This looks like any other briefcase.
But it’s my Grandpa Brink’s briefcase. And it contains all of his music stuff from his latter-years when he was mostly a church musician, but still regularly played banjo with The Golden Aires, too.
He kept busy. There’s a little bit of everything in here. Secular music. Church music. A whole bunch of Christmas music. Even a couple of teaching books. (He would sometimes teach guitar lessons, though not much by the time I came along.) It contains a ton of his most-used pages of music…
And even a few of his hand-written chord-sheets. Here’s a seasonal selection…
He even kept song-lists of the sets he would play with different groups. Here’s a secular-based set of “extras,” presumably played when the blue-hairs went WILD and demanded an encore!
…and this one, I just like.
Grandpa died in 1999 and I only stumbled across this briefcase this past year. In the last years of his life, his Parkinson’s Disease has progressed to a point where he didn’t play very much (if at all, from what I understand). That must have been a terrible realization.
I’ve been a musician for 20 years, and looking through this case meant a lot. I’m slightly irritated to find that, based on some of the notes in here and some of the theory-work that’s displayed, Grandpa was apparently a much better musician than I am even now. One of the great regrets of my life is that it never occurred to me to play any songs with him while he was alive.
This last shot sums up the theme of this photo-set the best for me.