Making music and friends on Sipper Hill

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 14, 2006

When Luverne Mayor Joe Rex Sport and his wife, Mrs. Barbara, asked me to go on a &#8220date” this past Saturday night, I didn't quite know what to say.

Of course, I said yes.

The Sports, along with their daughter, Kayle, picked me up at 6:45 p.m., right on time. I thought it was funny when Mrs. Barbara told Mr. Joe Rex to watch out and not run over any of my kittens.

That's right.

I have a stray momma cat and her three babies living under my house.

They know a sucker when they see one.

Anyway, off we went.

I didn't quite know what to expect. All I had been told was that I was going to a &#8220music makin'” and that I should be in for quite a surprise.

Surprise doesn't even begin to describe it.

At the Sippers' old home place, just off of Quail Tower Road in the Sipper Hill Community, I found about nine musicians gathered around in a circle, some playing the guitar, while others played the fiddle. In all, there were about 25 people in attendance. Some just sat and listened and either sang or hummed along.

One lady was knitting while she tapped her foot to the music.

I seemed to have stumbled across a family tradition of getting together on a Saturday night and playing, or making music, together.

This reminded me very much of being at a Sacred Harp singing where everyone enjoys himself and finds a little respite from the world.

Some of those playing included Clyde Hall of Montgomery, who played a fiddle like nobody's business. Also there were Tommy Sipper, Don Wilson, Ric Sipper, Guy Gibson, Bob Perdue on the harmonica, Kayle Sport on the fiddle, and Brandon Rolling. Kayo Sipper sang several songs with the group.

Lisa Sipper Rolling and her brother, Ric, sang several duets together. When they sang the song about &#8220Daddy's Hands,” I admit that I had to look away because that song always reminds me of my dad so much, and I could feel the tears starting to come up.

Brandi Rolling sang one of my favorites, a Keith Whitley original, &#8220When You Say Nothing at All.”

The group played everything from country, to bluegrass to gospel songs and folk songs. I loved every minute of it. In fact, I was like a kid in a candy store, scooting closer and closer to the front as the night went on.

One of the main highlights of the evening came when Mr. Joe Rex sang &#8220The Cabbage Song.” Just go ahead and ask him about it. I dare you.

However, when Mr. Joe Rex, who used to sing at the Saturday night gospel singings with my grandmother, Mrs. Nettie Vee Grayson, and Mrs. Barbara and myself got to sing &#8220The Old Rugged Cross” and &#8220Will the Circle be Unbroken?”, for a few fleeting moments, it was like singing with my grandmother again, and I wouldn't trade that feeling for anything.

Whoever said you couldn't find a little Heaven on earth every now and then?

Regina Grayson is managing editor of The Luverne Journal. She can be reached at 335-3541 or by email: