Friday, September 14, 2007

On These Tombstones It Did Say

"There's a little lonesome graveyard…"
Rosine Cemetery, Kentucky, 42370. Andrew D. Barron©9/13/07
Headed back to Jerusalem Ridge for the day, then thought it fitting to make my first visit to Mr. Monroe's grave in Rosine. It was his birthday!

A show called 'top of the hour' on XM Bluegrass was playing a tribute to Mr. Monroe; the first four tracks of Live from Mechanics Hall, 1963. Having not heard this album, I was riveted. Bill's break for On And On is out of hand!

After my third likely illegal u-turn, I finally found the cemetery. I parked on the left as the DJ came on announcing the end of the tribute, and honoring Bill's birthday and music. I turned off the car.

Bill rededicated his Uncle Pen's grave 34 years ago today, on September 13, 1973, his own 62nd birthday.
Pendelton Vandiver's (Uncle Pen) headstone, Rosine Cemetery, Kentucky, 42370. Andrew D. Barron©9/13/07
At that time, 2,300 miles west, I was six months old. We lived less than a half-mile east of Big Chico Creek.

The headstone rededication came shortly after the 1972 Decca album named and performed in Pen's honor, Uncle Pen, Decca DL-75348/MCA-500. The album contained old fiddle tunes Bill attributed to Pen. Bill writes in the liner notes, "He was one of the finest old-time fiddlers. And he had the best shuffle with the bow that I'd ever seen, and he kept the best time, that's one reason people asked him to play dances around Rosine, Kentucky." In March of 1973, Decca was renamed MCA Records and years later became home for Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, Nanci Griffith and other great artists.

I was alone in the cemetery. However, my visit was accompanied by the sounds of lawn mowing and weed eating. Then a man on some kind of Harley trike pulled in blaring a top 40 hit from the 70's.

Eventually, my mind quieted down and I sat on the bench next to Bill. That's when it hit me that he was in there.
Bill Monroe's headstone, Rosine Cemetery, Kentucky, 42370. Andrew D. Barron©9/13/07
I was sitting there with Bill Monroe.
Bill Monroe's headstone, Rosine Cemetery, Kentucky, 42370. Andrew D. Barron©9/13/07
So I thanked him for his music and told him it was important.
Bill Monroe's headstone, Rosine Cemetery, Kentucky, 42370. Andrew D. Barron©9/13/07
I really felt Memories of Mother And Dad here. Most definitely a 'true' song.
“On these tombstones it did say,
On Mother's, 'Gone but not forgotten'
Malissa Monroe's headstone, Rosine Cemetery, Kentucky, 42370. Andrew D. Barron©9/13/07
on Dad's 'We'll meet again someday'.”

(Full lyrics)

I left Reno without much a plan and each day has gone on as it 'rolls around.' I had a feeling it would be this way, and that is why I came.

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