I’ve talked before about how I’m looking for a banjo to complete my musical instrument collection. I’ve put the word out among friends that if they find one for cheap to let me know.
Saturday I had breakfast with Awana and Elise to discuss our Fiber Endeavors at a cute little cafe that serves leaf tea the way it was intended to be served – in a pot.
We finished and headed over to the Antique Mall where we have a booth to set things up and discuss selling and packaging strategies. I was short on time – still had to visit the dog park before work, so I felt rushed and distracted.
We discussed many things, among which was my desire for a banjo – both of them think it’s a bit odd, but stranger things have come out of my mouth since they’ve known me 🙂
As we were getting ready to leave, I stopped by my favorite booth to see if the owner had any new stringed instruments for sale. What did my eyes espy but an old cardboard case with a very unique shape.
Inside was this –
I picked her up and took a look to see what might be broken. She has only four of her five strings, but otherwise seems whole. She’s a Harmony Reso-Tone, made in the USA, an open back model with a fake skin head. A bit of rust here and there and the wood parts are painted where I would rather have them varnished, but the price was right. She has been played A Lot. Someone loved her and filled her with good energy and hopefully some good tunes.*
I plucked the strings a bit, and she seemed to be in tune, with a sweet, quiet tone, just what I had envisioned in my banjo-picking dreams. What? Like you don’t have musical dreams too – c’mon, fess up!
Awana agreed that she sounded good and that sealed the deal in my mind. Of course I bought her. Of course I took a little detour to the local music store to pick up new strings and picks before hitting the dog park. Not that I have time to actually get her cleaned up, strung up and tuned, but I can dream! It will be a good reward for a couple hard weeks.
I will call her Pearl and we will rock the hell out of some traditional American tunes. Just as soon as I figure out how to play.
There was also a little 1/4 cello for sale in the same booth that I can’t get off my mind…
* Some people believe that a stringed instrument absorbs the songs that are played on it and some of the spirit of those who have played it and loved it. It has been said that an old instrument remembers the songs that were played on it the most and that a new player finds those songs easier to play right from the first attempt, as if the instrument remembers how it goes. I don’t know what to think about that, but I’ve heard stranger things that were true…