Brad’s Elephant

I have known the Harper’s since my first tour in Heidelberg. If I remember correctly, Brad transferred from Stuttgart after they closed in 1994, which I got there in 1993. Actually, it wasn’t “Heidelberg” then but the 130th Station hospital which had be there since WWII and had the distinction of having the Patton Room. (who knew it would be important to be the place where that particular officer died of complications following an MVA).

Any how, Brad, Cheré and their two girls overlapped with me and my crew. Since that time we managed to maintain our friendship over multiple PCS’s, deployments, countries and kids growing up. Cheré  and I also have a few hobbies in common, mostly having to do with sewing and other needle related crafts. Besides being a professional harpist, Cheré is a speech pathologist. Add all that up and you have fabric, sewing machines, books, craft supplies, several harps (one full concert size), key boards and stacks of music.

When I visited their new house in Virginia fall of 2011 Brad was complaining that he would have to take up Elephants for a hobby in order to have the same volume of “stuff.” He was absolutely horrified when I offered to give Cheré  the hammer dulcimer that I have been carting around for years but haven’t played for a couple of decades.  I suggested that perhaps he could learn to play it….

In reality, I don’t think there is excessive craft supplies in their house. Much less that we have in Heidelberg. But then if you take away the knitting, spinning and weaving it might be just about the same.

As of 8 August, the dulcimer will leave here with the rest of the household goods heading to the US. I think that it will be much closer to the Harper’s house once it arrives and it shouldn’t be all that difficult to ship it from California.  It has been my white elephant – I am going to make it Brads!

one each dulcimer, hammered in case with stand....

one each dulcimer, hammered in case with stand….


<h4>Detrashing update</h4>

Done with the three store rooms. Have the downstairs hall cleared out except for the top and two shelves of the bookcase.  Noah is taking out the three large garbage bags and two overflowing large boxes of trash.

Packed up toys, sweaters. Dropped off five boxes of books @ Librarys, some found items at LRMC PAD and have one more bag of clothing/shoes for the Humana bin and three bags for the Refugee Charity.

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7 Responses to Brad’s Elephant

  1. AlisonH says:

    Hammer dulcimers are wonderful instruments–Brad will be very fortunate.

  2. Chere' says:

    Brad says, and I quote, “I had no idea she was that evil.”


  3. Ann says:

    Okay, let me read between the lines. Are you actually leaving Germany and moving into the house in California? Am I close? Sounds like you are, but what will happen to Shana? Will she stay in Germany? I know the others are in the USA.
    Have you finished with your cruising, or just taking a break?

    Hope all’s well with you and yours,

  4. Holly says:


    Haven’t finished cruising – have six scheduled for this fall starting end Aug.

    Not moving – just shipping stuff. The Eldest is headed to USF for grad school – MBA time

  5. Bruce says:

    Are you giving us fair warning to take hearing protection if we head Williamsburg way after the first of the year ?

  6. Ruth says:

    What a lovely gift! Who wouldn’t want a hammered dulcimer in their home and life? You sure unearth the best “junk”!

  7. Isobel says:

    Did you know that Matthew played the hammered dulcimer professionally? Three recordings–last one with Vassar Clemmens and Sam Bush as back up. Nice instrument. Not easy to play.

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