McFadyen Musings

MCFADYEN’S MUSINGS – CORN AND PEACHES

By Bill McFadyen Hurley Randall of Falcon went to work for my Dad at McFadyen Music about the time I entered the world. He stayed on the payroll until he left this world in 1990. His original role with the business was selling Wurlitzer pianos displayed at the Gillespie Street location, the store we always […]

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McFadyen Musings – MORE THAN 100

One of the rites of spring in a culture such as mine is the grasping of a varnished length of cane.  Knotted onto its wispy end is a strand of thin monofilament line of approximately the same length as the cane itself.  Threaded onto the line is the smallest of natural corks, the kind with a thread […]

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McFadyen Musings: Paper Products

Most of society, me included, shares an acute awareness of the negative medical and financial effects of the COVID pandemic.  Many have lost or at least have had suspended their employment.  Landlords have lost their rents.  Businesses have shuttered.  Worse still, and most significantly, people are dying.  Many more are locked away in their homes, […]

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McFadyen’s Musings: Making lemonade from lemons

One of the benefits for me in exercising my responsibilities of fatherhood was the adoption of other people’s kids.  Those adoptions started with Maggie’s toddler friend Emma McCauley at First School.  Today, I still consider Emma, at age 21, as mine.  With our two boys, I began adopting their friends on father/son hunting and fishing […]

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McFadyen Musings: The last day of Summer

  I woke fairly early on that last day of Summer.    It was the morning following the last of the flash-floodish rains from the two days prior.  Our front yard was the catcher’s mitt for the overflow from the little irrigation hole that sits in the lowest point between our and the neighbors’ backyards. […]

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Remember Uncle Owen?

One of the saddest but most useful lessons I learned in living alongside an Alzheimer’s patient was that I could not bring her to where I was in time. A lifetime of memories appeared to still float around inside my mother’s head.  However, the pathways that connected the memories in an orderly fashion were irreparably fractured. Sometimes, we could navigate around the potholes in her mind. […]

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THE DOWRY

THE DOWRY   By: Bill McFadyen At age 34, my mom suffered daily angst over my bachelor status. I on the other hand was persevering through it bravely.    From out of nowhere, a girl appeared at the sales counter of McFadyen Music in Greenville, North Carolina, on a Friday. I asked her to marry me on Monday and 11 weeks later, we were husband and wife. […]

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Squash Casserole and Chemotherapy

Squash Casserole and Chemotherapy  By: Bill McFadyen My wife, Susanna, routinely suffers a great injustice while entertaining at our home. She goes through a mental list of potential guests. Once chosen, their attendance is confirmed, at which time my wife plans a menu representative of all the food groups with starters, main courses, side dishes and desserts.  From about mid-day on the day of the event, […]

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A Letter from Mom

 A Letter from Mom  By: Bill McFadyen   It has been five years since I told her “Happy Mother’s Day.” I doubt she remembered the last one, as dementia had eroded her ability to retain things. In fact, during those last few “Happy Mother’s Days,” she was struggling to appear nonplussed hour by hour, while inside she was […]

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The Cornbread Skillet

THE CORNBREAD SKILLET   By: Bill McFadyen   Hearing of Mamma’s death was nothing like when Granddaddy died. Riding in the backseat on the way to the coast to fish for Spanish mackerel, I had heard my uncle tell his fishing buddies that Granddaddy would live a normal life after having received a lung cancer diagnosis. To […]

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$75 a Month

By: Bill McFadyen There is no arguing that it was indeed a very cool condo. Eighth floor, facing west toward Molokai and the sunset, and looking down on a coral reef below the surface a hundred yards off the beach. But then, everything on Maui bordered on beautiful. Still, $900 a month in 1984 was big rent. The only way to mathematically tackle it on the wages made […]

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THE DOG DAYS of SUMMER 

Growing up, we never had a dog. We had a calico cat for a very long time and I had a quail for a couple of years. Not dogs. It seems an odd omission to me now for such a traditional family as were we.  In adulthood, though, I had dreams of owning a great quail dog. A lot of that vision came […]

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I Thought It Was Just A Party

By: Bill McFadyen It would never happen in today’s more competitive world but somehow, in 1979, I managed to secure a spot as a freshman at the prestigious Davidson College. Their expectation was that I be a part of the graduating Class of 1983. The miracle is not that I got in; that was just a mistake on the part of someone in the Admissions Office who was foolish enough […]

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Another Productive Day

By: Bill McFadyen My wife did a fantastic job of compiling a list of chores for me to accomplish that Saturday while she would be in town shopping for Back to College items for our rising sophomore. There was, of course, the yard to be mowed. The destruction of the old boy’s club in the barn had stalled out since […]

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BIRDFEEDERS

BIRDFEEDERS        The phone screen read “Hoose.”  When Hudson was still just a little tyke, he loved playing with Pokémon cards. He had hundreds. I never caught on to the game, so as a cursory observer, I simply noticed that all of the figures had Asian names. I told him that as many […]

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Make No Mistake

By Bill McFadyen “Early” depends on your internal clock but for me, it was early – daylight before the sunrise. True to her preferred Sunday ritual, my wife slept on. Penny sniffed for interlopers from the night before and Norma did that cat-thing where she demanded attention until it was offered, at which time she […]

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Life Behind the Earthen Dam

By Bill McFadyen   My primary care physician, who also served as best man at my late 20th century wedding, was engaging in retention of repeat business in that spring of 2012. “We see by our records that you have not had a physical in two years. We would like to schedule one.” It was only […]

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“Mr. Marvin’s Marinade”

by Bill McFadyen February 25, 2018 I never knew a whole lot about Marvin Hayslip. One of his daughters married one my in-laws. I saw him on Thanksgivings. His family and my in-laws occupied the same house for a spell. As is my way, I mingled in and out of every group. He seemed from […]

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I Thought We Came to Fish

By Bill McFadyen Back in the days before sloshing across the deep blue sea in large boats made me turn various colors and then vomit, I fished about once a year with Watson Caviness and his dad, Dr. Bob Caviness. I would contribute a share toward entry fees and expenses in small tournaments that took […]

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Graduation Goodbye

Of Rainbows and Fledgling Flights By: Bill McFadyen From the first day of becoming a parent, one hears the clichéd advice repeatedly. It comes from people older than you or at least from ones whose children have aged to a point beyond the full need of parental guidance.  My dad was the master of the […]

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