Nursing Home Performance

A couple of weeks ago the children’s choir sang in church. Their rendition of “Beautiful Savior” immediately took me back to a Sunday afternoon in Jamestown, North Dakota. Those of you who know me today might be surprised to hear that I was playing a Hammond console organ in the chapel of a nursing home accompanying my good friend Wes’ older sister Lynne T.

Guy, channeling Elvis

Guy, channeling Elvis

You may remember my love of music, as I talked in an earlier post about my record collection. Two of my best friends owned guitars and were learning to play them. Dances at the KC hall and other places filled our weekends, and Sundays in church I loved listening to the pipe organ. I loved music, and desperately wanted to develop whatever talent I had. Maybe I could buy something that would help?

There were two record shops in Jamestown. Marguerite’s, and a smaller one whose name escapes me now. Marguerite’s sold guitars, amps and instruments to every garage band in the state. There wasn’t a better place in town for the musician.

The little store sold Lowrey organs. (Mark remembers that the store was named Lowrey, too.) Little electric console jobs that sounded cheap, especially compared to the standard of the day, Hammond. The best part about them was that I could afford to rent one, according to the clerk. Soon enough, the delivery truck showed up at our house and I was learning to play the organ on my own. I didn’t have the money to afford lessons, nor did I have the sense to know they were necessary.

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