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Lucy A. Flemming

In Appreciation: An Open Letter to Bob Nolan's Grandson

It is too late to tell Bob thank you and how much I appreciate his work, but I want to tell you and add a heartfelt thanks to you for your work to help preserve it, and make it so available.  I just stumbled on the Bob Nolan - Poet Laureate website about a year ago and have sort of "lived" on it since then.  He and his work were very well known but there is so much you have shared that helps to fill out the bit the public saw.


It is really great to be able to listen to the songs in the lyric section.  I listen so much! so very much!  And wow!  do I get lost in all the background  information!  It is wonderful.  He has helped me through a really hard time.  It is a shame so much of his work was lost, but it is good that what we have is saved and available in through all your work.

I enjoy words and how they can work together and I so love the way he puts them together. Being able to see the actual lyrics of a piece, while listening to it, makes it so much richer and easier to enjoy and appreciate. Sometimes the words are so special that they really stand alone.  (Guess that is why they are poems.)  The music is actually the frosting on the cake. It is so wonderful how he could do that.  


I so appreciate the work that Elizabeth McDonald has done and all the family history and memorabilia that you made available to help her. Most of all, I appreciate the man your grandfather obviously was, and your respect for him and his privacy.  From what has been said of him, I think he would be pleased with the results of your efforts. You have shared him in a very respectful way. Your website really seems to respect the person he was and the work he did.  It is such a pleasure - and a gift - to look into the background of an artist and find only good, honest, decent things about them - and the characters and personalities that they were. It seems to have been true of all the Sons of the Pioneers and the other people that Bob chose to work with, or found himself working with, as well.  But you have respected his privacy, while still sharing the immensity of his talent and accomplishments.  You have shown him, and all the Sons, to be the people their songs paint them to be.


You have a very deft touch.  It is pretty special how you can tell about people and not speak ill of them.  This is such a positive work you have done. There are other authors and artists that I have looked into because I really liked their work.  What I found out wasn't so great and it ruined my enjoyment of their writing or their songs.  It is a real gift to learn that Bob was very much the person his poem-songs show him to be.


I really enjoy and appreciate Bob's work so much. The best part is that, in his case and with the Sons of the Pioneers, looking for more information has just resulted in finding out about good, dedicated, talented people.  They were careful about the lives they lived and their reputations, and you and Elizabeth have presented your information in a positive way. You make a person happy to know what you have gathered to share.