I received a letter from an inmate at the Maine State Prison recently,
asking for plan for building a band organ. He has access to the prison
woodworking shop and a certain amount of time on his hands. If he had
the plans, he believes he could fulfil his dream of owning a band organ.
In my initial reply to him, I mentioned that the Vestal Press did once
publish plans for a small band organ and that various people have built
their own band organs, large and small (Paul Dyer, Ken Smith, Steve Lanick,
K.A. Pontius, Dave Wasson ... -- the list is longer than I realized).
But I myself don't have any plans to send to him.
I did outline some of the potentially tricky parts in the envisioned
project, notably the metal skills necessary to building the tracker
frame and the difficulty of voicing certain ranks. I also advised that
he start by deciding what roll his organ should play, which helps to
settle on the organ's size and instrumentation.
If anyone here wants to help this man out for the good of the hobby and
for the sake of prisoner rehabilitation, I can supply his name and address.
The funny (?) thing is that, if he were free to walk a few blocks down
the street from the prison, which is on Main Street in Thomaston, Maine,
he'd be able to talk directly to the famous Don Rand himself.