Our hat's off to the people who organized and held the MBSI convention
in Charlotte this year. We thought it was about the best convention
we've been to, in particular the wonderful ability to keep things on
schedule despite the usual tendency of Murphy's law to foul things up.
Of all the interesting tours, we especially liked the Mint Museum and
hour long presentation of Benjamin Franklin's Glass Armonica, performed
by a brilliant musician, Dean Shostak, who also played the original
Hurdy Gurdy. That is a "mandolin-looking" stringed instrument with
rhythm secondary strings and accompaniment of several "drone" strings
that sound like a bagpipe. Really cool! Dean was highly animated and
just loved showing this stuff to us. We were people after his own
heart. He seldom gets a chance to talk to lovers of antique music
Then, of course, Dick Hyman at the banquet was the featured performer
and highlight of the week. When I was a boy I collected his records
when he was called "Knuckles O'Toole". I had no idea at that time. He
is a real virtuoso, ending the performance with a boogie "to die for,"
and that was a request taken from the stage.
I thought possibly an Ampico presentation amidst music box lovers might
not be well-attended, but they put my fears to rest there, as well.
All 95 booklets were taken, and the video I had presented seemed to be
well-received. Studying the roll codes first and then watching an
Ampico actually perform on the bench and listening to the model B play
the oldest Stoddard rolls really seemed to make an impression and
changed a lot of minds. I'm glad I had the opportunity to do that.
There seemed to be no question afterwards in anyone's mind that the
model B has been given a bad rap, from the comments I received. I was
pleasantly surprised by the new, knowledgeable comments later concern-
ing the "compatibility misunderstanding" which many have seemed to be
laboring under for years is beginning to dissipate. So in many ways,
this was a super-successful, greatly appreciated, and very friendly
Craig and Ellen Brougher