Larry Stephenson’s Christmas surprise

This Christmas memory comes from Larry Stephenson.

Larry StephensonIn the early 60’s my dad bought me my first mandolin. It was a Gibson A-50, a little round bodied mandolin which I still have.

My dad and I played a lot of music around the Fredericksburg, Virginia area through the 60’s and into the 70’s. My mom and dad always told me if I ever learned how to play the Bill Monroe instrumental Rawhide they would buy me a Gibson F-5 model mandolin.

Well of course I worked hard to learn that song…everyday after school in front of that old record player. Well they kept their word and what a surprise it was. Christmas of 1974 with the help of our neighbor, they wrote little poems and wrapped them and had me running all over the neighborhood looking for clues and more wrapped boxes.

When I finally returned to our house there it was…a brand new Gibson F-5 mandolin. We always had great Christmases but that was one I’ll never forget. I’m sorry to say I don’t have that mandolin anymore, but I sure wish I did. What a great Christmas.

Let me also take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank you so much for allowing me to do what I love and that’s to play the best music in the world….Bluegrass Music.