Feb. 18, 2019
John's Corner February 18th 2019
Good morning everyone,
This week is Presidents week...kids are off of school and we expect to see quite a crowd in the store. People in the Northeast seem to hunker down in the coldest part of the winter, but there comes a time when you just have to break out of the house and see what’s going on. That was this past Saturday when we had about 100 people through the store. All sorts of friends stopped in to visit and it was just like a regular old time jam. Music is the best part of John’s corner! Perhaps if our world leaders realized how much music, art and recreation contribute to people’s health and well-being, they might direct similar resources to this, as they do on chemical solutions to health challenges.
Last weeks discussion on minstrelsy seems to have taken a foothold here at Bernunzio‘s where we have the best selection of banjos from that era for sale in the world. Here are some of the great re-creations by makers like James Hartel and Jeff Menzies as well as some original 1870s instruments.
One very special new addition this week was a gourd banjo fashioned by Scott Didlake. Scott first contacted me in the early 1980s about getting strings for a banjo that he was creating. He told me was going to make gourd banjos with "Cremona" quality gourds. He was very dedicated to re-creating the first examples of the banjo and putting them in the hands of people would really play them. He was taken from us far too soon of ALS. I didn’t know he was sick, he called one day to tell me goodbye. He said that he was dying he didn’t have long. He wanted to thank me for helping him on his journey. It’s with great memories that we bring this banjo back to the marketplace.
Hard at work in perhaps the best corner in the universe is Ryan Yarmel. Ryan is calling most of the shots these days and has been doing a great job at managing the entire store. His knowledge of vintage instruments it’s growing in leaps and bounds. He is a solid force in the music community in this town.