Logan, Ohio – June 2018 – Washboard Music Festival

Each year the Columbus Washboard Company (detailed on another posting) sponsors a Washboard Music Festival.

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In addition to the music they had a parade.

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Which featured mostly vintage tractors.

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Vendors selling an assortment of unusual items, including box guitars.

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As well as observing the local way of securing criminals?

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But we were here for the music.

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Artists from the various groups joined in with the other bands, including this fiddle player from Canada.

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Ira the somewhat cynical banjo player from Philadelphia. For the most part he had an audience of 1 (me), and had to play in front of a payday loan store, so I can see why he is cynical.

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Meanwhile on the main stage a collection of washboard players gathered…

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Bringing their strange instruments.

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Coming from far and wide.

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To join the legendary Washboard Hank, from Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. I am not sure why but a number of the performers were from Canada!

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Hanks helmet is also an ‘instrument’

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The collection of washboard players joined Hank and his band on stage for a few songs.

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But we had to catch the Hillbilly Bus…

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It was time to leave the laundry hanging across the street and get out of town.

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Logan, Ohio – June 2018 – Washboard Factory

Our return visit to Logan included a second trip to the Columbus Washboard Company. Since people only use washboards for decoration or musical instruments, this is the last washboard manufacturer in America.

Since this was our second visit here as well, I spent more time getting a closer look at the process. The factory is small, but efficient and very retro.

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Even the dolly is old school.

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A stitching machine.

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Rolls of aluminum for the boards themselves.

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Fed through a crimper. They have a variety of crimp styles for the various boards.

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Ready for the next step.

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Meanwhile in another section of the factory they make the finger joints for the frame.

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More of the collection of vintage, but effective, machines.

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The frame sides are ready.

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They use plates for the logos.

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The assembler said she can make 20 washboards an hour.

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Ready for your band, or laundry.

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And they even have tubs if you need them.

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Nazareth, PA – June 2018 – Martin Guitar Company Factory Tour and Museum

The Martin Guitar Company has been making guitars since 1833. The current CEO is the 5th generation of Martin’s to run the company.

The business started in New York City but moved to Pennsylvania after a few years, being located in Nazareth ever since.

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As you enter the facility you are immediately greeted by the company museum.

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The museum houses over 130 guitars from the 1830s until now. It is striking to see how similar they are from 200 years ago.

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In addition to the guitars they have some components from over the years.

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The craftsmanship is amazing.

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Martin also makes ukuleles and mandolins.

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The museum housed some custom ones, including one from the Grand Ole’ Opry.

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Having finished the museum portion, we headed out on the factory tour. The guide handed each person a headset and we headed out. First stop was where they are ‘booking the wood’, basically splitting it and attaching the pieces so the grain matches and is wide enough for the body.

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Nearly all of the manufacturing is done by hand.

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After formed they sit for an extensive amount of time with their collection of clothes pins to hold it together.

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The build process involves weeks and months of time as components dry.

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Fret board assembly.

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It was amazing the workers could focus with the continual tours walking by taking their photos.

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A polishing/sanding station.

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Closer to being completed, but still more waiting – it takes months to get a custom guitar from Martin.

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One of the few automated functions – a polisher.

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Note someone from a tour watching the worker.

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This person was applying the detail around the edge of the body of the guitar.

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Similar to this worker – their lighting has been custom built to provide the optimum view.

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The work continues….

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Throughout the plant….

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Applying the strings.

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And a final polish.

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Before a test drive!

The visit to the Martin Guitar Factory Tour is easily one of the best we have done. Having the chance to walk the factory floor and take great photos of the quality work and hard working craftsman was fantastic.

If you ever get the chance to go to Nazareth, Pennsylvania and visit them – it is well worth the effort.

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Cleveland – March 2018 – Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

It has been over 10 years since the last visit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, but having recently read that they now allow photography in most places it seemed like a good time to make a return visit.

I had forgotten how many artifacts they have from many genres, not just Rock. Since blues had such an influence, there was an extensive exhibit honoring those who contributed, such as Bo Diddley.

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In my opinion Ruth Brown is the best blues singer of all time…

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And Muddy Waters was one of the best as well. Note the partial view of the album in the upper right corner. It is ‘Hard Again’, featuring Muddy, Bob Margolin on Guitar, Pinetop Perkins on piano, James Cotton on harmonica, Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith on drums, Charles Calmese on bass and produced, as well as playing guitar, Johnny Winter.  The Best Blues Album Ever!

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The sign from Elvis’ famed 1968 comeback TV special

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Another cool Bo Diddley guitar.

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Mixing blues and rock makes another of my favorites, the Allman Brothers Band.

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Beyond the instruments and outfits there is an excellent collection of paraphernalia, including the original lyrics – such as Riders on the Storm by the Doors.

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The upper floors had a tribute to 50 years of Rolling Stone magazine.

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David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust outfit

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Long Live Rock!

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Delaware, Ohio – October 2017 – Can’t Be Bored at a Gourd Show

The Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio was the host for the annual Gourd Show. Apparently a lot of people like making art out of gourds. With the results it is obvious there are some skilled gourd-artist around.

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There was also entertainment. While we were there a band called the ‘Rum River Blend’ played a mix of acoustic rock, bluegrass and folk. Their fiddle player, Carl, was 95 years old (he was the 1948 Ohio Fiddle Champion)!

Let’s give it up for Carl!

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Seattle – September 2017 – Museum of Pop Art

The Museum of Pop Art in Seattle started life as a tribute to Jimi Hendrix by Paul Allen, one of the founders of Microsoft. Recently they rebranded themselves and have some nice other exhibits.

 

The guitar collection was amazing.

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The Hendrix area

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A large area for sci-fi

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Cleveland – August 2017 – One World Day

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens is  a beautiful area in Rockefeller Park that celebrates the diverse cultures that make up Cleveland. Once a year they celebrate One World Day, where all of the 40 different countries that have gardens (or are working on them) celebrate their culture.

The individual gardens had extra touches added to them.

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We spent time with learning about the culture of Slovakia from the man who lead the building of the gardens. While some, such as the Italian and German have been there for 70 years or more, a few have been built in the last 30 years.

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The Hungarian Garden had a ‘Budapest Cafe’ set up, complete with music.

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A couple of Czech women in their traditional attire.

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Most had crafts from the homeland.

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A shuttle was provided for those who were late to the parade, like the Lebanese, who were entertaining even on the shuttle ride.

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One of the Russian marchers.

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Vietnam is currently working on their garden, and were well represented in the parade.

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Each country brought a flag for the day that were displayed at the main entertainment stage.

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The leaders of the Romanian group.

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There were a number of youth groups who are continuing to carry on the traditions of their country.

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Young and old marched together.

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After the parade many posed for photos in their gardens.

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The Serbian group had great outfits, with cool shoes.

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With the food, culture and gardens it was a great day for One World in Cleveland.

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