[ Ref. 161122 MMDigest, Carousel Spotter & Inspections ]
I know that comments about the need for people who can work on
our mechanical instruments especially large ones were several issues
ago, but I thought I would add my comments because of the great guy
who worked on our Stinson band organ.
The organ had played faithfully for 28,000 hours in all kinds of
weather out in the park and was desperately in need of some major work.
I spoke to three restorers but they already had full schedules. One
was local and the other two would need to have all of their expenses
paid to come out to Los Angeles. Shipping even sections would be
Then I met Dana Johnson, a local restorer, who was finishing up
work on another large project and was ready to take on our band organ.
Our local councilman managed to get us a small grant (large by our
income standards) so work began last spring. Dana took out one section
at a time from the organ and worked on it at his shop. He found there
was going to be much more work than he had estimated -- it's hard to
know what might need work until you actually get inside, sometimes
Dana took very detailed notes of each step and also many, many
"before and after" photos. There were sections of the organ that Dana
found ways to rebuild that would make the organ easier to maintain.
And finally, after Dana had spent the better part of five months on
the restoration, AMICA members came to attend a grand concert of the
restored organ. It was truly wonderful to hear this magnificent organ
play all of the pipes and all of the percussion, and to see the bell
ringers and angels play and the conductor direct it all.
Dana is properly proud of the incredible work he did on this organ.
If you are going to do some work on yours maybe ask him to share some
of his photos and rebuilding steps.
So we still have some talented restorers but we definitely need to
find ways to teach young folks. We had a young cousin stay with us
recently and he discovered my recent MBSI journals and read them cover
to cover. He is a college engineering major with a dad who has rebuilt
church organs and foot pump organs, so we may get another fascinated
and talented restorer.
Rosemary West - Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round
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