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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Night Owl A Mudcatter's Thank You - Part III (48) RE: A Mudcatter's Thank You - Part III 11 Apr 02

Thanks for that link McGrath...fascinating place!! You got me wondering here...AND I WILL look further into it.

There used to be a barn here in the village, built from part of a shipwreck...(it's gone now). The storm was called (locally anyway) "The Portland Gale of 1898" named after the ship. Given the large number of ships that sunk here off our coast...I wonder. Thanks again.......

blithering on.....

After Mary Ellen came "home" to my lap (no other way to describe it) I calmed down....inside. I hadn't been consciously aware of how loooong I'd been "on alert" but certainly felt it when I settled down. Holding her and playing her.....SOMEHOW....... made it ok for me to open the door to the room that held my burnt albums and instruments.

I had cleaned up Sandy and Caroline's album months knew it was worth the effort, at least to peel off burnt covers and look at the vinyl records themselves. I'm almost done restoring them and as I mentioned...waaaaaaayy up above, I'll have about 1/3 of my collection back. I found a wonderful resource for new album covers and sleeves

(in case anyone needs them). They sell an incredible array of products for protecting and storing music collections, are VERY helpful on the phone.....and send out the orders QUICKLY! I just received the new album covers in the mail here.

I hadn't opened the bags of burnt instruments since I brought them home from the Music Store. Just didn't have the emotional strength to look at them before.....nor could I bring myself to just throw the bags into the dump.

Mary Ellen had just finished spending a few hours teaching me some music Rick must have made her memorize....and she let me know I was going to be fine now. I put her back in her case, and went to look in one of the bags of instruments...and found my lap dulcimer, the same one I had taken to the cemetery for my brother's burial. She was yelling to be let out of the bag.

I took her downstairs to the kitchen....and did a "pre-surgical" evaluation. Her body wasn't and charred but NOT cracked/broken. The wood itself was structurally intact.....and the fretboard was charred but still straight. The tuning pegs had melted but not INTO the wood......the majority of the badly burned wood was behind the tuning pegs....and the scroll was charcoal. Her back looked like it only had one layer of soot on it, but otherwise in good condition.

She had been hanging on the wall in my living room ....within a couple feet of my "memorial wall". I had found no trace of the things on my "memorial wall"....nor any trace of the things I had on the small table in that corner of the room.....but the wall the Dulcimer was on, remained standing.

Anyway, I set up an "operating table" in the kitchen, and bought various "grit" sandpaper and operating equipment....(mask, gloves etc.)......and started GENTLY sanding.

Her back came out PERFECT!

Her front and sides suffered a bit more damage, and I had to sand quite a lot to get through charred layers....BUT she'll be FINE!!!

She looks VERY odd, not symmetrical any more at the top of her "hourglass".....but then.....neither am I.

I was at a loss with what to do next with her...she was SOOOOO thirsty.....dry....the heat she went through was intense....and I had NO clue what she wanted for a drink....and what to put on her for future protection.

So I did what any rational Mudcatter would do.......I pm'd (S)paw. bg

He agreed to supervise the job......gave me detailed instructions......WHAT to apply....HOW many coats......HOW to apply....WHAT to watch out for and WHEN etc. AND,
he explained each step in I easily could understand what to do.

I confirmed with Paw....that the scroll behind the tuning pegs could be removed without affecting structural integrity or currently the charcoal has all been removed and I'm in the process of sanding the wood that's left. After a LOT of patience, I was able to get the old tuning pegs out and I've already bought her NEW tuning pegs and strings.

I was debating about staining that she would be one color on the front. During conversations with Paw....I changed my mind and decided to leave her "unique" appearance as is.......because the fire is now a part of her history.

And like Paw said...."One thing's for sure, there'll be none other like her in the universe".

THANK-YOU (S) PAW!!!!!!!! For being.

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