As long as I can remember, and as long as my father could remember, and as long as his father could remember, there have been dulcimers, or "dulcimores", made and played in our Kentucky mountains.
In Viper, where we lived, the dulcimer maker was Uncle Will Singleton, whose old-fashioned white frame house set just over the river from the post office, at the other end of the swinging bridge. Uncle Will had a large kindly face framed by a shock of silky white hair, and a tremendous mustache. He always dressed neatly even at home, with suspenders, the mark of a gentleman.
At the annual Hall reunion (he was kin to the Halls) he was a familiar figure, dressed in black for the occasion, sitting on the speaker's platform with his dulcimer on his lap, playing and patting the floor with his foot in his dignified way for the entertainment of the company. There would be two or three hundred people assembled, each family with its good-smelling dinner basket, on the wood plank benches around the hillside.