Dick's Forum

                     Dick’s Forum – No. 1


  It seems like I was surrounded by fiddle players and preachers when I was a boy. I was born in Denver, Colorado. My grandfather, John Thomas Walker, was a fiddle maker and preacher living in Denver, Colorado. According to family history my part of the Walker family is his second family and the details of that and most any other question about him are lost in the mist of time as I know almost nothing about him. I have looked for his name in  most every fiddle I have ever seen and expect one of these days to be rewarded with the excitement of finding his name where he wrote it in one of them.

 My father, Paul Arthur Walker, was born in Pueblo, CO on June 6, 1917 and was raised in Denver. He could play the fiddle and guitar. He learned to play the fiddle from his older brother, Jack who was able to take violin lessons in Denver and became a very good violinist and guitar player. As I remember our family history Jack’s true name was Phinas and he was born in Colorado Springs, CO. At one time he played in the Denver Symphony Orchestra and also had a radio program in Denver calling himself “Cowboy Jack”.   He also played fiddle for California bandleader Ole Rasmussen at the 92nd Street Corral in Los Angeles. My childhood memories of music include many hours of my dad and uncle Jack playing all kinds of music and the guitar and fiddle, usually Jack playing the fiddle, my dad the guitar. My dad passed away during the summer of 1962 at the age of 46.

 My mother, Verna Dorothy Miller was born in Stanton, Nebraska on May 19, 1914. She was a true farm girl of the era.  I have no idea how she learned to play the violin but one of her favorite activities as a young girl was playing hymns on her violin. My mother passed away in October, 2006 at the age of 92.

 Such was the musical life of my early family. Later when we all became Christians our musical interest shifted to church activities but the early influence of the fiddle and its sounds continued to fill my life