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  • The guy on the left in the lawn chair is Rick Bosserman. Rick had been playing about a year when this picture was taken, and still had some trouble locating chords now and then. By profession, he is an auto body technician, and a damn fine one. He's married to a school teacher, spends a lot of time with his family, and practices when he can. By now, I am certain he is a fine guitarist, mostly due to a deep, personal commitment and the instruction of the man on the right.

    That man on the right in the hat and denim shirt is Wes Sedrel. Wes, among other things, is a professional musician. His ability to play a guitar, any guitar, is nothing short of amazing. From church music to rock and roll, to classical music, Wes can play it. He teaches music, directs a music program for a small church, and loves what he does.

    I'm the guy in the middle, this time with my Fender Californian acoustic over my leg, trying to keep up with Wes. No easy task, I assure you. I think we were playing some bluegrass versions of hymns, not because they were scheduled into the activities, but because the three of us all showed up with guitars. I had a guitar in my trunk almost all the time back then. It just seemed the right thing to do.

    These days things are a little different. I don't get the chance to play out as much as I'd like, and I don't attend that church any longer. The pastor, seated at the table in the hat, was Bob Smith [no relation]. When Bob retired, it just didn't seem the same. Jerry Sales, a deacon, also went on to pastor a different congregation. As I mentioned, Wes also moved on to a different church to direct their music program. Kids grew up, a few positions in the church changed hands, and little by little, it was no longer the place I had come to when I first started attending.

    But that doesn't mean I don't think about them from time to time. I ran across this picture looking for something to inspire me today and realized I had some really good times at these picnics and with these people. Rick, Wes, and I played a lot of music together, sometimes to the disapproval of a few of the older Brethren who thought the only instruments that belonged in a church were an organ and a trumpet. I guess they never saw the paintings depicting the old testament celebrations with all sorts of instruments, or read the verses that inspired them.

    Not being of that opinion, Rick, Wes, and I often did the "special music" for the services, interjecting songs from the Maranatha* songbook, some modern rock music, and my favorite, some good old bluegrass. It was sort of funny, cause this older group would sit cool and emotionless in the pews while we played [Brethren are loving Christians, but a bunch of stodgy old Germans], but under the pews you could hear a few toes tapping along. Kinda funny in a way how people will scowl at you for doing something while secretly wishing they could be doing it too.

    I hear from Wes from time to time. Haven't talked to Rick in quite a while. Guess I ought to break out my guitar and give him a call. Maybe he feels like pickin' and grinnin' a bit. You never know, we might have to get together with Wes and go to a picnic.

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