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  • There was this house in the country around the corner from where I grew up, at the bend on Jersey Hill Road. It was an old white farm house, with a small porch. It was shaded by old trees that were too big for their proximity to the house. Nearby the house along the road were two old barns. I’d drive by almost every day for years.

    One winter, in my early twenties I was attending college about ten miles from the house I grew up in. At the time, I had a drafty old apartment in town, closer to the University. I had this vivid and strange dream. One day while driving by, I had somehow began a conversation with the owner of that white farm house property, and he was an older bearded man. We were talking about music, and after telling him I played the banjo and was very interested in old time music, he took me outside to the shorter of the old barns.

    It had always appeared to me that it was old small cattle barn. But inside the walls, the space was clean and bright. The walls of the barn were lined with old instruments in fine condition – fiddles, banjos, tenor guitars, 12 string guitars. A number of stand-up basses were leaned against the walls. “This is amazing. I had no idea all this was here.” I remember saying. The bearded man said I should pick out a few to take home and practice with. The whole room seemed lit by a beautiful, bright, amber light. It glowed yellow and orange. The warmth inside was a supreme one. The feeling was absolute magic. As I looked at the beautiful instruments, I was recognizing a strange bliss.

    Upon waking up, what I remember most about that dream was that light inside the barn, bright like the sun. Bright like fire. The next time I drove by that barn, it was gone, reduced to a pile of blackened timber surrounded by scorched earth. Those were indeed strange times for me, and things like that happened more than you might believe.
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