That evening, I called Lawrence to tell him about speaking with the Holbrooks. When I mentioned them having one of Ed’s records, he reminded me about Ugee Postalwait’s half-brother Russell Shaver, who supposedly had others. Russell died several years ago, but his only grandson James Shaver lived in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
I got his number from directory assistance, then dialed him up. As soon as I mentioned Ed’s name and the records, James said, “He played the violin, right? Well, I remember hearing the record when I was a kid. I’m 41 and I was just a young kid — my grandfather raised me — and I remember listening to the record of Ed Haley playing the violin. I don’t know if it’s still around or not. I’d have to search the house and find out. Ed Haley, he was blind. I remember my grandfather talking about him. He used to come over to their house. I’m trying to think where my grandfather lived in the thirties. They lived up in Gilmer County or Clay County, the central part of West Virginia.”
James promised to try and locate the record.
The next day, I called Georgia Slim Rutland’s widow in Valdosta, Georgia to see if she knew anything about Slim staying with Ed in Ashland around 1938. Mrs. Rutland very emphatically said, “No, huh-uh, no. That’s not true, ’cause Slim was just in Ashland about a week. That’s all. He was there performing for about a week and that was it. He didn’t live there.” I told Mrs. Rutland that several people had told me he was enamored of Ed’s playing, as was Clark Kessinger, and she said, “Now, I’ve heard him speak of Clark Kessinger, yes. Lots of times. But now, I’ve never heard him mention a blind fiddle player. I’m sorry.”