I appreciate AMICA and what it purpose it serves. I respect that it's
been around since the early 1970s and think it's future is important.
I think it's useful as a resource and very valuable for the social
events it organizes. However, I left AMICA mostly due to it's inability
to provide me with practical technical advice, and the all too frequent
AMICA member with a chip on his or her shoulder. I've never owned a
coin-operated piano and only recently acquired an Ampico, which I was
practically forced into buying. It was an unanticipated acquisition
I'm still dealing with.
When I attended AMICA meets in high school I ran across people who
had more experience, but less desire to share knowledge. I found
people with more money, though seemingly less appreciation for their
collections. Finding somebody to connect with was difficult, and few
people were interested in talking to me. Lastly, I ran into a couple
people who were vicious lunatics.
Eventually the membership dues weren't worth it anymore and I left
at age 18. I wasn't gaining anything from being an AMICA member.
I found more practical advice and know-how on the MMD for free,
though I still donated when I was making frequent postings.
Granted, piano work isn't entirely possible in the confines of a
college dorm room, so my four-year hiatus from piano work may also
have something to do with leaving AMICA as well. Yet, even when I'm
out and have a workshop running again, I don't think I'll rejoin AMICA.
I enjoy my automatic pianos, but have little interest in reading about
instruments I'll never own and likely will never see nor hear.
Other collectors' organizations are doing better than AMICA, I've
noticed. Antique radio and telephone clubs have lots of members who
are well-organized online. Despite the fact I use an 80-year-old
toaster, telephone, and Victrola, I'm not going to use antiquated
technology to get information. I will not employ the postal service,
library and long-distance telephone to get answers I need if I can find
them online. Telephone and radio groups are full of members who are
eager to help new people out and don't mind answering basic newcomer
questions about capacitors and tubes. They appreciate seeing young
people join and they stay. They also have great newsgroups via e-mail
where veterans in the field will answer questions in less than a day.
They're in it for fun and it shows.
I wish AMICA the best, but I feel I don't belong there.
[ Damon has contributed many thoughtful and often humorous articles to
[ MMDigest since 1996 and I'm pleased to learn his interest is still
[ sustained. But beware of those college girls, Damon! -- Robbie