"I'd really never heard of Larry," she said. "Apparently, he'd been coming through for years."
They met one night when she was watching another bluegrass band. They connected and soon were practically inseparable.
She took a sabbatical from teaching and followed her boyfriend as he toured the South with the band. Somewhere she found time to complete a French Literature program at Mary Baldwin College and began learning to play bass. She had to study the French on her own, but she had a lot of help with music.
"Larry and his crew were just very friendly and very encouraging," she said. "They were very accessible when it came to answering questions or loaning me an instrument to play."
After the pair moved in together, she chose the bass. They practiced together all the time, just sitting around and playing, she said. "Larry was just so patient and cool to let me figure it out."
Jenny loved to play but hadn't given much thought to performing. She loved Larry's band and wanted to be part of it but thought she could help by booking shows and doing office work. Then Larry split from Magraw Gap and formed his own band. He told her, "You're going to play bass."
She never went back to teaching -- though she doesn't sound like she regrets it -- and she and Larry have been together ever since, which is now almost 20 years.
"We've been determined to be together and have a career together," she said.
They have a good life. They travel, play music and even work in some fishing, a sideline they developed a few years ago. They host weekend workshops that combine music education with fishing. Larry, she acknowledged, is the bigger fisherman, though she enjoys fly-fishing for trout.
"I'm pretty sporty," she said. "I like rock climbing and kayaking. Larry isn't so much into those, but as long as he's on the water, he's happy."
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.