Our family took a trip to Maggie Valley, NC in the spring of 1995. We did most of the tourist type things. While heading up toward the Blue Ridge Parkway, I saw a log cabin on the side of the road. On the sign it said " Balsam Gallery Dulcimers." We stopped in and met Mr. Jack Lyle and his daughter-in-law Karin. It was a typical music shop but it featured dulcimers. My only experience with dulcimers was listening to the theme song of the Victory Garden PBS shows back in the 70's. As we looked around the shop, Karin asked me if I wanted to learn to play the mountain dulcimer. I said sure. She then proceeded to give the typical demo of the mountain dulcimer. She asked if I wanted to try it. I said sure. I had played music by ear my entire life. So I started picking out a song. I was thinking to myself that this was a very simplistic instrument. Karin was very enthusiastic about how well I picked it up. I also thought this must be the reaction everyone gets so that they would purchase an instrument. Knowing Karin as I do today, I know she is just a very sincere person, genuine and a good judge of talent!. We were on a tight budget and an instrument was not something I could do at that time. I did purchase a cassette of noted dulcimer artist, Bob Thomason. I listened to sounds of the dulcimer all the way home. I was hooked and knew that a dulcimer would be in my future.
My next adventure concerning the dulcimer was my visit to a Dulcimer club meeting. Till next time.