THE CRANKY OLD MAN
Random thoughts and stuff from a cranky old man. Humor (maybe)and satire, mostly stuff from a confused head.
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Years ago, when
I was in High School, so lots of years ago, I found an old banjo in our
basement.Now I always sort of thought it
would be fun to play banjo, but this banjo was broken.At the time I did not want to play an
instrument badly enough to try and fix an old broken banjo.
I did think
the banjo was beautiful.It came in a
hard case, had a nice wooden neck and what I later learned was a
resonator.The neck was covered with ivory
inlay markings.It was pretty, but it was
It was a
four-string tenor banjo, but two strings were broken so it wouldn’t play.
A few years
after my find, my brother brought a friend from college home for a visit.The friend mentioned that he wanted to learn
to play banjo.
“I have an old banjo in the basement.It is old but it is a nice one and I never
play it anymore.”
I was about
to speak up and tell him that it was broken, when the friend spoke,
but I couldn’t take it.”
it is of no use to me, it is perfectly good, it only needs to be restrung.”
took the banjo.
wonder about that old banjo.I might
have tried playing if I knew strings were easily replaced.I never thought to ask Pops about it before he
My guess is
that it was not a cheap banjo.Cheap instruments are not always carried in an expensive hard case.A cheap banjo might go for $100, and a good
hard case $50.Who would put a cheap
banjo in an expensive case?
Also, my Dad
did not often buy cheap.He was thrifty,
but he did not buy cheap stuff.I’m not
sure they even sold cheap banjos when he would have bought this one.In the 1930’s they did not import stringed
instruments from Taiwan, or Indonesia.I
doubt banjos were mass produced at home either.
from researching the internet, and my best recollection, is the banjo was a
Gibson, a very fine and expensive banjo.This is mostly based on all the ivory inlays that I remember.
If only I
had spoken up when I first saw that old banjo. I might have had a lot of fun with
it, but mostly it would have been like having a piece of my Pops.
strings are replaceable…who knew?
Oh well, I
could probably afford to replace that banjo, but it would not be the same.
I still have
the memories of the old banjo, and my Pops.
unlike the strings, are not replaceable.