Craig and I are big fans of the blues as a musical genre. We have traveled to Memphis and Chicago on several occasions to explore the blues roots / culture there, and we have seen many blues performers in concert in the Boston area. In early 2004, our local newspaper ran a story called "Blues Traveler" about an elderly man named Frank Brown who was a retired bus driver for B.B. King and James Brown. Frank was originally from Mobile, AL, where his family still lives. But he had moved up north after retiring due to diabetes-related complications, and was currently a resident in a nursing home about 5 minutes up the highway from our house.
It was a very interesting article, and since he had no family up in Massachusetts, we thought it might be fun to set up a visit with him, to get to know him and talk about our mutual interest in the blues. Having had two grandparents in nursing homes for an extended time, I knew how important visitors can be to someone's morale.
We went to meet Frank on Valentine's Day 2004, and we were smitten. We would visit him every Sunday for the next 18 months. We had a lot of fun together, going out to eat for his favorite Southern cooking, as well as going to concerts and meeting B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Shemekia Copeland.We celebrated his 80th birthday, and had him over for a family Christmas.
We were very close until he passed away in August of 2005, at which point we met his family in Mobile. We are still very close to them today. Frank and his family are true blessings in our lives!