King George News

Cathy Dyson writes about King George County. You can email her at

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Saturday fire claims life of musician, waterman

A King George County man who died Saturday morning in a trailer fire was known for his playing the harmonica with a local bluegrass band.

Bobby Self, whose age was not available, was blind and had only one hand, but that didn’t keep him from making music, said his friend Barbara Craig. She’d known him about 10 years and often went to venues where he played, including the Colonial Beach Lions Club.

She said he wore an apron around his waist and hung different harmonicas from it.

“When the notes changed, he would feel around to find the right harmonica,” she said.

King George Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services got a call at 6 a.m. Saturday that an elderly man was trapped inside his home, said Chief David Moody. Self lived off Pumpkin Neck Road, near State Route 218.

The first apparatus on the scene reported heavy fire conditions.

“When a trailer starts, it’s gonna go,” Craig said.

Ten trucks and engines from King George responded, along with units from the Navy base at Dahlgren, Westmoreland County and Charles County, Md. Moody said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Craig said she believes Self’s grandson had been staying with him recently.

In addition to enjoying music, Self also was a waterman who fished even though he had only one hand to do it.

Here’s a link to his obituary.

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