On an upbeat note, Lynn Rank, a member of our drumming workshop at Gaia Oasis in the Sierras, sent me a photo of her great grandfather, Moses Findley Campbell, who was a drummer in the Civil War, and also called back up as a drummer in World War I. That is an incredible change of consciousness in one lifetime, but it is also a testament to the eternal usefulness of the drum. By the time of this photo, Campbell had arthritis but he was still able to hold his hickory drumsticks and no doubt play very well. The gleam in his eyes is the most inspiring look I have seen in any photo. This man was very much alive and enjoying himself when this picture was taken. He was proud of being a drummer, a kind of pride I appreciate immensely. He felt the beat and it showed up in his eyes. He still had his jaunty stature and a readiness to play with the Universe.
Excerpt from “Way of the Drum” by Russell Buddy Helm