I've gotten one E-mail from a like-minded MMDer who caught my true
meaning in spite of the Editor's subject line. I also expect to make
some enemies I've yet to meet over this.
My comments were not about attitudes, but about greed. I can't recall
the actual article, but I believe that there is treatise on Mechanical
Music as an investment, by Art Reblitz, somewhere on the MMD web site.
In general, Art's comments can be summarized as follows: You won't
lose money on an instrument if you maintain it, but there are better
places to invest your money.
Unfortunately, there are a number of people who insist making money the
object of the hobby. Again, I won't mention names, but another "player
nut" I know had not been active in the local AMICA chapter (Founding
Chapter) for a number of years because of the attitudes of the other
wealthier members toward his humble collection and the mobile home he
To me, the object of this hobby is sharing the joy these instruments
bring with as many people as possible and to show as much respect for
a Gulbransen foot-pump machine as you do for a hand-carved art case
Steinway AR. As I said earlier, we are merely the caretakers of these
machines while we are on the planet and we are doing ourselves, the
instruments, and the hobby a great disservice if we think otherwise.
Our job is to continue to be the wonderful eccentrics we are and infect
future generations with the love of these wonderful mechanical creations
so that they are never forgotten and continue to be lovingly preserved.
We're not here to impress one another or turn a profit on an instrument
we simply babysat.
Don't get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for restorers and honest
brokers who need to be fairly compensated for their work, but I have
little respect for speculators and snobs who are simply in it for the
money and the prestige. Let me also say that having an impressive
collection does not automatically put someone in one category or the
There are so many wonderful people in this hobby. The sad part is so
many of us have met so many nasty people in the process. I guess that
is to be expected. Being a "player nut" certainly is no criteria for
As for how you feel about me, let the chips fall where they may.
[ I think the article by Art Reblitz is "Values of Automatic Pianos
[ and Organs", in 000128 MMDigest. He remarks, "If you only care
[ about resale value and investment performance, then you had better
[ consult your crystal ball ...!" -- Robbie