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Several years ago, I was returning to the in-laws' house after we all had gone to dinner, and noticed that a neighbor of theirs had just cut down a rather large maple tree in their front yard. Being the particularly observant sort, I noticed that a large portion of the tree was hollow, and where the major branches split off, a rather unusual piece had been cut. There were three large round holes where the branches had been, each about 18" across, and one large round hole that measured to be roughly a 3' x4' oval that had been connected to the trunk. Thoughts of a great drum came to mind.

I then had the opportunity to make of my father-in-law perhaps the oddest request I have made to date. I asked him to call his neighbor, and ask if I could take it. He amusedly smiled at my silliness, and picked up the phone. It was alright; the wood was mine; in fact, the neighbor was glad to be rid of as much of it as she could be. I think I only took that piece and one other that turned into a planter in my mom's front yard. If you could see the drum, you could tell that it is really heavy. As it was freshly cut, it was even heavier then. Loading it into my truck must have given Rick (the father-in-law) another giggle, as I was really straining to roll it into the back of my pickup. In retrospect, I don't know how I managed it.

I took it home, dropped it off in my mother's barn, and it sat there for about 2 years until my brother Woody moved home from North Carolina. When he discovered the massive thing, thoughts of a great drum went through his head. We started working on it giving it a working name of "Big Assed Drum". Over time the element of brotherhood came to importance, as this was a project we worked on together. If you recall, there are three holes on the drum, but only two of them have heads. Woody and I had a brother Tony that I never met as he died before I was born. In his honor we left the third hole un-headed. Woody and I each had a head we worked on, and together we split off the bark. We power washed the inside, and applied linseed oil as a protectorate. We even made tone-rings to reduce the rubbing of the head over the wood. In Tony's honor and in the spirit of Brotherhood, we named it "The Brother Drum".

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