When those hymns came rolling off the keys of the piano and organ, your spirits soared and you felt a little closer to heaven.
Tweedie performed popular music for decades at private and public functions, at nursing homes and community events, at weddings and birthday parties, at just about any venue and for any occasion. She was still performing regularly at her assisted-living residence until just a few months ago.
When those tunes came banging out of the piano and organ, you couldn’t help but sing and clap along, and you felt like life could really be fun, even if but for a few minutes.
Whether it was a church service or a wedding reception, Tweedie always brought her joy of life along with her sheet music to every event.
Life was a party
To Tweedie, life was a party, she was the hostess and everybody and anybody was invited. Your only obligation as a guest was to have a good time, smile a lot and be as close as possible to everybody else there.
I had a few chats with Tweedie over the years, and I did a couple of interviews with her. But when I first met her more than two decades ago, I felt like I’d known her all of my life.
My late mother, Mary Elizabeth Creech Brock, was a childhood friend of Tweedie’s. And although Mom left Danville in the late 1930s and spent most of the rest of her life outside of Kentucky, she took with her memories of Tweedie and all of her other Danville friends.
And when Mom would feel a little homesick for Danville, she would share her memories with my brothers and me. She did so not only to warm her own heart with those memories but also to give us some family history and a sense of time and place in that history.
Tweedie often was the subject of Mom’s stories about Danville. Some of her favorite stories were about her childhood and teen years at Centenary United Methodist and how Tweedie was a star even then.
In the 1920s and 1930s, many of the young women at Centenary happened to be very talented piano and organ players, with Tweedie the most talented. This group of young ladies, which included my mother and one of her sisters, often were sought by other churches to serve as their piano and organ players.
Generations of Danvillians were fortunate to have hundreds of memories like these of Tweedie, and I’m sure those who are still living have been recalling them over the last few days.
Meanwhile, I’ll bet when Tweedie reached the Pearly Gates, the first thing she did was to ask St. Peter where the piano is.
The second thing she did was hug Mom and other friends as well as family members who greeted her on the other side. Smiles were on a lot of faces, and tears as well as ruby red lipstick kisses were on a lot of cheeks.
Heaven has gained a little more spunk and spirit.