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Behind the legend

From Mark Brown of Charlotte, in response to April 4 article “Guitar wizard, Southern Gent,” on Arthur Smith, who died April 3:

This is difficult for me to write, but I wanted to give people a glimpse of what my Granddad, Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith was like when the radio was off, TV cameras not rolling, and instruments laid aside. Granddad was a humble man, a very humble man. In my 36 years not once did I ever experience him disrespect anyone. He never turned down an autograph and was always kind to share a conversation with an admiring fan. He wanted to treat people as Jesus would have, and he succeeded in my eyes. I hope to be half the man he was.

Family was my Granddad’s number one priority. He had numerous and continuous obligations through his career that kept him extremely busy, but he never let that interfere with family time. He was always there for me. We had a unique relationship, in that he was at the tail-end of his TV and recording days when I was born, so spent a lot of time with him growing up. He was like another father to me, taking me fishing, teaching me life’s lessons, and just being there to talk, or even just listen. The most important thing I will remember and try to emulate is how through his many successes, he never forgot where he came from, or who he belonged to. His faith in God trumped every selfish want that could or did come up.

So while Arthur Smith was a legend to many, to me he was simply “Granddad.” His legacy will no doubt live on, and the memories I have will live on in my heart. So as you remember the man with the fast fingers, loving smile and genuine affection, also know that he was a man of great faith in God, who loved his family very much.

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