A Concert Made in Heaven

by | May 24, 2004 | Eternity, Praise

“Is it on? Is it working?” Pappy said. Then he played his harmonica for me and he didn’t even know it.

What a rare opportunity I had. I offered to do a friend a favor and got so much more out of it than I ever thought I could. I got to meet Pappy Campbell.

Well, not in person. But I was permitted to sit in on a concert of sorts. He was the main attraction.

Pappy Campbell played the harmonica and he played it well. My friend made a tape recording of it when she was just a little girl. I offered to take the cassette tape and record it on CD. You’d think I turned it into gold. You see when I called to tell her I copied it for her I played part of it on the phone. She cried.

“I must have been around 12 years old, I guess,” she told me.

She got the tape recorder as a gift. What better way to break it in then to record her grandfather playing all of his favorite tunes.

She had no idea what she was doing back then. She was just a kid and her Pappy would live forever, right? Her Pappy, like everyone else’s Pappy, passed on but left behind more than a loving granddaughter. He left behind memories that will last her a lifetime at least.

She loved her Pappy. I can understand why. You could hear his gentleness in his voice. I could almost see the joy on his face as he played for her. I could imagine her sitting there before him so attentively, watching the recorder capture his rare talent. I wonder if in his wisdom he even thought for a moment that this tape would remain as a testament to their love for each other.

Pappy Campbell reached into the 21st century and again sparked a little girl’s heart.

He did it almost non stop for 9 minutes and 58 seconds. Not very long at all. But when you’re grown up and people in old photographs can’t speak to you, a recording is a stolen piece of yesterday that can be relived a hundred times.

I bet if she closed her eyes, she could be there with him again. Think about how powerful that would be. I think of all the recordings I made as a child. Mom and Dad, family parties, my dog Skipper barking and maybe even my Gramps playing the ukulele and singing “Three Little Fishies.”

After my Gramps died I held on to a shirt I bought him for Christmas that year. It smelled like him. I would bury my face in it and breathe in the aroma of one of his cigars. I actually kept it in a plastic bag for years until one day I could sense him no more.

My friend, you have no idea what you have there. I’d give anything to hear my Gramps again.

But Pappy played for me instead. I had the honor of hearing it all. It was precious.

Yes, Pappy Campbell played just for me the other day. And he didn’t even know it. Or did he.

Maybe Pappy and Gramps are holding a concert made in heaven tonight.

I wish I could sit in on that one.

Bob Perks Bob@BobPerks.com


A Concert Made in Heaven