musical lives, remembered in story & sound

Blanche Coldiron -- 1. Fond Memories


 “I never saw anyone that loved it any more than she did.”
Irene Coldiron, on her sister’s love of music
“Blanche was the only person in my life that had a passion for music as much as I did. Because of this, I spent most Sunday afternoons at her house playing music all day. It would start off with me calling down to her house and asking if she’d want to “play.” Like two kids getting ready to embark on an adventure we’d get our guitars ready and I’d take a drive two miles down the road. She’d already have a pot of beans on the stove. Sometimes we’d get so busy playing music we’d burn ‘em, but mostly we had us a heck of a meal when we were done feeding our souls with music.”
Lisa Shaffer, a musician & friend
The friends and family Blanche Hurt Coldiron left behind are filled with memories of her, the banjo player, the markswoman, the tireless mother, the firey fiddler; they told the stories eagerly, and with a chuckle.
Over the course of this year, I’ve visited with Blanche’s two children—spent an afternoon sitting on her son Jim’s living room floor, surrounded by photographs as he and his sister Sandy told me story after story, finishing each other’s sentences. I met Blanche’s sole surviving sister, Irene, 83, a woman with a faltering voice, but dear smile, living with her daughter. There was an incredible fondness in their voices, and in the voices of musicians Sue Massek and John Harrod, and in the writing of Brandon Godman and Lisa Schaefer, as they remembered Blanche. It seems, the woman left an incredible legacy of generosity and warmth, with those lives she touched.
So, what follow, are memories of a remarkable woman, who lived a life filled with great laughter, great sacrifice, and great faith, told to me with great enthusiasm.