By Marsha Woods
There is an aura that surrounds our town this time of year; it is characterized by excitement, movement, laughter; but most of all it is tempered by music! It is an atmosphere of communion not only of those who remember the “good old days, “but of those who sense the essence of future!
To drive through the streets of Weiser on a sunny June afternoon, is to feel the heat of optimism! That optimism is realized when one hears the unmistakable sound of foot tapping harmony coming from somewhere nearby! There is no doubt that the melody is being created by someone whose enthusiasm is resounding!  The enigma is the source of that enthusiasm!
Sitting on the sidewalk in front of Pickers Paradise, one is immediately reminded of the essence of the heritage that the Old Time Fiddle Festival has created throughout generation! It is evident that the spirit is alive! Three little girls, who, through their love of music and bond with the tradition have met on the street to share their love of the art with a community that won’t let the music die!
On that sidewalk, strumming their instruments with huge and inviting smiles, Eithne Walker, 11 playing the mandolin is an attraction within her! With her bright red hair, and her engaging smile, she draws the crowd with her youthful innocence!  Her older sister, blonde Eva, at the young age of 14, shines with quiet enthusiasm as she alternates between the jauntiness of the fiddle and the uniqueness of the ukulele. Their companion, 18 year old Naomi Konrady, with her guitar, may be a newcomer to town, but she is not immune to the relationship of how friends and music can meld together! All three girls re freshly inspiring, due to the fact of their youth!  Eithne has a mere 5 years of experience, having taken her first lessons from Becky Smith at Pickers Paradise.  Eva, a little more seasoned, has 7 years of familiarity, having played with Squeaky Strings. Naomi, perhaps a bit older, is actually the youngster in the group.  She admits to being “self- taught, “her talent stemming from her first piano lesson to a love of music overall! Her guitar expertise became realized only 3 short years ago!
Three young girls, none whom are old enough to remember the atmosphere, and the excitement that the 3rd week of June in Weiser has always fashioned, but somehow, they have captured it! It is the spirit of this community; it is the optimism that lives on!