Arthritis doesn't slow down 82-year-old fiddler - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Arthritis doesn't slow down 82-year-old fiddler

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NORTH CAROLINA (CBS ) - An 82-year-old North Carolina man is showing no signs of slowing down, at least when it comes to playing the fiddle.

Speedy Shepard caught the itch when he was just a boy and he's still not done scratching.

"The first tine I ever learned on the fiddle was all the gals gone to Huckleberry Pond," Speedy said.

This man and his 82 years have a story that screeches from the strings. The bow is his mouth. The fiddle is his words.

Speedy has played on the big stages. Willie Nelson is still in awe of the guy who can't even read music.

"It makes you feel good inside. It tickles you innards so to speak," Speedy said.

Arthritis has sneaked into Speedy's fingers. It's trying to steal the show. But he soaks his hands in hot water and keeps moving, and keeps focus on passing down a legacy.

"I love to teach you how to do things. I'm not going to be here forever so if I can teach you something I feel good," he said.

Shepard says he started playing when he was 15 years old. He claims he took lessons for three months with his high school music teacher, but says he ended up learning more sitting next to a local fiddle player at square dances.

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