A violin and a guitar? My grandfather, William Carl Robert Meinzen, is on the left with bow to strings. The man beside him is his brother-in-law, George K. Harris.
Grampa was born in 1892, George in 1887. In 1910 George married Grampa's sister, Wilhelmina Elizabeth Meinzen. The photo is undated but I suspect it was taken in the early 1910s, probably at the Meinzen home in Steubenville, Ohio.
I never saw Grampa play an instrument during his lifetime. In the living room of my grandparents' home was a built-in, glass-fronted bookcase. Inside the bookcase were books and a sweet potato. Not the kind one eats, the kind one plays. The sweet potato was about the size, shape, and color of a regular sweet potato though perhaps just a little browner. It had holes. I think it was made of unglazed but polished (or burnished) clay.
Rumor was that Grampa could play the sweet potato. I don't know anyone who ever heard or saw him play it. Once, while I was there, the sweet potato was taken out and Grampa held it up to his mouth and blew through it but didn't play it. None of the living descendants know what happened to the sweet potato. We suspect that the aunt who disowned us either gave it away or sold it.
It is a change for my grandfather to have his sleeves rolled down. As a barber he usually had them rolled up to the inside. Grampa always seemed to wear this style of pants when he was young. They remind me of jodhpurs though Grampa was neither a horseman nor a baseball player. Had I seen this photo when I was a child I might have asked my grandmother about the pants, but it's too late to ask anyone.
Tattered and Lost viewed this post and left a comment with a link to a post about an ocarina. It shows pages from and 1940s instruction book and a youtube clip of a Crosby/Hope movie in which they "play" an ocarina. As s/he points out, the sound is true ocarina but Crosby and Hope weren't the players.
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