Yes I am tackling mandolin. I inherited one from my grandmother years ago and it has a bit of a history. My grandmother traded a violin for it around 1933. It had belonged to a neighbor named Austin Boyd who played it in a smandolintring band called Catfish Band from Sapulpa OK. Around 1937 my grandmother had been playing it on the front porch and taking a break, laid it next to the rocking chair where she’d been sitting. Someone else (who by all accounts was rather plump) sat in the chair and rocked heavily back and broke the neck. My great Uncle Luther made a scab patch (don’t ask ’cause, I don’t know) which held until about 1968. She hung it on the wall most of the time and the moisture got to the glue and wood. And this is where the tragedy for the mandolin comes in.

My uncle made a new neck for it out of spruce keeping only the headstock and fret board. The back and front were also cracked so he made new ones out of … 3 ply door skin. The headstock, fret board, the sides and the hardware were all that were left of the original mandolin. It was/is a Stella and my Uncle estimated the original parts too be about a 100 years old. After my Uncle “repaired it” my grandmother said she thought it sounded about as good as it ever did. I bought a new mandolin but the old one does have it charms and I keep it around because it reminds me of my grandmother and the music that binds us.

Here’s a great video featuring mandolin and bass. I feel both intimidated and inspired. 🙂

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