass at the Veterans Home

Wednesdays are auto action days. There’s an auction in the morning, and one in the evening, and usually Dan attends them both.

We often ride along to the evening auction and spend the time with The Lonesome Hill Gang (otherwise known as Uncle Eric and Aunt Paula and gang) while they jam with some other local bluegrassers at the Veterans Home. It’s the highlight of the week for Kinsley, and also for the guys at the veterans home. They’re all such characters!

There’s a guy who is missing one leg, and Kinsley asks him almost every time if he “got his leg blowed off” which he usually affirms (when he can hear her, that is).

There’s another man, called Richard the Veteran, who drives around in a motorized wheel chair, with all the pomp and circumstance of royalty. He decorates his transportation with an assortment of banners, streamers, flags, and stuffed animals carefully chosen for whatever holiday is upcoming. He loves to sketch little pictures for the girls, or entertain them with the antics of one or other of his stuffed animals.

Another man very ceremoniously gave my girls, and their young cousins, each a gold Liberty dollar.

Yet another man gives an approving thumbs up to anyone who he can make eye contact with: the musicians, the little girls, and even the staff cleaning the remains of dinner from the dining room.

A couple old fellows who usually sit together, spend much of the evening trying to get my daughters to come and dance with them, but usually it’s a losing battle and they content themselves with watching the girls dance with each other or their baby dolls.

One fellow, who was finally victorious and got Kinsley to dance with him, told her that she was a pretty little girl, and Kinsley responded that, in case he hadn’t noticed, she “has blue eyes, too”.

Kinsley loves to play the mandolin on Aunt Paula’s lap, whenever she gets the chance. Last week, as she was strumming along with the music, she noticed the two guitar players next to her were carrying on a conversation during the song. She leaned over and hushed them, explaining that “we are playing a song”.

We enjoy the outing greatly, and hope that it teaches the girls to be selfless as they think of others around them.

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