July 26, 2021

Peter Stone Brown Archives

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Uncle Bob and tales from Hogie

So this real old friend of mine named Hogie came to visit.  I’ve known Hogie since I guess 1966 when she suddenly appeared in my town and my high school.  She was very strange looking, not particularly good looking and wore crazy clothes and came from NYC, Queens to be exact.  So of course she sought me and my brother out.  She came from a really fucked up family, her mother was in a wheelchair for reasons I still don’t know and she was a crazy hippie freak sort of, very artistic, very out there. 

When I moved back to Philly she was here having gone to college at the Philadelphia College of Art and was always involved in stuff on the outside of society.  She once got me a job at a fucking carnival working the wheel and then one of those things where you throw something and like you win a teddy bear.  It was fucking scary. 

Eventually she left town and moved way down in Southern Virginia, Carter Family country.  When I played Nashville after my album came out, I visited her – you had to drive down a dirt road to another dirt road and she had this totally beautiful house she built herself.  At night the bull frogs in a pond would croak and it sounded like John Cage music or something.  I remember waking at dawn and there were a ton of deer right outside the window.  She started playing guitar and banjo and maybe even a little fiddle and knew Mike Seeger and a lot of old time musicians.  Eventually she drifted down to Louisiana where she still lives. 

So one Saturday I wake up to a Facebook message, I’m gonna be near Philly, I wanna have dinner with you and some other old friends.  So I hadn’t seen her in about 16 years I guess and she was on tour with a Zydeco band and they were staying at someone’s house across the river in Jersey.  So she comes over and says the bass player for my band is D’Jalma Garnier, Tony Garnier’s brother.  And I’m like whaaa?  So she hung out for the afternoon, fell in love with my Tele, we had this great meal at a Thai restaurant and I drove her back to where she was staying and ended up going in and there was this guy D’Jalma who’s a bit older than Tony, much taller, very smart. 

So we talk for awhile and finally I say, I’ve seen your brother play at least 100 times, going all the way back to at least 10 or more times with Asleep At The Wheel.  He says, “Oh we call call Bob ‘Uncle Bob.'”  🙂  And to make it even a smaller world, the people we ate dinner with, Hogie and myself (me to a much lesser extent) all knew the person who is now his wife way way back in the very early ’70s.