Rhoda Kemp with Mac Traynham. Photo by Heather Rousseau.
It has been more fun than I thought it would be...
and work. But it's been good work.WILLIS, VIRGINIA — For just about all of her life, Rhoda Kemp has made beautiful music pour out of her banjo. But on a chilly day in March, the only sound her banjo made was the repetitive raspy scrape of sandpaper on wood.
At the age of 89, and after eight decades of playing traditional mountain music, Kemp got the idea that she wanted to build a banjo from scratch. So, with the help of her friend Heather Krantz and the Floyd County master musician, carpenter and instrument maker Mac Traynham, she set out to do just that.