I am an immigrant from the Netherlands, a 'real' Hollander, coming to the USA when I was almost 5 years old. In 1962, at age 10, my parents - especially my Dad - thought it would be a “...dream come true” if I, his eldest son, learned to play the violin. It would be proof to all the relatives back in the Netherlands that things were going well for us…I'd be studying the violin! Dad had a great feel for music and we three boys all had to first learn to play the harmonica! (My sister somehow got out of this!) My training was classical, but Dad added a twist. I'd have to play along with the local Gospel radio station and improvise on the tune, in whatever key it was played in, even if it was in between keys, and all without sheet music in front of me!
I played all through High School, as well as several years in the orchestra at Calvin College, where I was a student. I did cause some immense pain to my orchestra Professor at Calvin when several of us were given a chance to play a genuine Stradivarius and I played “Yackity Sax” instead of something from Beethoven! I continued with mostly classical music, in various groups and also performing in weddings and at Church, I started feeling an urge to play a different style of music.
In 1999 I met a young high school student, Luke Lenhart, who is a most gifted bluegrass instrumentalist! He coached me in the fine art of how to play bluegrass style. I traded my violin for a fiddle! I played with Luke's band for many years and now have the privilege of being part of the Calabogie Road Bluegrass Band.
My wife Dianne and I have three wonderful sons, three wonderful daughter–in–laws, and eight fantastic grand children! After I retired from my job as a P. O. With the Dept. of Corrections I opened up a coffeehouse, Mocha–N–Music, where over 2,700 music events were played! Now that the coffeehouse is closed, I get to play even more music!