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11 Sep 1872 - 07 Mar 1960

"The Hill Comedian"

Reynolds Co, Mo

Pete Says: " Well, I'm jist a common ol' hillbilly singer an' fiddler, an' here I am singin' the 'Squalling' Cat.' 'Comin' Through the Rye.' 'Hell Among the Yearlings,' 'Hell Up Skunk River,' an' all ov them there ol' tunes ye hear around in these hills. "Here in this ol' box house, is where I made this ol' fiddle, an' the first one I ever owned. I call it my 'horse hair fiddle,' an' hit hain't nothin' but jist a flat board with hair that I pulled frum the ol' mare's tail an stretched over it fer strings, an' I made the bow the same way. "Hit wuz on this ol' board fiddle that I larned to play all these ol' tunes. People come frum all around through the hills to hear me fiddle an' sing, an' cut up an' act a fool. They call me the 'Hill Comedian.' " I hain't got nairy bit ov educashun nor I hain't nairy bit purty, but I feel good, an' can make people laff. They say that 'beauty is only skin deep,' so maybe if you'd skin me--anyway, I enjoy life an' have a good time. When they have picnics an' gatherin's ov any kind around in the Ozarks, they allers have ol' Pete if they can git me to come. " I can whistle an' imitate birds ov all kinds. I can hoot like an owl, caw like a crow, whistle like a mockin' bird, an' all them things, an' lots ov times I'm out listenin' at the birds sing, an' I start whistlin' like 'em, an' soon I've got a tune started before I know it. "A feller can larn a lot ov things in a purty simple way as he goes through life if he'll jist try; an' you don't haf to be purty an' polished up neither, to be attractive. "I am as happy as a lark, but I guess I look worse then the "Devil peepin' through a brush pile.' My womern says, 'I'm the purtiest little thing she ever see'd when the light's blowed out.' Hit wuz my dove eyes, an' pigeonhole mouth, an' birdlike voice that caused her to larn to love an' marry me. I never had to ask her to marry me but once, till she grabbed me an' said, 'Oh shore, sweet Pete! an' I can take in washin's, while you go around singin', fiddlin,' an' whistlin' fer soap, an' we'll be two ov the happiest' an' most prosperous little humpty-dumpties in these hills.' An' I grabbed her, hugged an' kissed her, an' said. ' O.K. sweet lollipop, that's a trade, an' I'll get you a good washboard an' tub too, an' we'll go fifty-fifty an' get married an' live happy.' So we did, an' we've done purty well, only a few times when she'd have to wait on me a little while fer the soap, 'cause once in a while I might feel bad or get a little blue or somethin' an' cain't whistle very good, an' that holds up the washin.'

Pete married 1st Sarah E. 'Sallie' Meade 10 Apr 1902 at Shannon Co MO. She was the daughter of the Rev. John Wesley Meade and Rebecca Mary Medley of Shannon County. Their son was Noble Wesley Counts.

He married 2nd Myrtle Henson;
their children Henry Franklin Counts, Andrew Counts, Walter Counts, Raymond Counts, Leona Ludwig, Lucy Mae Tuttle, Glenna Counts and George Washington 'Wash' Counts.




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