This is a very special banjo. Three things make it special:
First it is an SS Stewart Special Thoroughbred made in the 1896-1898 time frame. I’ve always wanted one of these
Second this banjo belonged to my former banjo teacher and mentor, Joe Bethancourt. Joe passed away a little over a year ago, and his wife has begun selling a few of his instruments. I’ve actually played this very banjo. Joe brought it to one of our lessons and let me play it as much as I wanted. Whenever Joe gave a performance this SS Stewart was one of the banjos he played.
Third, when I told my sweet lady wife that I must have this banjo she thought for a minute and then offered to buy it for me as an early 40th wedding anniversary present.
Sometimes I miss a week, but I’m trying to present my Sweet Lady Wife with a fresh red rose and accompanying love note every week.
I was reminiscing about the years between graduating from high school and when I got married (and had to settle down and become a responsible adult). I suddenly realized that some of the people I was close to are no longer alive.
I decided to try to track down as many of my closest friends (male and female) as I could, and reach out to them. It’s been fun reconnected with those who’ve responded.
It was surprising though that two of the people I was closest to gave me the cold shoulder. It’s been 40 years and people change, I guess.
For ten years my food blog The Fumbling Foodie has been on TypePad. It’s time to move it to a better more modern platform. I already have a dozen or so self-hosted WordPress blogs so that’s where it is going.