Caddo Gap Baptist Church had a special guest Sunday when “the Whittlin’ Fiddler” Violet Hensley visited with family.
Hensley, who is 99 years young, played fiddle and sang after two of her great, great grand daughters performed on piano.
Hensley has been a long time fixture at Silver Dollar City and was placed in their hall of fame in the 1990’s. She was named a Living Treasure by the state of Arkansas in 2004.
She is a native of Montgomery County. She was born at Alamo in 1916 and lived in the Caddo Gap area until she and her family moved to Yellville in 1968.
Violet stated that her father not only played fiddle, but constructed them as well. She learned to play from her father and built her first fiddle when she was 16. She recalled telling her father that she wanted to build a fiddle. She said that he pointed to his tools and told her to get after it.
She still plays one of her first fiddles even though she has built over 70 in her life.
She has appeared on several TV shows, including the Beverly Hillbillies and Regis and Kathy Lee.
After the morning service the church enjoyed their monthly fellowship luncheon. After the meal Violet shared some stories in between turns on the fiddle.