It happened at the Marsh family reunion



On Sunday, October 20, a whole bunch of Marshes met to celebrate the 71st annual Marsh family reunion at Palisades Park.

Lots of folks have passed away, and lots of little ones are coming on that I don’t even know. The last member of my daddy’s generation died recently. If my daddy, O.B. Marsh, was still alive, he would have been 103 on Oct. 22.

He collected fiddles…he had 21 of them. He planned to refurbish them after he retired, but was unable to do so.

Without his knowledge, I took those fiddles to a violin shop in Birmingham and had the expert pick the best one and refurbish it like new. Then, I had a violinist to surprise daddy on his 80th birthday at that year’s reunion to play “Amazing Grace” on that fiddle.

Daddy just sat there in his wheelchair with tears of joy streaming down his face. Well, that was 23 years ago, and I still have that fiddle.

Several weeks ago, it occurred to me that it would be a nice touch to get someone to play that fiddle at this year’s reunion. The violinist, Alton Murphree, who played it 23 years ago, is now deceased, so I started looking for another violinist to do the honors.

I found Chris Green, probate judge and commission chairman of Blount County, and also a gifted violinist. He agreed to come and play several songs on that old fiddle for us. He played a great Irish number and a wonderful arrangement of “Amazing Grace.”

That fiddle was an antique violin when daddy bought it many years ago. It’s still not a Stradivarius by any stretch, but on Sunday, Oct. 20, in the hands of Chris Green, it produced some heavenly tones that I know would have been pleasing to the ears of O.B. Marsh!

It certainly was to me.

Brice Marsh

Birmingham