by Betty Seymour, April 2006
Lonnie was born June 15, 1922. Lonnie’s grandpa, John Seymour, played the fiddle, so when Lonnie was about five years old, grandpa would put him on the bed with his fiddle and let him play it. Lonnie watched how Grandpa worked his fingers and bow, that is how he learned to play the fiddle. He came from a family that loved the fiddle, including his dad, Webster, and Uncle Lon, both who were fiddlers. When Lonnie was a teenager, he started to play for dances at peoples’ houses. They would roll the carpet up so people could dance. He went into the army in 1942. When he was overseas, he played a fiddle for the men. In 1948 he played in a band called The Ross County Farmers on radio station WBEX in Chillicothe, Ohio. He loved his fiddles, so he started to collect them. His dad got Lonnie’s first fiddle. It is a Giovanni Maggini, which his son Fred still has. When Lonnie became ill with cancer, his best friends Tony and Chris, came and played music for him to listen to. Lonnie died August 25, 2002. But his fiddles still hang on the wall where he put them.
Lonnie played in a lot of festivals. He won a lot of first places. He met a lot of nice people. The young people were so nice to him. He was so proud that they were keeping the old tunes alive. He learned some tunes from them and they learned from him.