A nice lady just stopped by and told me she played the trombone when she was young and she really enjoyed my music. We talked about the Lord and trombones and music. All her husband seemed interested in was taking pictures. I was blessed when she asked if she could have her picture taken with me.
This is my retirement life. I meet many wonderful people in this park. At night I play with a group in a little music club. Miss Ella and I have a wonderful life. We have been married for almost 50 years. She plays her clarinet in the Market Square and does mostly gospel music with her brother and cousin.
Our son is a successful attorney up in Atlanta. We don’t see him and his wife and the grandkids very much these days. He says he is too busy to make the three hour trip to Savannah. We talk on the phone just about every week. He asks me why I spend so much time out in the park when we should be traveling, going on cruises and taking it easy in our retirement. I tell him that working in the cotton fields and playing at night in every backwater Blues Club in Mississippi doesn’t provide much of a retirement plan. I don’t say it to him, but I think if my rich son would send us on a cruise we would be happy to go. But, he’s a good man and attends a wonderful church with his family.
I have had a good life. I dropped out of school before I graduated to help in the cotton fields. All of us kids helped support our family. We lived in a small sharecropper shack and didn’t have much money, but we had a mom and dad who loved us and loved the Lord. We would sing gospel songs on the porch just about every night. All of the kids learned to play instruments at a young age. We played whatever instrument other folks handed down to us. I played the guitar and also had an old trombone that my uncle Joe gave to me.
When I turned 18 I left the cotton fields and headed out on my own. I played whatever Blues or Jazz club that would have me in Mississippi and Louisiana. I met a lot of good folks like Leadbelly, Blind Willy and others who became legends in the Blues. I will never forget when I got to play with the great Louie “Satchmo” Armstrong in New Orleans.
I met Ella in a club in New Orleans. We got married and lived there for many years and raised our family. When that big hurricane destroyed our little house several years ago, we decided to get out of the big city and moved to Savannah.
We live in a small house behind our little church outside the city. I take care of the landscaping and fix up around the church and Ella cleans the inside.
Brother Williams is our pastor and a great man of God. Sometimes I bring the Word at our midweek service. Miss Ella leads our gospel band and choir
God has been so good to us!