Maple Leaf Rag


Here is another member of the bug jazz band I’m working on. He is pretty much modeled after my little brother Don, who in his younger days was a ragtime piano player at Silver Dollar City named Ben Dover (you might have to think about that one a bit). He wore a bowler hat, big glasses and beat the tar out of old upright pianos. The cup is on the piano for tips of course. Don and I learned about tips early in life…

…one summer during college I was drawing caricatures at Silver Dollar City, (which is an 1880’s styled theme park) and everyone that worked there had to dress in a period costume. The park was very picky about adhering to their 1800’s theme, so no employee could be seen drinking out of any sort of paper or styrofoam cup. All employees had to drink out of pottery mugs.

In addition to being an excellent piano player, my little brother Don was also a very good caricature artist. One weekend I had him sit next to me and we both drew caricatures on a very busy Saturday. We sat our drinking mugs on the ground next to our chairs and grabbed drinks between pictures. It was a busy afternoon, it was hot, we were thirsty and we drank everything that was in our mugs leaving them bone dry.

At the end of the day we picked up our mugs and discovered dollar bills stuffed in them. People thought they were tip jars. That thought had never crossed our minds… but from that point on you never saw us drawing caricatures without an empty cup sitting somewhere close.

2 Comments on “Maple Leaf Rag

  1. You guys are for real…lots of fond memories of Silver Doloor City also.

    • Brad, I would love to go back and look around Silver Dollar City sometime, but after working there for so many summers, I can’t quite bring myself to paying real live money to get back into it…

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