When my dad finally retired in his 70s, he once again picked up his fiddle that he had played in his youth and joined the local Old Time Fiddler’s group. Our family often went with him on Thursday nights to the Knight’s of Columbus hall in Richland. Dad was older than some and seemed to be a little on the outside of the main group, who all seemed to have sharp-looking, gold-trimmed, green vests. I finally asked one of the men if they had an extra one for my dad. I took it to a shop for embroidering his name “Sam” on the vest. For a dad who was hard to shop for and ended up getting more flannel shirts and socks for Christmas, the look on his face when he opened the package and saw that vest was worth any other look I had ever gotten from him. He proudly wore that vest to the Old Time Fiddler’s and felt one of the gang. He had so much pleasure there. Dad died in his early 80s.
Irene (nee Waldner) Russell