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I reread "Grapes of Wrath" a couple of years back in anticipation of my 1999 Route 66 trip and the book's passages about music and musicians in the camps really stood out. You could say they "struck a chord". The people in Granny's letter are not the same as the desperate travelers in Steinbeck's novel but they were in similar surroundings. Both worlds could be made a little brighter with music.

The chapter I have quoted ends with "The migrant people looked humbly for pleasure on the roads." The travelers that Grandad and Granny met on their trip were not migrants. It was a happier time and most of these people, like Frank and Gertrude, were traveling for pleasure and to satisfy curiosity. There was little gloom in the America of 1920 but I'm sure that travelers still "looked humbly for pleasure on the roads".

Granddad fiddled and he wrote music. This page offers samples of each. The recordings were originally cut directly into 78 RPM disks. They have passed through a cassette tape version and some amateur editing to reach their current MP3 form. The sheet music was scanned from the handwritten originals.

Durang's Hornpipe (recorded 25-May-1955)
unnamed Quad (written and played by Frank Robbins)
When I was a Boy in the Mountains and You were a Girl in the Hills
When It's Night Time in Nevada

These MP3 files are low speed (24kbps) for greater accessibility. Trust me, the frequency range of the original recording has not been compromised. There are plenty of MP3 player out there and I don't feel qualified to recommend one but, if you are in need, here's a pretty decent source:

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