Category - Digest

Another highlight from the Nashville Guitar Mash

April 7, 2018

This fellow’s name is Chuck Thompson; Chuck is an accomplished photographer in his own right who’s mission is “making musicians and business look good.” See his work at www.pickchuck.com

Like so many of us here in Music City, Chuck is also a musician. If you’re not familiar with that odd-looking instrument he’s playing, it’s called a “harp guitar” – an instrument from the turn of the 20th century that has found renewed popularity here in the 21st century. It combiners a conventional fretted guitar neck with several unfretted bass strings strung across an extension of the guitar body that play like the strings of a harp. .

But what is remarkable about this photo is that Chuck is not on the stage: he’s in the audience! He was right there in the front row, playing along with luminaries like Jerry Douglas, Keb Mo and John Oates at the Guitar Mash, an event that invites the audience to actively participate in the performance instead of just sitting there and flapping their hands together at the end of each song. For more on the event, read my commentary here.

The Chrysler Building

One of the Most Iconic structures in New York, photographed from one of the other Most Iconic structures in New York (the Empire State Building). .

The temperature at that altitude (~1100 ft) was in the 30s, and a fierce wind blew in from the north – the side I needed to be on to get this angle. Damn it was cold!

From Harvey, ca. 1940:
“The Parker Pen Letter”

Returning now too the subject of My Father and the things that he wrote during his relatively brief time on Earth:

One of the most “famous” of my father’s works (which is to say, famous within the family) is the letter that he wrote to the Parker Pen Company while a student at the University of Illinois in the fall of 1940.

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The letter was written in 1940, but I don’t have any photos from that era handy, so here’s one from the 1950’s.

December 6, 1940

The Parker pen company
Janesville, Wisconsin

Gentlemen:

As you can see I am writing a letter to the company that makes (by its own admission) the finest pens in the world – by using a typewriter.

I do  this not because I do not have a pen., No, gentlemen right here in my left hand I have a pen. Said pen is called in one of your ads which I just happened to read, quote, a Jewel of Pendulum, unquote. However, if I were to attempt to write this letter with this pen, the pages would be so smudged up with ink that it would be totally impossible for you to read it. But allow me to explain the case a little more fully.

About two years ago (or possibly a few months less) I wandered into a bookstore on our campus – that of the University of Illinois – and purchased a Parker pen.  Since this memorable date, I have had nothing but trouble with the amazing instrument.

The trouble, to sum it up briefly, is that this pen leaks – leaks torrentially.

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