On December 21, 1929, 13 inches of freshly fallen snow lay on the ground in Pearsall, Texas, and Fannie Grace Hindes was waiting to be born.
No hospital was available and traffic was at a standstill. It was nothing short of a miracle that Dr. Howard was in town. He was warned and quickly came and delivered Fannie Grace. It turned out to be the first of many wonderful things to happen in Fannie Grace’s life.
You read some time ago about his long friendship with Lollie Porter. Now here’s the rest of the story.
Fannie was born into a very unusual and talented family. His mother was a very talented pianist. When Fannie was 5, she would sit on the piano stool next to her mother. She watched intently as her mother negotiated each key.
When her mother was done, Fannie slipped to the middle of the stool and reproduced with perfection the keys she had observed playing with her mother. Soon Fannie would be playing alone. At the age of 7, she could just listen to a song and then play it. She continued to play.
She married Roy Hindes in 1949 and then things started to happen in her young life. Roy (Big Roy, as she called him) was a rodeo performer and as such they traveled a lot. When they got married they moved to Charlotte’s ranch and for seven years they had no electricity. However, they had an apartment-sized gas stove and indoor plumbing. Their only source of transportation was a Ford model in its forties. Big Roy and his twin brother Bob used the old car to get to their concerts, especially when they went to Alice, Texas to host a rodeo for young people.
Over the next several years, their sons, Jim and Roy Jr. (Little Roy) would be born. Over time, Jim would learn to play the saxophone and Little Roy would learn to play the violin, a skill Big Roy taught him.
During this time, Fannie accompanied many high school students during their UIL competitions for solo and ensemble competitions.
Fannie continued to play the piano for churches, weddings, family reunions, and other events.
A preacher once asked him to play for a wedding.
She said, âWhen?
The preacher said, âThis afternoon!
Fannie said, “What’s in a hurry?”
The preacher said, âThe baby is expected anytime! “
One of the highlights of Fannie’s life came in 1947 when she was named “Miss Southwest Texas”.
Another highlight was when her father Frank went to town and bought an accordion and brought it home and gave it to Fannie as a surprise gift. As a surprise return, Fannie learned to play the accordion very well. Often Fannie on the piano or accordion, Jim on the saxophone, Little Roy on the violin, Big Roy on the drums traveled to spend time with the family.
Here are some noteworthy places where Fannie Grace has been invited to play the piano:
â¢ Knotts Berry Farm. The piano was installed outside.
â¢ Sequoia National Park. Old-fashioned weathered upright piano located on a giant sequoia stump in the middle of the park. She also had a stump for a stool.
â¢ Moderno Restaurant in Piedras Negras, Mexico for a dinner with friends.
â¢ She has played for the Pearsall Lion’s Club, the Rotary Club, the Hamilton Hotel in Laredo.
â¢ While a student at Trinity University, she performed for the Women’s Dormitory.
But, the highlight of her life came when she was on a Gaither cruise in Alaska. It was a Christian trip without alcohol, without a casino. Thus, the few places reserved for the service of alcohol on the other cruises were occupied by Christian singers and musicians.
While they were in one of these places, a member of the Gaither approached them and asked them, “Do any of you play Gaither music?” “
Fannie’s friend immediately spoke up and said, âMy friend Fannie plays all of her music!
She was invited on stage and performed for cruise lines.
Around 1990, Fannie started having symptoms of arthritis. Very quickly, his hands and fingers began to show the effects of rheumatoid arthritis. The effects of the horrible disease haven’t stopped our precious Fannie Grace from doing what she loves: playing the piano.
(The photo above gives you an idea of ââwhat arthritis has done to her hands and fingers.) She still performs for the Sunday morning worship service at Argent Court Jourdanton every Sunday morning. Although she can only play with three fingers, her music is beautiful and fair.
I lead the vocals sometimes and she’s a wonderful accompanist as she can transpose key signature to match my baritone voice. I guess you have understood by now that I love this woman very much.
She is totally dedicated to God and prays to him several times a day. At 92, she is a wonderful gem.