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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Bob Landry Instrument Disasters (42) RE: Instrument Disasters 08 Feb 99

Breaking news: This just in: Two instrument disasters occur and two motor vehicle disasters narrowly averted within 24 hours.

Fri, Feb. 5, 1999, 9:pm - we're at a jam at a country house in Alberta. The guys are setting up. My buddy, Garry, leans his old violin, his recently acquired 60-year old Gibson mandolin and his Gibson guitar within reach along the side of the couch so he can change instruments as the tunes warrant. Suddenly, as he picks up his guitar, the mandolin falls over on the carpet and, snap, the neck breaks just above the nut. Garry is devastated, but the jam goes on as planned.

Sat, Feb 6, 1999, 1 am - as I drive home down a snow-covered country road, I go over a rise and in front of me there's a herd of at least 7 white-tailed deer having a conference in the middle of the road. Oh-oh! I hit the brakes and, as I slow down, the last one moves out of the way from no more than 20 feet in front of me. I get through safely ... whew!

Garry, following about 1 km behind me, sees my brake lights and figures something's in the road, but despondent over the damage to his mandolin, does not react normally and ease up. He comes over the same rise and the deer convention had resumed. He hits the brakes and narrowly avoids a collision. He later said his life flashed before his eyes. Meanwhie, I had slowed down and waited ... when I saw his headlights reappear, I breathed another sigh of relief.

Sat, Feb 6, 1999, 2:pm - I'm catching up on some paper work and my phone rings. It's Mike, my 18 year-old son, who's attending school about an hour away from home. He asks if I have any spare money to help repair to his Fender DG10 (a new leftie I bought for him 10 months ago). He says it was dropped and has a long crack along the back and another crack up one side. Upon further questioning, I learn that the damage occured when somebody, probably including Mike, was wrestling and knocked over, or fell over, the tree which held three guitars, including his acoustic and electric guitars.

Re the mandolin: Garry's daughter emigrated from Canada to the US some years ago and was working as a photographer in Nashville when she did an advertising shoot for a local music store. The owner liked her work so much that he gave her the mandolin. She doesn't play so she asked that it be shipped to her Dad here in Alberta dad. It arrived FedEx with a broken neck. The owner, when told, asked Garry to send it back and in due course, it arrived in Canada with the break repaired. Friday's break happened at the exact same place as the first and it appears that the two pieces had simply been glued together. The glue probably dried up and the slightest knock was all it needed to break again. For the repair to be permanent, Garry may have to get a complete new neck installed on his mandolin. I wonder if the Gibson company will still honour the guarantee written on the label inside the mandolin.

Re: the guitar: Mike's guitar will be taken to a repair shop for an assessment of the damage and to see how much it will cost to repair.

Other than that, it was a good weekend.


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