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A long-lost relative
April 1, 2008 - Bill Ackerbauer
The other day I ran into Jim Jugson, an infamously inconsistent old-time fiddle player who, it turns out, is somehow related to me. We haven't been able to determine if he's my mother's cousin's uncle on my father's side or vice-versa. At any rate, I think of him as "Uncle Jim."
We sat down the other day over a cup of coffee, and he told me all about the travels that led him back to Fulton County after years of working down south as a bourbon taster, goat wrangler and unicycle repairman.
At the ripe old age of 95, Uncle Jim doesn't get out to play his music in public as much as he did in the old days. But with a little bit of coaxing, he can be talked into blowing the dust off the fiddle and playing a few requests. In addition to familiar, traditional tunes such as "Boil the Asparagus Slowly" and "Aromatic Stranger," Uncle Jim's repertoire includes several of his own compositions, including a hauntingly beautiful tune in 3/4 time called "The Wastewater Treatment Facility Waltz."
Uncle Jim is quite a character. Even though he's not yet convinced that computers aren't powered by evil spirits, he has created a social networking site for himself on MySpace. If you're into that sort of thing, you can check it out at: www.myspace.com/unclejimjugson
Jim tells me when he was a youngster, he used to be a roadie for these guys:
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Back in the day, Uncle Jim was quite popular at the square dances (rectangular dances, too). My wife says the family resemblance is uncanny, but personally, I don't see it.