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MMD > Archives > June 2003 > 2003.06.14 > 01Prev  Next

Perpetuating the Hobby
By Matthew Caulfield

There are a couple of young men who are very interested in band organs
and perhaps all kinds of mechanical musical instruments.  One is 15 and
the other is perhaps a bit older.  They are both concerned about the
fact that the Prospect Park (Brooklyn, N.Y.) band organ is currently
unplayable because of a problem with the Wurlitzer dual-tracker roll
frame.  That roll frame is really a workhorse and 99% reliable; but
when something does go wrong with it, it takes someone who understands
the mechanics of the apparatus and can carefully watch it perform to
diagnose the problem.  (75% of repair work is diagnosis, I always say.)

It is a shame that there is no easy way of capitalizing on these young
men's interest and teaching them something about mechanical music with
an eye to developing replacement talent for those guys like Mike Kitner,
Harvey Roehl, Frank Rider that we are losing each year.  Geography is
a large part of the problem, but lack of organized hands-on instruction
is another.

I am told that besides the roll frame problem, the Prospect Park organ
needs tuning and work on the bass drum and snare drum actions.  Is
there anyone in Brooklyn that could tutor these fellows?  Correspondence
school training isn't very suited to this kind of work.

Matthew Caulfield (Irondequoit, N.Y.)

(Message sent Sat 14 Jun 2003, 14:57:52 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Hobby, Perpetuating

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