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MMD > Archives > August 2001 > 2001.08.11 > 01Prev  Next

Memories, Not Possessions, Are the Treasures
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  What would you say?  Below is a letter I received today,
and below that is my response. I'm curious to know what any of you
might feel and how you might have responded to such an inquiry.

 "Hello,  My father and I share a love for old musical instruments.
  Dad has refurbished pump organs for my siblings, me, and several
  others.  A few years ago we found an antique Apollo baby grand
  player.  We did as much restoration as we could and then called in
  a technician.  It is Dad's pride and joy!  But, he has had a dream
  of owning a nickelodeon or orchestrion and I haven't been able to
  find one in this area.  I feel so uninformed on this topic that I
  don't know if I could get a fair price even if I found one!  Do you
  have any suggestions?  We live south of Lansing, Michigan.  Dad is
  slipping and I would love to find one for him before he is unable
  to enjoy it.

  Thanks for your time.

My Reply:

Hi Carolyn,  It seems like today is God's designated day to present
me with very difficult situations.  I will only say what I feel in my
heart, nothing more, nothing less.

Don't try to buy him a nickelodeon or an orchestrion!  Instead, find
out where they are located and take him there.  The end result will be
that he will get to enjoy perhaps hundreds of different units, and you
will get to send countless hours with him while he is enjoying
something that he truly loves.  On top of that, you won't have to deal
with an instrument that you might not love yourself, after he passes,
and the amount of money spent will most likely be far less.

Life is all about experiences, not possessions!  And I mean that from
the bottom of my heart.  Unlike possessions, experiences have no
residual responsibilities; the experience is either good, bad or
somewhere in between.  Experiences can be captured in photos and
recordings that will last multiple lifetimes.  Possessions come and
go depending on ones ability to afford them (or not).

Though I don't follow such affairs myself (lacking the time), I know
there is a listing of events involving mechanical musical instruments
at the Mechanical Music Digest ( and other
places on the Internet.  Search out these events and make plans to
attend them with your father.  He will greatly appreciate your efforts
much more than he will some instrument that sits in his home and
requires constant maintenance.  Sharing experiences with loved ones is
much more valuable than any possession.

One man's opinion,

John A. Tuttle

 [ I think that's a beautiful reply, John.  -- Robbie

(Message sent Sat 11 Aug 2001, 20:37:20 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Are, Memories, Not, Possessions, Treasures

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