COLUMBIA CITY — When you get to be my age, some things don’t work as well as they used to,” said Clarice “Mitch” Mitchell, a longtime Columbia City native.
With a body weakened from the ravages of 91 years of living and with a mind that skips a note now and again, Mitchell nonetheless tackles each day with his trademark good nature, his signature smile and a few melodies on one of his favorite musical instruments.
He gets around largely with the help of his wife Elsie who smiles and says “He’s worth it, he’s such a good man,” and with the occasional assistance from loving family members.
Moving from one point to another takes effort, but once he’s situated, he calls for his “harps,” the musician’s vernacular for a harmonica, or a favorite guitar, and begins to play.
The Mitchell household is a veritable music thoroughfare, with songs, melodies and harmonies as much a part of everyday life as meals and bedtime.
Elsie, a retired art teacher, is also an accomplished musician.
The couple met in Elsie’s daughter’s music store where the two each picked up instruments and played together for several hours. They have been making beautiful music together ever since.
Mitchell is a 1940 graduate of Columbia City High School who also served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.