This post is overdue. Mr. Alfred Michels, the Fiddlemaker, passed away in late September. Everyone who was fortunate enough to know Alfred instantly fell in love with his lilting old world accent and the sparkle in his eye. He was a person who lived deliberately and simply, and he left a rare and beautiful legacy for us all.
Here's a link to his obituary.
Alfred and his wife Amy grew most all their food. He worked his land with horses, just like my Grandpa used to. A filmmaker recently made a movie called "Mountain Minor" that features a fine young local musician, Asa Nelson. Alfred's horses are also in the movie, and he worked with Asa and the film crew. The movie is in film festivals now, and I just can't wait to see it!
...and did I mention that Alfred didn't just make fiddles... he played the heck out of them! He played for years with the LazyBirds, an awesome little band that is based in the North Carolina Mountains. Here he is playing "Draggin' the Bow".
I have a few reference pictures left, so Alfred will appear in at least two future paintings. Like all who knew him, I could myself blessed to have met and been inspired by Alfred Michels.