The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #32917   Message #3017457
Posted By: reggie miles
28-Oct-10 - 01:51 AM
Thread Name: Help: What harmonica do I use?
Subject: RE: Help: What harmonica do I use.....?
Hey shayaa, yes, that would be the same Jerome. What kind of info were you hoping to find?

I believe that his brother lives somewhere in the area. I used to bump into him every so often. This part of the Pacific Northwest is where Jerome's family settled and where he grew up.

A sad part of the story, about Jerome's death, is that he had more than just an addiction to alcohol. Because he knew his condition would not get any better and that he would eventually deteriorate from it, I think he went out of his way to hasten his demise via any additional means he could find.

He invited me to Germany, toward the end, to be a driver for him as he traveled and performed. He said he would introduce me to the right folks and by doing so, I might be able to gain some needed contacts in Germany for my own musical endeavors, but I was never able to afford to get over there.

I wish that I could have had the opportunity to spend some more time with him before he died. I always enjoyed his blues playing and singing style. It would have been sweet to have him show me around Germany. But he was in such bad shape, that I was worried about whether I would have been put in the awkward position of enabling his decision to quicken his pace toward the inevitable.

Jerome used to play a beat up, old, large bodied, Kay flat-top guitar. The neck was badly warped. So, you could only finger it in the first position (near the nut). However, the high action along the rest of the neck made it perfect for bottleneck slide style playing. That playing style is one that we both shared a fascination with exploring.

The last time that Jerome dropped by my house, he left that old Kay with me. He knew that I had looked for one of those guitars for a long time but never had any luck locating one. So, he always told me, that if he died, he would want me to have it.

It's unfortunate that Jerome went back to Germany owing his brother an undisclosed amount of money. After he left, I was surprised to see his brother arrive at my door, looking for a guitar that belonged to Jerome. His brother claimed that Jerome wanted him to send the guitar to him in Germany.

Here's what I believe was actually happening. I think that Jerome's brother thought that the guitar that he left with me had some high dollar value and that perhaps he could sell it to cover the money that Jerome owed him. He insisted that I give him the guitar, despite my explaining that it had no great value given its condition.

However, it did have sentimental value, knowing that it was a guitar that Jerome played. It also had value to me as a bottleneck slide player. I was proud that Jerome offered it to me as a parting gesture before he left for Germany and I was sad to see his brother at my door asking for it.

I don't know if the story that his brother told me, about Jerome wanting the guitar sent to Germany, was a true or not. If Jerome wanted it sent, he could have called me and asked me to send it. I gave it to his brother just the same. I'd be surprised to learn that Jerome had actually received the guitar before he died. I wouldn't be surprised if his brother still has it and thinks it's some kind of highly valued treasure.

It was a treasure, in that it was something that Jerome played and made sing, in a very sweet way, while he was still with us. I would have liked to continue to play it and make it sing, as he had and in so doing, keep that part of Jerome alive.

I've not seen his brother since that day.