I called Jim Fryerto make an appointment for his ukulele class. By the time the phone clicked off, I was committed to a class and a private tour of the most historically diverse cap gun collection I’ve ever seen.
Funny how things work out.
FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this article incorrectly spelled Jim Fryman's name throughout.
I sat in on Jim’s class last Wednesday, where his distinctive barbershop warble can be heard echoing through the halls of the Joslyn Adult Center. On this particular afternoon, five of his students accompanied him through “Ain’t She Sweet,” “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “Amazing Grace” and “Beautiful Brown Eyes.” Though they strummed through the selections alphabetically, the “Beer Barrel Polka” was summarily skipped to avoid a dreaded mid-song key change.
Here, musicians play ukuleles of all stripes, shapes and styles. They fill the community center’s performance hall with a staccato beat of chords and croons. And for four years, Jim, the one-time Air Force Band trumpet player and amateur genealogist, has shared his craft with ukulele players of all skill levels. Most never pick up the instrument before they meet him.