Grandma and Her Fiddle
The FiddleVille shirt concept is a tribute to my Grandmother, Rhoda McFarlane. She often participated in the Fiddle contest, was part of the parade, or was on stage performing as Shelburne's oldest Fiddler. As a kid I never much appreciated the music or the talent. Generally I wasn't interested in 'listening' to the screeching torture of a wooden instrument, but as I have matured and emotionally grown-up, I realized I lost an opportunity to full understand it all....and to better understand who I am.
The roots of the FiddleVille come from our Celtic settlers. Long, hard, cold winters being cooped up on a farm, far away from town, lead families to developing their own music as a form of entertainment to fight of boredom. This style of music is different from the music you hear down east. There are no French-Canadian or Maritime influences, only toe-tapping, simple, music that reflects living in the country.
My Grandma couldn't read sheet music, she would just hear the tune, pick up the fiddle and jump right in. She and my Grandfather were popular fixtures at square dances in the county. He would be the square dance caller and she would supply the music with her siblings. I don't think they ever really danced with one another as they were in such high demand as talent in those days.
So when it came to creating a shirt for Shelburne, FiddleVille was an obvious choice. If you look closely there is even a fiddle icon in the word. The shirt is meant to reflect our past, like a nickname of a close friend. The original fiddle contest has now evolved into a Heritage Music Festival and offers music to a diverse crowd. Fiddle music is still part of who we are, but like everything in life it changes. To me however, Shelburne will always be FiddleVille.