ELLEN EDMONSON MURPHY IS Travis Edmonson'S oldest daughter, subject of the poignant ballad which bears her name, a lament, but with a happy ending, as she explains.
“ Though my parents separated when I was three, I was reunited with my dad in 1970, when I was 18. It was an incredible reunion, as we realized how much we had in common through our ties as daughter and father, though we had not shared the common experiences most parents and children have during the growing-up process.
By the time I was 15 I had taught myself to play guitar, and I have always loved music and singing. During the last 35 years, I have had the opportunity to experience my dad as an amazing musician and entertainer as well as somewhat of a renaissance man.
He has educated me in the ways of southern Arizona and its people and through his example has encouraged my bilingualism, which I use daily in my work in a bilingual elementary school. In getting to know my dad and my siblings from his other marriages I have learned that all of my father's children have inherited his musical ability. That is, we are all capable singers, and many of us play instruments as well.
Travis's youngest daughter, Erin, and myself get together whenever we can to share songs with guitar and voice. Erin made a gift of a small guitar to her young son, Tristan, this Christmas, and so the music continues to be passed on through the generations.
Although my father is no longer able to play the
guitar, he continues to sing, write poetry, and contribute his wit and wisdom to those of us fortunate to be in touch with him. His generous spirit remains strong within a weakened body.
People often approach me to tell me how much my father's music has meant to them over the years. I understand, since I feel the same way.
Thanks, dad, for everything."
Ellen Edmonson Murphy
Ellen Edmonson Murph
Photographer BOB ROSENBAUM recalls a cherished memory, and offers us a new picture of Travis Edmonson
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