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Not to Be Pitied

by Michael Polzella

Art was like most children born in 1923 – active and inquisitive. That is until he was three and an eye infection left him blind. He could’ve pitied himself, but his parents encouraged him to rise above his disability.

He found solace in music when he received a harmonica as a Christmas present when he was five and a banjo when 11. He taught himself to play, often traveling from Deep Gap to nearby Boone to perform on street corners with his guitar.

And play he did. His flat-picking style earned him national acclaim.

You know him as Doc Watson.

Ron Smith, S&A Communications

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The North Carolina 100