Buck has a song in her heart, hands

Published 1:26 pm Monday, July 16, 2007

By Staff
Centenarian plays piano for three area churches
News Editor
Her 100-year-old fingers are bent and gnarled by arthritis, but as a traveling pianist for three churches, Geneva Boyd Buck doesn’t take time to worry about that.
On the first Sunday of the month, she plays at Davis Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. When the second Sunday comes, she’s at Mt. Hebron Church of Christ (Disciples of Christ). She takes the third Sunday off just to “rest and enjoy the fellowship.” But on fourth and, as necessary, fifth Sundays, she’s on the piano bench at Beebe Memorial CME Church.
And when she’s not in church, she’s happy to sit in her Washington living room, play her Whitney piano from the 1950s and sing.
She sings, “This joy that I have, oh, the world didn’t give it to me,” her fingers “rippin’ the keys,” as her neighbor Charlene McGill describes Buck’s movements.
She’s been playing the piano since she was 10 years old and singing even longer.
Born in Beaufort County on Aug. 10, 1906, Buck was the daughter of a midwife.
She’s lived in Beaufort County all her life, except for a brief stint in New York.
Buck said she helped raise “two white families,” and photographs of them hang on her living room wall, near pictures of her family members.
Buck said she’s seen “more than I can tell” in the century of her life, but she prefers not to dwell on “the things from troubled times.”
Both McGill and Buck’s stepdaughter, Evelyn Ewing, said Buck always has that kind of attitude.
Buck does have at least two other secrets, her porch girlfriends said.
Her real name is Neva, but even her address labels don’t betray that.
And there is one other thing.