Before he was the fiddler in the Bearded Brothers Band, Rob Cartwright was a baby-faced violinist. His second hand violin, bought by his Uncle at a yard sale, initially was just going to go up on the wall a decoration.
"He tried it and in his words, he sounded awful," said Aspen Cartwright who remembers hearing the serendipitous story from his father.
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But something in the violin struck a chord in Rob, it rarely left his hands the rest of his life.
"The music just healed his soul," said Phylicia Cartwright, Rob's mother.
From classical to country rock, Rob's gift grew with him. Eventually he was able to even go fiddle-to-fiddle with one of the greats, Charlie Daniels.
"He was almost to that point where he was starting to actually say, 'yeah, I am good, I am really good'. And then...he went away," Phylicia said.
Rob was riding his motorcycle on U.S.-19 in Hudson, when an SUV turned in front of him. Florida Highway Patrol says Rob's bike struck the rear of the S.U.V. and he was ejected from the crash.
"Reality just slaps me in the face and I realize I'm never going to be able to see my father again," Aspen said.
Rob's mother says she always dreaded that her son had started riding a motorcycle.
"He would tell me about the wind in your face and the freedom that you feel. I just had to resolve myself that the possibility was there, that something could happen," Phylicia said.
An ending that tugs at your heart strings for a family who still wants there to be an encore for his friends and band mates.
"Rob would not want the music to ever stop," Phylicia said.
Funeral arrangements are still pending. The remaining Bearded Brothers Band members weren't ready to say what's next for them.
(© 2017 WTSP)