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New Car Jitters

Posted by rudykizuty on Saturday, April 11, 2009

Well, today I am going out to test drive a 1937 (Groton built) B&D SB Serenader TENOR. I am getting those same jitters you get when buying a new car, wondering if I'm doing the right thing. I've had a curiosity about tenor for a while now and was thinking about getting a cheapo just to serve that curiosity. But then Dad put his Serenader on the market........

So, much like this past November when I re-entered the banjo world strictly out of emotional ties with the plectrum Sultana (it being the first B&D to come into the family after I learned to play), I may wind up owning this baby before the day is out. Mind you, this model is the one that Dad learned to play on in the 50's. It was his first banjo and bought for him by his grandmother as a birthday present. I have very fond memories of being only 4 or 5 years old and seeing him "Serenade" my mother with "You Are My Sunshine" on this model before she passed at a very young age. That banjo was stolen after she passed and was never found. It took my father years before he found another exactly like it. So, the idea of this banjo leaving the family kinda makes me sick to my stomach.

Besides emotion, it is only one of two true Groton Serenaders I have ever crossed paths with. I have the feeling that if I were to let this one go, I may never encounter another. The money is making me nervous too, but I've also convinced myself that the money is probably better invested in this thing than in the market, where it could be gone in a matter of weeks anyway.

I'm a little nervous, but ya know, you only live once, so I am holding onto this thought..........Some day, when I'm old and grey and rocking away on the front porch, I'll be sending Mom my love, wherever she may be, strumming "You Are My Sunshine" for my grandkids' pleasure, and telling them the story that this was my Dad's banjo, one just like the original he learned to play on a long, long time ago.

1 comment on “New Car Jitters”

Polle Flaunoe Says:
Saturday, April 11, 2009 @11:24:38 AM


Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your family history connected with this banjo.

Of course you´ll have to keep this banjo for yourself and/or maybe your children/grand children etc.. No matter the costs.

And do remember, that 30s Silver Bell tenors are very, very rare - only very few were built due to the depression years.

Good luck and do ask me about any advice concerning set-ups etc. in order to get the best out of her.



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