After much thought, I decided that in its own twisted way even Facebook has played a large enough role in this curious episode regarding the ongoing mystery over the whereabouts of Terry Morris’ guitar to be included as a means of partially displaying the usually unfortunate results when outsiders feel the need to involve themselves in any affair that is none of their business. Then again, toadying shows the nature of many outsiders seeking membership by trying to demonstrate their own importance to those who would not miss them in their absence.
My role as Chris’ husband in this saga, came to the forefront when a photo of Rex Gillentine and Terry Morris was posted on Facebook during the first week of June 2012, with Terry holding a fiddle and Rex holding Terry’s guitar. Since Rex is well-known for playing an Epiphone Texan instead of a Gibson j45, the photo caused someone to ask about the guitar Rex was holding. The resulting exchange ended with Rex stating the guitar was actually Terry’s and that he would tell the person the full story of the guitar the next time he saw him.
While this brief exchange transpired, others in the same Facebook group busied themselves by posting fiddle recordings for folks to name, which caused me to begin my post about the guitar with the photo of our daughter holding it and my own guessing game:
Since the guessing games seem enjoyable: Who is this beautiful young woman and what is she holding. The photo was taken in 1995.
Like · · Unfollow Post · June 9 at 3:18pm Liked by, Carla Burger Haynie, Tobi Morris, Nance Lehman, Dale Morris, and Kyoko Kawasaki
Since Chris and I never made any attempts to conceal our possession of the guitar, I believed both Sarah and Terry’s guitar would be quickly identified because a considerable number of the groups members knew Sarah and had actually played the guitar when visiting us. My belief was quickly confirmed by folks who had been to our home and seen the guitar:
Starr Page McMullen Your daughter holding what looks like a guitar (Gibson)
June 9 at 3:29pm · Like
Denice Carter Sarah ..,. J45
June 9 at 4:06pm via mobile · Like
Chris Daring Do we ever get to an age when our parents don’t embarrass us? In this case, which is Dad most captivated with-the guitar or the girl? LOL!
June 9 at 4:08pm · Like
Tom Weisgerber Terry.s old j 45? Can.t see too well on my phone. June 9 at 5:19pm · Like
Andrew Daring Tommy: You can’t type too well on it either. Sarah was playing Terry’s old (1946) J-45 that day. You’ve played it, and It still gets played a lot. My girl always comes first – even if her name isn’t Maybelle.
June 9 at 7:39pm · Like
My use of the name “Maybelle” is a reference to Bobby Christman’s guitar which had been given to him by Omega Burden.
Tom Weisgerber’s post and my response are then followed by a most welcome and gracious post by Terry’s brother, Dale Morris, who knew we had the guitar since shortly after it came into our possession over twenty years ago..
Chile (Dale) Morris Beautiful young lady, Andy, also very talented. Thank you so much for posting this picture. I suppose, in the “for whatever it’s worth department”, that is the guitar Tommy Burger loaned to Terry in the early 1970’s. Tommy Burger, as well as his wife Elsie, are seldom ever mentioned at present. They played a huge role in Terry, Rex and Randy Elmore’s early development, by their many times over generosity in providing transportation, free of charge to countless fiddle contests around the country. Tommy’s generosity was also fully demonstrated in his having loaned Terry this guitar. I’ll never forget how proud and appreciative Terry was when Tommy loaned it to him. After Terry’s death, after the funeral, Tommy asked me if I knew where his guitar was. At that time I did not know. Tommy’s family also contacted me after Tommy’s death asking about it. Look’s as if it is in very good hands though. Thanks again for posting this. RIP Terry, also Elsie and Tommy.
June 10 at 1:31pm · Like · 4 Nance Lehman, Dale Morris Jr., Marty Elmore, Avery John Anderson
Margie Crisp Tommy and Elsie were great people as was Terry.
June 10 at 1:48pm · Like · Dale Morris Jr.
Marty Elmore Tommy and Elsie were very good people. They were like my second parents. They drove me all over Texas for about 3 years and never would take a dime in pay. Rex and I played at Tommy’s funeral.
June 10 at 8:23pm · Like · Dale Morris Jr.
Margie Crisp Marty, you are “good” people also.
June 10 at 8:43pm · Like · 4 Tobi Morris, Dale Morris Jr., Marty Elmore, Jana Knight Elmore
Graciously composed, Dale’s post very nicely outlined the feelings of some regarding where they believed the guitar should have gone after Terry’s death, and his post should serve to help clarify the overall situation for those readers unfamiliar it. Dale’s post contained information he provided Chris when she first told him she had the guitar years ago. My following response to him meant to provide information he did not have, as well as to show another side for those just now becoming familiar with the fray.
Andrew Daring – Dale: When Tommy and Elsie visited us in 1994, we played a lot of music and swapped a lot of stories, including the one about Terry’s guitar. Tommy never suggested the guitar still belonged to him nor that he had ever done anything other than give it to Terry. Shortly before Tommy passed away, we saw both of them again at a fiddle contest Bartow and Lilous took us to in Colorado City, Texas. Fortunately, we had the guitar with us. Tommy showed it to folks who were there and proudly explained its history. Once again, he never indicated he had done anything other than give Terry the guitar.
Longer versions of two stories about the guitar need telling. The first, about how Terry came to have the guitar as he told it to us, and the second about how it came to Chris. We intend to post both to Chris’ website in the near future. Terry was very proud of that guitar, and perhaps even more proud that he had received it from Tommy.
Since you were Chris’ first fiddle teacher and introduced me to the guitar, I can’t thank you enough for scooping her up and taking her all over the country with you so she could begin learning this music; and for providing us the opportunity to meet and actually get to know many from Tommy’s era. Sadly most are being forgotten, or their significance isn’t recognized. it was clear, even when Tommy showed the guitar around at the Colorado City contest, some cared, some cared deeply, some didn’t seem to want to be bothered, and some appeared to have no idea what Tommy was showing them nor who Terry was.
As you said Dale, “In the for what it’s worth department”: In my view and Chris’, they are worth a lot.
June 11 at 11:05am · Like · Mark Seale
Three weeks later, the following post(s) appeared in the thread:
Carla Burger Haynie Mr. Daring, I am VERY curious to hear how Chris ended up with my daddys (Tommy Burger) guitar. You said you would post this information but I have yet to find it. Thank you in advance.
July 5 at 1:58am · Like
Andrew Daring My apologies if you thought I intended to post the two stories within a few days or even a few weeks. Because of recent discussions on Facebook, they are among several longer articles we have been writing for Chris’ website at https://texasfiddle.pro/. We will try to finish the tale of the guitar ahead of some others and will let you know when we do.
Up to this point, all posts were polite and informative. After this point, they quickly deteriorated when folks who were mere meddlers offered their opinions.
Deena Bistodeau The tale of the guitar should end with you giving it back to its rightful owners, Hack Boy.
July 5 at 6:45pm via mobile · Like · Jimmie Bates
Andrew Daring – Chris is the rightful owner. July 5 at 7:36pm · Like
Deena Bistodeau ???
July 6 at 12:49am · Like
After posting the full article on her website, Chris intended to email Carla Burger Haynie to let her know the story was posted before informing anyone else including those folks on Facebook. Unfortunately, within a day of the time the story appeared on this website, one of the Facebook busybodies noticed it and initiated the following Facebook discussion before Chris sent the email.
Deena Bistodeau Hmmm…
The Great Terry Morris Guitar Mystery! | Chris Daring
Like · · Unfollow Post · Share · August 15 at 8:51pm near Austin, TX
2 people like this. Rusty Niethammer, Dale (Chile) Morris
Two hours later, Dale Morris posted the following beneath Deena’s inane initial post.
Chile Morris Thanks for posting this. One would hope however, that after twenty four years, my brother could somehow rest in peace.
August 15 at 11:16pm · Like · 5 Deena Bistodeau, Tobi Morris, Billy Hopson, Jason Andrew, Marty Elmore
Andrew Daring Me too!
August 16 at 12:03am · Like
Once again, Dale Morris is most gracious in his response, and even makes no attempt to argue about anything Chris had written. Our brief exchange is then followed by a meaningful and empathetic comment:
Tex Ash – This was a fine article. I only had the pleasure of meeting Terry once, at the Western Open Fiddle Championships in Redding. I remember after the medallions were awarded he grabbed his fiddle and almost shook the house down with the most awesome rendition of Lime Rock I ever heard… before or since. His memory lives on in all of those whose lives he touched. Not many folks can make such a positive impact on others as Terry did in his short 30+ years. Thank you, Chris, for your sharing your dearest memory.
August 16 at 12:45am · Unlike · 2 Andrew Daring, Ting-Ting Gronberg
Followed by another bit of shallow annoyance:
Deena Bistodeau ”A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get it’s pants on”- Winston Churchill
August 16 at 9:28am via mobile · Like · 2 Tobi Morris, Julie Amundson
And finally, this painful remark from Dale, which causes me to wonder about the nature of the commentary and gossip happening amidst the self-protection of private telephone calls, text messages, and email outside Facebook’s public setting.
Chile Morris This ENTIRE subject is beginning to become SICKENING!!!
August 17 at 11:54am · Like · 2 Tobi Morris, Deena Bistodeau
As a footnote: Deena Bistodeau is a relative newcomer to the Texas fiddling community and was not even alive at the time of Terry’s passing, which should help to explain her obsequious intrusions.