Dear folks, Today my wife are owners of a wonderful 1920 Knabe Marque
Ampico, which we couldn't afford, because someone cared and saw that it
would receive loving care and would be a blessing to many.
As a missionary working in New York City with refugees and immigrants
from the former Soviet Union, our income is a bit limited. However,
a very good friend, Keith Bigger, had the piano and knew of our
enthusiasm for music boxes and mechanical music. He sold the piano
to us for $100. Bill Maguire, current president of the Lady Liberty
chapter of AMICA, and Ira Malek, the current treasurer of the same
chapter, did a lot of work to get up to snuff.
Through Rich Groman at Keystone Music Rolls, eBay and several friends,
we now have a wonderful library of Ampico rolls. Our piano has
entertained people from across the US and from such diverse countries
as Brazil, Belarus, Russia, Israel, Ukraine, Georgia, Uzbekistan,
Israel, and more that I can't remember.
We have since begun to build a collection, learn more about the
instruments and make new and wonderful friends. We are enthusiastic
about the music, the history and the people we have met. We keep both
AMICA and MBSI brochures in our home and give them out to visitors,
some of whom have joined one or the other.
We know a very wonderful 11-year old boy in Grants Pass, Oregon,
who visited us with his parents and wanted to know how our piano works
and who, is himself, a gifted pianist. If anyone has a player or
reproducer that they can't sell, he and his family would love to have
it, works included. He is mechanically minded and would thrill at
learning how to take care of it and use it to bless many others.
Like us, his father has a limited income as the principal of a small
private school. I am sure there are others around the country that
would appreciate such blessings, but simply can't afford them. The
Rachmaninoff Society in Vienna is also in need of an Ampico piano in
working condition to be used in concerts.
My wife and I are able to bless and interest others because someone
chose to be a blessing to us over making a buck. I encourage others
to seek out worthy recipients and encourage those who, like my wife and
myself, aren't as financially blessed as many others, but who would be
enthusiastic about promoting mechanical music if the opportunity were
And for those who no longer enjoy their music boxes, Violano Virtuosos,
organs, etc. we would certainly be glad to make use of them to thrill
and bless the many folks who pass through our doors from around the
world. We will keep the guts in them, we promise.
Rev. Vincent W. Morgan,
New York City