Texas Highways Magazine Luthier Story

Hi, Stan A. Williams, Texas Highways Magazine photographer and musician here. I recently had the good fortune to both come up with the idea of a story about Texas stringed instrument makers and go photograph them at their craft.

I got to spend some productive time with Chuck and Tammy Lee and their friend Lee Thomas, of the Salt Rock Rounders, at Chuck’s shop in Ovilla.

I learned about clawhammer banjos, family togetherness and the values of such, Newfoundland dogs in the form of shop assistant, Charlie, and how it all comes together at a place called Chuck Lee Banjo Company.
You can see some of what we came up with at Texas Highways or pick up a copy of the January, 2009 issue of Texas Highways magazine at your local bookstore or newsstand. If you’re really bored and want to know more about me, look here and here.

Thanks, Chuck and Tammy, for your hospitality and the chance to meet Charlie before he entered the next leg of his journey over the rainbow bridge.

In the picture below Charlie was so sure he was to be included that he just centered up in front of Lee Thomas and sat down until the session was completed.

Charlie the Newfy with sidekicks
Chuck Lee (R) and Lee Thomas (L).

Here’s some personal details about Charlie.

Charlie’s registered name was “Brenrich’s Little Boy Blue”, but his real friends called him Charlie.

His date of birth was June 22, 2002 and he crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on August 19, 2008. He no longer feels any pain and is able to rest while he waits for those that love him.

Charlie’s father was “Josh”, BIS, BISS CH. Darbydale’s All Rise Pouch Cove, ROM. His mother was “Lauren”, CH. Sunvalley’s Brenrich McLaurin, DD, ROM.

For those that don’t know: BIS – Best in Show, BISS – Best in Specialty Show, ROM – Register of Merit Newfoundland, DD – Draft Dog Title, CH – Champion.