TBone Ditty was born on a north country farm. He was surrounded by home craftsmen and influenced by their skill and assortment of hand tools from an early age. He built tree houses and soapbox cars out of the scrap lumber he rummaged from old coops and dilapidated barns. His beech tree house was where he formed his first band.
He was eight years old. He created a xylophone out of an assortment of soda pop bottles and a set of drums out of old metal milk pails and creamery cans. He found an old whiskey jug in their farmhouse basement and a Hohner harmonica that had been sat on way too many times. One of the neighbor boys brought along a rusty old cowbell they incorporated as well.
They called themselves “The RagTag Boys” even though TBone’s older sister Carla did the vocals. She was a screamer but could carry a tune well enough to get them by. She also took a liking to ringing the cowbell and yodeling at opportune times.
Music wasn’t just a flash in the pan for TBone. He convinced the other kids to come to the tree house almost every weekend to practice and help write and perform his silly songs. It wasn’t but three months later and they played in a talent show down at the local church. They didn’t win but they raised some eyebrows. They became a hit among their school friends and were invited to play at birthday parties and family picnics. They even earned some pocket change.
TBone kept the RagTag Boys musically motivated for a couple of years and then his mates seemed to outgrow the simple instruments and TBone’s overbearing devotion. Their were baseballs to be pitched and hit over the fence. There were girls that needed teasing and kissed. Those things, chores and homework absorbed their precious free time. The RagTag Boys disbanded and went their separate ways.
TBone himself continued along his musical path by toying more and more with woodworking and the building of sophisticated stringed instruments. By the time he reached his twelfth birthday he had built his first fiddle and an acoustic guitar. Both were functioning instruments when he formed his second band called “The BuzzCuts”. It was made up of a batch of new friends with the exception of their lead singer who was once again Carla. She had blossomed into a pretty and bodacious entertainer.
The band graduated into the realm of being a bonafide garage band until the fateful day when Carla was accepted and called away to acting school. TBone tried to forge ahead, but without Carla the band lacked the vocals necessary to carry them forward and the BuzzCuts went the way of the RagTag Boys.
TBone was 16 years old. (to be continued)
Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books® http://www.quickturtlebooks.com