The Old Country Fiddler

Early last week, I spotted this sign while driving through a neighboring town.  I had no idea who “The Old Country Fiddler” was, but you don’t have to ask me twice to attend a free fiddle concert!

So we made plans to attend.  All week long I was looking forward to the concert!  The event was being held in an historic meetinghouse.  The evening was beautiful, although oppressively hot and humid.

And it WAS a lovely evening, but it wasn’t what we were expecting.  It wasn’t really a fiddle concert.  It was a one-man dramatic presentation by a man portraying Charles Ross Taggart (b. 1871), otherwise known as “The Old Country Fiddler”.  (Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the man who portrayed him, but I do recall that we were told he is “a 10th generation Vermonter”, which, believe you me, means something in New England!)  So, instead of a true fiddle concert, we were treated to an evening of storytelling, which is a rare treat in itself.  Charles Ross Taggart was a traveling entertainer who sang, played fiddle, did comedic monologues, and more in the lyceums and chautauquas of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  (“The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day.  Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that Chautauqua is ‘the most American thing in America.’ ” – Wikipedia)  He made recordings for the victrola!  And we were even treated to “Haste to the Wedding” and “Road to Boston” on the fiddle.  The evening was a reminder that the unexpected can be delightful!

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