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From Keepers of the Tradition

Here's a story told to artist Leslie Roberts Gregg and me by famed luthier Wayne Henderson of Rugby, VA (population 7).


“My cousin Tex lived around the corner and he was one of the only kids I could play with. My sister and brother were 9 and 11 years older and were out and gone. If I wasn’t carving or whittling or gardening, once in a while I could play with my cousin who was my age. We were sickly and puny. He was sick all the time with a sore throat, so his folks decided to have his tonsils taken out. I had a sore throat, too, but I never said nothing about it because I didn’t want them taking mine out. So they took him to the hospital over in Jefferson (NC) to have his tonsils taken out. When they made an appointment for that to be done, the doctor came out to talk with his parents and they said, ‘While we’ve got him in here and put to sleep, we should circumcise him, too.’ So they did that at the same time. My cousin showed up back in school a couple of weeks later. I couldn’t wait to see how he was doing. He said, ‘When I got back from that hospital, I was in pretty bad shape. I feel fine now. But let me tell you something that we didn’t know. Those tonsils aren’t where we thought they was.’”

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