TBone Ditty, creator of the QuickTurtle® Band

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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

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The QuickTurtle® Band, The QuickTurtle Fiddle

QuickTurtle Violin
QuickTurtle Fiddle

     The QuickTurtle Band had stopped over in Cabo San Lucas to let Robbie get in a little surf casting before their concert in San Diego.  TBone sometimes joined him in the rolling waves but decided to forego the fishing fun for the opportunity to design and build QT Magnolia a new fiddle.  He had been struggling with what to get her for birthday and this was the perfect opportunity for creating and giving her something meaningful.

     Her original fiddle had been recently misplaced or stolen while on their major-city tour in South America.  QT was by no means devastated by its loss but the fiddle did have memories of younger days associated with it.  TBone knew it was his chance to replace it.

     He tipped his hat to Robbie and headed down the beach.

     He scored even before he arrived at the first cove.  He found some great pieces of driftwood in a rocky area that was seldom touched except by the highest of tides.  The right pieces of wood always seemed to speak to him and several pieces jumped out and spoke very eloquently.  If they didn’t talk, they wouldn’t sing and he didn’t compromise when it came to instrument building.  He hauled them back to the beach area near the hotel and went to work.

     TBone loved the craft of woodworking.  He went about the the task of building his instruments as if he were possessed.  He lived on coffee and didn’t stop tinkering until the fiddle was strung and ready to be tuned.  His nerves were standing on edge as he tightened the first string.  When he plucked it, it resonated all the way to his toes and he knew immediately that he had created something very special for QT.  He smiled an laid back in the warm sand completely satisfied and exhausted.

     QT found him that way, fast asleep with the fiddle cradled in his arms.  When she reached out and put her hand on the instrument it felt almost alive.  She couldn’t resist the temptation and gingerly extracted it from TBone’s grasp.  She found Robbie and they headed for her bungalow to get her bow.  Robbie brought along his guitar and they fiddled with creating their new hit song, “The Anchor’s Chain”.

Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®     http://www.quickturtlebooks.com