FRC714 – Tom Fuller – Traditional Fiddling from Oklahoma & Texas
By David Winston
An earlier version of this article first appeared in The Old Time Herald, Volume 13, Number 11.
[I asked David Winston what he remembered about the visit to Tom Fuller’s home he and I made along with our friend Al Tharp in 1975. Here’s what he sent me. –Brad Leftwich]
I remember that we bedded down in the kitchen after our afternoon and evening of making music with Mr. Fuller. He looked in on us before going to bed himself. After locking the door leading to the garage, he exclaimed something to the effect of “You boys are so cute, I had to make sure nobody stole you.” Passing the kitchen table, he accidentally hit it with his hip and said, “I don’t see why they have to put darned corners on these things.” We laughed. He was a wonderful fellow.
He had a self-depreciating sense of humor, as reflected in the fiddle refinishing story [in the main article] and his answer when one of us asked if he still drove a car: He explained how he had been driving, even though his eyesight was failing. The evening sun was low in the sky, and he couldn’t see much at all and decided to just follow the curb, until: “Wham! I went right into a car parked on the side of the road. That was the end of driving for me.” His delivery was like his fiddling: light, bouncy, and filled with humor.
Being introduced to his music opened me up to something far different from the Round Peak approach with which I was obsessed. But what was interesting is that his music as it was refashioned by the time I heard it [due to arthritis] was almost completely defined by his bowing, not unlike Tommy Jarrell’s playing. But Tommy stomped on the downbeat, and Tom bounced on it.
© 2015 David Winston. Used by permission of David Winston and The Old Time Herald