Postcards From The Edge -- Up The Congo.

Hi John! I wasn't quite sure where to post this, so feel free to move it to a more appropriate section if you wish.

Many thanks for all your replies. I have just now checked in here to read all of the member's postings. There are just so many that I am not sure which one I should reply to first! So I suppose I will begin the beguine here, so as to enlighten you of my absence.

I have been off "exploring" for the past week, in search of the perfect fiddle, and found the heat simply exhausting; having had to be carried part of the way by our native supply bearers. Before becoming terribly lost, I had the pleasure of having several afternoon teas with my good friend and colleague Doctor Livingstone --- who I am sure you would find a most delightfully charming fellow, as I always have. He hasn't aged a bit in all the years since I last saw him! I will share more news of my thrilling expedition on the dark continent in another thread, but I first must recover from a terrible case of sleeping sickness. (Those dastardly tsetse flies!)

I really missed BluegrassDaddy while I was away, and it is SO good to be back! I was climbing the walls and having withdrawal symptoms when I was unable to "phone home". Someone had cut the telegraph wires, and the only thing I had at my disposal for communication was quite a large jungle drum, that simply wasn't loud enough for you to hear all the way o'er yonder in North Carolina! It was while we were lost in the almost impenetrable Ituri rainforest that we were surrounded by a small band of pygmy cannibals. It was here that I went to whip out my fiddle to scare them off, and realized that I didn't have one! I thought of shaking my shillelagh at them, but I remembered that an unusual singing ape-man stole it from my tent while I was sleeping several nights before. So, fearing that I might be eaten alive, I whipped out my trusty old tea pot, and in a terribly British accent, ..... " Cup of tea?" says I. They dropped their weapons to the ground and came running towards me to sample the fresh Tetley tea I started brewing. Then, when they were all happily gathered 'round me, I merrily regaled them with anecdotes from many of your posts, and they were all delightfully entertained! This is when I became rather melancholy and realized I had a bad case of BluegrassDaddy-itis --- and that I was highly addicted to THE BEST fiddle learning web site on the planet! I guess you could call me a BluegrassDaddy addict!

I befriended the small pygmy tribe and told them all about my friend John and, and they are all going to apply for membership! I am looking forward to all of their contributions to the forum. I also extolled to them the health benefits of a completely vegetarian diet! As I stepped into the long wooden dug-out that was to take me back up the Congo River and back to Zanzibar, I promised my little friends that I would return one day soon with a fiddle and a tea pot for each of them, and thus, this was to become the initial stirrings of my small musical outreach programme to this little tribe of beautiful people.

So here I am ---- back, and fully rested after my thrilling expedition, and some time spent recovering at a wonderful sanatorium in Cairo . Now, if you will excuse me, I am feeling rather sleepy and need to lie down!

Your friend and fellow philanthropist, Scott

<em>"Your love is the greatest gift you can give someone."</em>


  • Scott! Welcome back my friend. I always enjoy hearing about your exploits. I must say I felt a touch of concern when you disappeared for a few days, but I should have known that you were out spreading the news of to the farthest outreaches. Hopefully you were also able to acquire a choice limb of good Sapele Mahogany for your new pegs!

    As for your efforts to spread the news, I can assure you that it worked! Here at fiddle camp we have been joined by several pygmy kids, and as it turns out they have happily espoused the vegetarian lifestyle! Unfortunately we now have to keep them fenced in, as they have acquired a special taste for the hostas. You can see them in the upper right of the photo below.

    <img src="" alt="pygmy kids" />
  • Sorry John! I don't know why I missed responding to your reply. Think I must have still been a bit sleepy!

    I love your pygmy kids! So cute! :) Yes, those sort of pygmies love to eat anything and everything! We used to have these sort of kids, but instead of eating just the grass, they ate all our beautiful Japanese maples and confers! These days, the sheep are the preferred option to have --- although they do love to eat the roses!

    I never got the chance to bring back any sapele / sapelli; however, I hope to bring some back from my next expedition, and I will be certain to have a large and beautiful limb delivered straight to your door --- large enough to make more than a hundred beautiful fiddles! We spent much of our time lost in the Ituri; however, despite this and the sleeping sickness, I did manage to capture and bring back that singing ape-man that I mentioned to you. He has scrubbed up nicely and looks rather dapper in his top hat and tails, and he has a voice like molten chocolate! He is to have his first lesson in classical opera singing tomorrow, and I expect he will certainly be the talk of the town. Already, the young ladies are lining up eager to met him! The trouble is that he keeps calling out for a girl called <em>"Jane"</em> .... and we have no clue whatsoever as to who this "Jane" character is! I thought perhaps you might know who she is. We certainly don't want him calling out the name of "Jane" when he is in the middle of singing "Nessun Dorma"! ------ or as some of those who are less appreciative of opera like to call it --- "Nissan Doormat". :)

  • Ah yes, the ape man... I happened upon him during a descent into Pellucidar a few years back. I was seeking an extinct Wollami Pine for the top and sides of my newest fiddle, when my entire expedition was captured by a ravenous band of Azarians. The encounter would have proved ruinous had he not appeared, riding on the back of a gigantic Ant Bear and howling like a mad orangutan. I found him to be a very amiable fellow, with beautiful grey eyes, but he soon alienated many in my group by his strange penchant for constantly grooming our hair. I commend you in aiding him in his new vocation, and eagerly await the invitation to his first Aria.
  • The invitation is already in the mail to you! Front row! :)
  • Hi John! I am glad you recounted the tale of your expedition into Pellucidar. I found it most exciting! I have heard of this place , and wanted to go there to explore many times over the years, however, I have never been able to locate it on a map; and everyone I ask, tells me there is no map! Perhaps you hold the only map showing its secret location!

    If ever one day you decide to form another expedition and return to Pellucidar, then I would very much like to join you. You could return to search again for your extinct Wollemi Pine to bring back to make your fiddle, and I could capture and bring back a Jalok. We have always wanted a warm and cuddly Jalok. I do hope they house-train easily!

    Perhaps you could also take a number of fiddles with you on the expedition and teach those dreaded Azarians the joys of fiddle playing and give them something better to do with their time, rather than standing over innocent explorers and then eating them!

    It is funny that you mention the penchant the ape man had for constantly grooming your groups hair. I have the same repetitive problems with him, and my hair is an absolute nightmare! I find this most embarrassing when we are out in public! However, I put it down to the fact that he is perhaps just a natural born nit-picker!

    He has developed a rather keen interest in the fiddle, and I would like to have you teach him; but first have him attend one of your concerts to watch you play --- perhaps even have him sit back - stage. I would hope he could control his grooming penchant for the duration of your concert, because I am sure it would be most off-putting for you to have him crawling all over you while you are playing, and doing what he does .... especially if the audience is eating!
  • I rather believe he would become quite the aficionado on the fiddle, if there is such a thing. And thank you for the front-row opera tickets! I was impressed by his considerable vocal talent from the very beginning. As you can see in the clip below, even on the Pellucidar expedition his ability, though raw, showed amazing promise. Notice how the aria flows from his mouth and his vocal tone is transparent and pure. And watch his face. There are no signs of strain anywhere. His mouth is round, his eyes and jaw are relaxed and his forehead is wrinkle-free. This enables him to focus and resonate the extremely high melodic line with consistency, the head voice central to the vocal mix. There is no strain in his voice, no constriction as he sustains and projects the tenor line.
  • Another superb creation at 2:30 in the morning! I love it! I am still ROFL! :) :) :) Beautiful tone! And such raw and vibrant talent! And as you have already observed, he has rather well - developed Pellucidar pectorals. He obviously attends the jungle gym on a regular basis!

    I am glad we signed him up before Barnum and Bailey got their hands on him! I hear there is an opening available now that Pavarotti is no longer with us. I think he will enjoy Italy --- especially the cuisine! Beats eating bananas!

    I do however think he is best suited as a soloist --- what, with that voice and his rugged manly good looks, he would cause quite a sensation, and cause many a young lady to swoon. He would break more hearts than Mario Lanza could ever imagine. I have already begun writing another opera for him to star in. I have called it "The Jungle Prince". Some of the arias are: "Song of Pellucidar"; "Be My Chimp"; "Hyena Serenade"; Santa Ituri"; "The Jungle Is Young"; "Drink, Drink Sago"..... and what I believe will become his most famous signature aria " Arrivederci Congo"

    Now, if you will excuse me; His Lordship is screaming out for another banana. Just what I need --- another prima donna in my life!
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