Great Dorset Steam Fair 2006
Another fabulous year of GDSF! This time I rented a caravan and stayed for the whole five days. What a

 great way to see the show. Exhausting, but wonderful. Click here to see the photo gallery. Pictures were more limited this year because I forgot part of my battery charger, so I was out of luck when the battery died. (You didn't want to see the rain and mud anyway!)


COAA Crossroads Village Rally 2006
Crossroads Village Michigan is  a very nice ca 1900 "living history" village that features a steam railroad, vintage carousel and Ferris wheel and a number of other nicely restored buildings. About 80 COAA members turned out for the rally, bringing more than twenty large organs and an equal number of small organs.

One of the most fun features of COAA rallies has become the "play-along" concert, where a group of us accompany Trudy, Dave Wasson's 98 key concert band organ in a selection of turn-of-the-last-century band music, including a nice selection of Karl King marches and waltzes.

(That's me hiding behind the tuba on the end, and Dave on Euphonium) Click here or on the picture to see a number of other photos.


Is that a hurdy-gurdy you got there?
In one of the least likely musical combinations ever, I recently had the chance to play a duet with a real hurdy-gurdy! At the most recent New England Folk Festival I was playing my Castlewood organ in the hallway when I was approached by an extremely nice person who complained that people always thought my instrument was a "hurdy-gurdy". I assured her that I knew better, and we proceeded to play a couple of tunes!

The NEFFA folks were most receptive to my slightly-less-than-traditional "folk" instrument, and we had a great time. I often had a half dozen kids standing in line waiting for their turn to turn the crank. The "Gay Gordon Medley" from Ed Gaida turned out to be the perfect roll for this occasion, with impromptu dances taking place as I played.


MBSI-- Sanfilippo Collection, May 2006

The Mid-America and Lake Michigan chapters of the MBSI held their May meeting in Chicago, with a visit to the collection of Marian and Jasper Sanfilippo as the highlight. Here are photos of most of the large organs in the collection, as well as a few other tidbits. New for me were the fully refurbished locomotive, tower clock, Victorian rail car, and, highlight of the day for me, a fabulous new Verbeeck Dutch street organ (pictured left). What a heavenly sound!


Golden Oldies-- Pictures from the 1979 Great Dorset Steam Fair

I finally bit the bullet and had many boxed of old slides digitized. Here are some of the pictures I took during my first visit to what was, at the time "The Great Working of Steam Engines at Stourpaine Bushes". Aside from being completely astonished at the show, the trip was memorable because being a young, broke postdoc at the time I had not planned the trip at all and ended up sleeping in my rented Mini Cooper in the car park and absolutely freezing! I was completely not ready for weather reminiscent of Boston Mud Season in September in the south of England. If you recognize anyone I'm happy to add annotation to the pictures. Higher resolution copies are available on request.


Pictures from the 2005 Lincoln Steam Fair

The Lincoln fair was a great and wonderful surprise. Not as large as Dorset, it was still all I could do to get around and hear what I wanted to hear and talk with the interesting people in two days. There were about a dozen large organs, many smaller ones, and hundreds of steam engines in attendance. It was reminiscent in spirit of the Dorset Fair when I first attended it in 1979. More relaxed and less frenetic than Dorset, but plenty to see and hear. The show grounds are spectacular--paved roads and lawn. Don't come here if you like to wallow in the mud! Be warned if you stay for Saturday evening-- they lock the gates to the grounds and you can wander for miles in the dark to get back to the car park from the one gate that stays open (do you need to ask how I know this?). Camping on site is highly recommended.


The 2005 Waldkirch Organ Festival and Bumbling Bruder Tour

We finally made it to Waldkirch! What a great trip. Ron and Mary Jo Bopp are superb (and patient) tour leaders. Ron's article in the COAA journal is superb, I'd refer you there for a great summary of the trip. These are a few of the hundreds of pictures I took, I apologize to all that I have no organized way of tracking what is what, so if you want to know if a particular organ is a Ruth 37 or 38 I'm not going to be much help.


Pictures from the 2004 Great Dorset Steam Fair!