Story About My Father Growing Up

by Frank McKinnon

My father grew up about 3 miles west of El Dorado, Arkansas. He was a physical education teacher, a science teacher, and coach of football, basketball, and track and field. He played the guitar and piano. According to my father, between 1942 and 1946, he organized a band called β€œJoe McKinnon and Arkansas Plow Boys.” They played at schools and churches. They, also, did a radio show between 6:00 and 6:15 in the mornings.

My father was 15 years old in 1945. He told me a story about when he was contacted by a bar where the band had come down with food poisoning. His parents would not have let him play at a bar, so he snuck out of the house to go play there. While my father was playing, someone threw a beer bottle across the room toward his face. He used his guitar to shield his face, which resulted in a big hole in the body of the guitar. He gave that guitar to a 12 year old kid, named Lefty Frizzell, and taught him how to play three chords. Then, my father enlisted in the Army in 1946.

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