AMICA So. California Organ Rally 23-24 April 2005
By Jack M. Conway
Hi Group, The Descanso Gardens organ rally was great again in spite
of the dire weather forecast of rain both days. Saturday and Sunday
started out overcast but cleared up quickly. We did not have a drop
of rain either day. When we started at 9 A.M. the crowds were small
but quickly built each day.
The week before this year's rally, Huell Howser, host of the PBS TV
show "California's Gold", showed the program he filmed three years
ago at Descanso Gardens. At the end of the show he gave contact
information for this years rally. He did this last year also and his
publicity really seems to turn out the crowds.
We had a fabulous turnout of organs. I brought my Tangley CA-43 calliope
and 22-key Perlee book organ. I tempted the weather gods by polishing
the calliope whistles and keyboard and spent half a day washing and
polishing the Model A Ford that the calliope is mounted on.
Frank and Shirley Nix brought their Limonaire book fair organ and the
Hofbauer organ. David Berstein brought his Limonaire book fair organ.
Lloyd and Brooke Osmundson debuted their newly restored and refinished
Bruder book fair organ. Brooke the artist painted the facade and did
the gold and silver leafing. Wow!
Jerry and Darren Pell brought the Bruder book organ which now is
complete with its drums and a Wurlitzer 103 just refinished and
completely gone over pneumatically. Another wow.
Charlie and Jackie Porter brought Charlie's "Spirit of San Diego Concert
Organ" housed in a step-van. Charlie built this organ from scratch and
arranges his own rolls for it.
Donald Henry brought his Pell organ mounted on a miniature fire engine
golf cart, and a Hofbauer organ. William Klinger brought two of his
three self-built busker organs. Bill Blair and Jean Hurley brought
Bill's Wurlitzer 105 band organ and his Pell organ with figures. Ken
Hodge had his Verbeeck 36-key organ.
Robin Biggins was there in his organ grinder's outfit, complete with
mustache, with his Molinari organ on a mono pod. Daniel Wright had his
self-built busker organ. Robert Meyer had his busker organ.
It is a delight to play the organs outdoors as they were intended to
be. There were many children in the crowd; many of them got a chance
to crank a tune on an organ and some owners gave them certificates for
playing the organ.
Many of the little ones immediately start dancing to the music. One
little blond boy of about two was drawn to the Perlee as though it was
a magnet, and then to the calliope. The look on his face was, "Give me
input! More input!" As usual I had a great time!
Jack M. Conway
Los Angeles, California, USA
(Message sent Fri 29 Apr 2005, 05:54:53 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)