Posted by Brooklynbanjoboy on Thursday, August 15, 2019
I just signed a "gift agreement" with the Wilson Library's Southern Folklife Collection (SFC) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
I'm sending them about 5 or so linear feet of select items from the accumulated papers, tapes, CDs, DVDs and other media that piled up in my files while I was writing these books:
Tommy Thompson: New Timey String Band Musician, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, Inc., 2019.
“He Could Surely Make a Banjo Talk” - 109 Clawhammer Banjo Tabs of Old Time and New Time Tunes Played By Tommy Thompson. Text by Lew Stern and David Brooks. Bealeton, Virginia: Little Bear Banjo Publishing House, a subsidiary of Little Bear Banjo Enterprises, 2019.
Dwight Diller: West Virginia Mountain Musician, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, Inc., 2016.
[Yes, here I am allowing myself another shameless moment of self-promotion, at least somewhat unapologetically.]
I was pleased, at the outset of our discussions in 2017 that the SFC was interested in my files from the project on Tommy Thompson and my materials from my book project on Dwight Diller.
The SFC adds new increments of material from donors to their collection under the name of the gift giver. I thought my stuff might just be folded into the Tommy Thompson Collection (1970s - 2002), but instead it will be added to their holdings as the Lew Stern Collection, and cross referenced in their online finding aids to the archival material documenting Tommy's creative life. The material from my work on the book about Dwight will be housed the same way, under that same collection.
It is humbling to share space with the Tom Carter Collection, John Haber's papers, the Billy Faire Collection, and other rich lodes such as those donated by Thomas Goldsmith, Phil Gura, David Holt - and many others. [See https://library.unc.edu/wilson/sfc/collections/]
It is also a very positive thing to see an institution so fastidiously dedicated to safe havening materials on the string band revival, documents and audio/visual resources about old time music and musicians, and other folklorish topics of enduring value.
I tried to contour my collection to focus on materials that would add appreciably to matters of substance at the core of the research and writing work on West Virginian and North Carolinian traditional music and the old time string band revival.
The SFC folks seek to integrate new material into the collection in a manner that is "organic" - that preserves the way I structured the files in my own work space.
That is, they won't get the stuff and impose an alphabetic or chronological order on the files. They'll put it in their collection in the manner in which they receive it in the boxes I send them. I think their goal is to preserve stuff in the manner in which it was arrayed and utilized by the originator of these files.
Not being a trained folklorist, I can't really speak to that. Political scientists like to alphabetize things. What can I say.
* * *
Several things worth mentioning in the material derived from my work on Dwight Diller: West Virginia Mountain Musician:
-- documentation from the Library of Congress Recording Lab duplication project of Dwight Diller's reel to reel tapes of the Hammonses;
-- notes, correspondence re Dwight Diller field recordings, interviews with technicians involved in the LOC and later duplication processes and archiving work relating to Dwight's files on the Hammonses;
-- unpublished manuscript and notes on Dwight Diller's repertoire, notes on old time music communities in Chapel Hill, NC and Lexington, VA, and notes on West Virginia old time music communities;
-- notes and photos regarding The A.A. Cutters, Dwight Diller's "Practice Band" circa 1972;
-- unpublished manuscripts of mine from the Diller project ("What I Learned;" "Dwight Diller and Tommy Thompson: Banjo Choices;" "Dwight Diller's Field Recordings from the 1970s");
-- genealogical notes on the Sharpe family, the Hammonses, Diller's family, the Kentucky origins of the Hammonses;
-- Dwight Diller banjo and fiddle workshops: notes, interviews, articles; audio tapes from August 1972, "Alternative Galax," Charlottesville, VA. Armin Barnett playing fiddle, Dwight Diller playing banjo;
-- extensive notes on the Lexington, VA, old time music community;
-- a copy of Wayne Howard, Fiddle Songs and Banjo Songs (1981), plus notes from Wayne's field notebook, Pocahontas County, West Virginia;
-- alphabetical List, and thumbnail sketches, of people interviewed for the Dwight Diller biography.
* * *
Several things in the material derived from my work on Tommy Thompson: New Timey String Band Musician:
-- Tommy's grade school, college and graduate school transcripts (Grades in junior and senior high school are not necessarily a telling indicator of intellectual prowess - or so those who survived grade school like to think - they do, however, suggest the capabilities and interests of students);
-- Charles William Thompson, Armed Forces of the United States, Report of Discharge, DD 214, Release from Active Military Service, 15 June 1963 - not terribly hard to obtain from the National Archives;
-- list of interviewees (truly, a Who's Who of the old time string band revival years;
-- correspondence concerning the early years of the Old Time Music Scene in Durham/Chapel Hill;
-- notes from Patrick Couton on Tommy Thompson's compiled banjo tabs and the copies of the original tabs;
-- various drafts of Tommy's plays, and some original, unrecorded lyrics from family files;
-- notes on Tommy's field work, field recordings, academic papers;
-- field recordings of Tommy and Albert Hash at the 4th Annual Old Time Fiddlers and Bluegrass Convention in Hillsville, VA, June 1970 (courtesy of Kilby Spencer) ;
-- recordings made at Glenville, WV, festival, 1973 and 1974;
-- recordings (courtesy of Bill Smeadley) of a 1981 banjo workshop Tommy taught in western Pennsylvania;
-- notes and updates on the Tommy Thompson writing project;
-- notes and draft regarding: Tommy and West Virginia, Fuzzy Mountain String Band, Tommy's Banjo Playing, Banjo contests/Union Grove (1971), Mac Presnell, Tommy's banjos, Tommy and Theatre, Tommy's Graduate School Years at UNC's Department of Philosophy (articles, correspondence);
-- draft notes on Tommy Thompson and Source Musicians, and Bill DeTurk, "A Summary of a Fiddle Tune Collecting Field Trip," (1968);
-- notes, drafts for He Could Surely Make a Banjo Talk” - 109 Clawhammer Banjo Tabs of Old Time and New Time Tunes Played By Tommy Thompson. and my unpublished manuscript "Hollow Rock, Fuzzy Mountain, and Red Clay Music: Bill Hicks, North Carolinian Fiddler - Notes for a Study of Creative Trajectory," December 2018.
* * *
Here, I'm going to dwell for a moment on one item in the pile of material I'm sending to the SFC: Two tape cassettes provided by Bill Smedley of the Red Clay Rambler Banjo Workshop, taught by Tommy Thompson, in Roaring Springs, Pennsylvania, 4 July 1984, which I think shed light on Tommy's approach to teaching.
Bill Smedley has been playing Old Time Music for over 30 years. He studied banjo playing, and attended retreats and workshops conducted by Tommy Thompson (The Red Clay Ramblers), Jim Glimm (Buckdancers Choice and the Cherry Flats Ridge Pluckers), Mac Benford (The Highwoods String Band), Riley Baugus (The Red Hots) and Richie Stearns (The Horseflies). He plays old time music with the Gnarled Knuckles String Band.
His recording of that workshop triggered, for me, a challenge concerning the different views about the extent to which Tommy learned specifically musical things from the Old People.
The dominant view kept coming back to the sense that Tommy imbibed the music, and the spirit that the musicians exuded, but did not necessarily learn licks or turns of phrases, or anything specifically stylistic – or even anything specific enough to particular tunes. In fact, he seems to have integrated old tunes into his inventory in a manner that reflected his playing preferences and stylistic characteristics rather than anything that might be said to represent an orthodox version of the tune.
In other words, while so many of the Chapel Hill old time musicians were revivalists, as Tom Carter has observed, and fixed on getting tunes down in very studied and specific ways, Tommy appears to have come away from the old music with versions that suited him, his rhythmic preferences, and his melodic way with the banjo. [see Thomas Carter. “Looking for Henry Reed: Confessions of a Revivalist,” in Daniel W. Patterson, editor, Sounds of the South, (Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1991), pp. 73 – 89.]
Bill Smedley's audio tapes of a banjo workshop taught by Tommy in early July 1984 suggest that Tommy was doing unique things to old tunes as early as 1983. Clearly, he was composing music and matching lyrics with Mike Craver earlier than that, perhaps around 1975 according to Craver, but those were original tunes. One of the distinct possibilities is that the “learning context” afforded by the small group of people who morphed into the Hollow Rock String Band gave Tommy enough creative space to essentially feel confident enough to creatively make things up as he went along, to alter elements of old tunes when it suited him, and to experiment with the chemistry of traditional tunes.
Interestingly, Bill Hicks observed that Tommy was never a stickler about getting the phrase or the note exactly right, except in the context of harmony singing "where if you don't sing your particular part you are messing up the particular chord the voices are all hitting at a particular place in the song." Hicks noted: "I do think it's likely that Alan's influence amounted, for Tommy, to a point in the larger dialectic of his learning curve (as Bobbie's very serious concern for getting each tune "right" did for me). I'm convinced that learning tunes, whether on banjo or fiddle or anything else, is a more productive educational tactic if they are learned in all the particular detail one can muster at that learning moment. When the student learns how to get from A to B via C and doesn't just simplify or ignore difficult spots, in the end the student has taught his fingers and mind more about the overall task of playing. So, by playing with Alan, who was and is very particular about tunes, Tommy surely learned a lot of banjo. But he may have been somewhat relieved to find himself in a less constrictive situation." [18 July 2016 (1122 AM) email from Bill Hicks to Lew Stern.]
This supports the view that when Tommy was first learning how to play the banjo, clawhammer style, in an ensemble context – with Alan Jabbour in the mid-1960s - he learned very specific things in a very specific context, remained wedded to them for the duration of that band, but by the late 1960s pursued banjo music in a fashion that suggested the importance to Tommy of the departure from traditions, standards and expectation. Tommy clearly was flexible enough, adaptable enough, that he’d pursue unique ideas on the banjo, and encouraged others – band members, friends, and later students – to do the same.
There was another aspect to his musicianship that had a very present influence on his approach to teaching. Though he was primarily a banjo player, he was indeed a multi-instrumentalist, and he relied on his sense of those other instruments, their specific contribution to an old time ensemble state, and how they related to the banjo to develop a way of teaching the interaction of the instruments deployed during old time ensemble work in the 1960s and 1970s.
Bill Smedley's recordings of the Roaring Springs banjo workshop shed light on these matters.
For that reason, they found a prominent place with the material that will find its way to Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
* * *
The SFC allows me to add future materials to the collection that come into my possession as I chug along on related writing projects that mighty develop their own contrail of resources worth sharing through this archival depository.
My motivating thought behind the decision to place this material with the SFC was that access to such resources might lead another inquisitive musical soul to take another look at this little slice of revival string band history.
My view is that an author should never assume they will be the last word on their subject.
11 August 2019
DWIGHT DILLER FILES FROM LEW STERN
Overview documentation, LOC Recording Lab duplication project, Dwight Diller field recording reel to reel tapes of the Hammonses.
List of Recordings made by Dwight Diller, 1969 and 1970.
Overview spreadsheets, Dwight Diller reocrdings for LOC.
Written notes, LOC Archive Files, Dwight Diller field recording reel to reel tapes: contents of recordings.
Notes, correspondence re Dwight Diller field recordings: duplication process, archiving work, disposition of project.
Lew Stern, notes, Dwight Diller and the LOC project: Dwight's reel to reel tapes of the Hammonses.
Article on Dwight Diller field recording work, by Lew Stern, Journal of American Folklore, summer 2018.
Lew Stern manuscript and notes on Dwight Diller's repertoire, April 2018, March 2018 versions, and notes on Diller's evolution of repertory.
Lew Stern, notes on old time music communities, Chapel Hill, NC and Lexington, VA, and notes on West Virginia old time music communities.
Reviews, articles on Dwight Diller: CDs, workshops.
The A.A. Cutters, Dwight Diller's "Practice Band" circa 1972: notes, email (Diller to Stern), photos.
Three papers, by Lew Stern:
Dwight Diller, Poem, Sharpe Family, Civil War, no date.
Dwight Diller banjo and fiddle workshops: notes, interviews, articles
Notes on Diller reel-to-reel tapes
Dwight Diller on his music making capabilities, musicality
Dwight Diller on Wade Ward, Mutt WHorl, Edn Hammons
Dwight Diller - notes on genealogy, family history
Lew Stern, "Profiles of Virginia Banjo Players: Paul Bock," 2 December 2015
Vandalia Gathering, 1988, 10th Annual Competition
August 1972, "Alternative Galax," Charlottesville, VA. Armin Barnett playing fiddle, Dwight Diller playing banjo
Lexington, VA, old time music community: notes, articles, references
Wayne Howard, Fiddle Songs and Banjo Songs (1981), plus notes from Wayne's field notebook, Pocahontas County, West Virginia.
Dwight Diller, miscellany
Alphabetical List, and thumbnail sketches, of people interviewed by Lew Stern for the Dwight Diller biography
Notes, people interviewed by Lew Stern for the Dwight Diller biography - in chronological order per date of telcon or interview
TOMMY THOMPSON FILES FROM LEW STERN
Tommy Thompson: Personal Documents
Early Life - Notes
About Tommy - notes, draft material
List of Interviews conducted by Lew Stern (Listed alphabetically)
Ahrens, Pat J. Telephone, 25 May 2017.
Baron. Carl. Telephone, 28 September 2016.
Bell, Robert. In Person, 4 November 2016.
Bernhardt, Jack. Telephone, 21 April 2017.
Buckner, Clay. Telephone, 7 April 2017.
Carter, Thomas. Telephone, 8 August 2016.
Cohen, John. Telephone, 4 August 2017 and 5 September 2017.
Cohen, Stu. Telephone, 7 February 2017.
Conway, Cecelia. In Person, 20 June 2016 and 13 August 2016.
Craver, Mike. Telephone, 7 June 2016, 15 March 2017, 24 March 2017, 31 March 2017, 20 June 2017.
DeTurk, Bill. Telephone, 3 July 2017.
Dixon, Don. Telephone, 6 April 2017.
Doughtie, Nathan. Telephone, 24 June 2016.
Edgerton, Clyde. Telephone, 18 October 2016.
Edward, Durwood. Telephone, 4 August 2016.
Fink, Cathy. Telephone, 9 May 2016.
Fisher, Kit. Telephone, 20 September 2016.
Frank, Chris. Telephone, 13 April 2017.
Goldsmith, Thomas. Telephone, 3 October 2016.
Good, Rick. Telephone, 21 April 2017.
Gumpert, Peter. Telephone, 9 July 2016.
Haber, John. Telephone, 23 October 2016, 28 November 2016 and 10 June 2018.
Henderson, Wayne. Telephone, 17 April 2017.
Herrick, Jack. Telephone, 5 April 2017.
Hicks, Bill. Telephone, 14 March 2017 and 22 March 2017; In Person, 18 September 2017.
Hill, Doug. Telephone, 7 July 2017.
Hobbes, Bill. Telephone, 10 January 2017.
Holt, George. Telephone, 2 July 2016.
Jabbour, Alan. Telephone, 10 May 2016, 31 May 2016, 26 August 2016.
Jamieson, Dale. Telephone, 25 February 2017.
Jett, Dale. Telephone, 20 October 2016.
Jones, Ben. Telephone, 30 May 2016.
Jones, Howard. Telephone, 13 March 2017.
Kaufman, Kay. Telephone, 30 June 2016.
Ketchin, Susan. Telephone, 5 December 2016.
Kimmel, Dick. Telephone, 14 June 2016.
Lauterer, Jock. Telephone, 18 May 2018.
Leva, James. Telephone, 23 August 2016.
Levy, Bertram. Telephone, 28 June 2016.
Lornell, Christopher. Telephone, 30 August 2016.
McCanless, Allen. Telephone, 11 July 2016, 2 August 2016, 7 April 2017.
McClatchy, Debbie. Telephone, 9 May 2016.
McCoy, Colin. Telephone, 23 August 2016.
McCutcheon, John. Telephone, 5 December 2016.
Menache, Jacques. Telephone, 25 January 2017.
Miller, Claire. Telephone, 28 November 2016.
Milnes, Gerry. Telephone, 28 September 2016.
Morrison, Rob. Telephone. 1 August 2016, 4 August 2016, 10 April 2017.
Newberry, Joe. Telephone, 4 December 2016.
Olney, David. Telephone, 7 August 2017.
Owen, Malcolm. Telephone, 7 October 2016.
Passel, Howard. Telephone, 24 January 2017.
Peden, John. Telephone, 30 May 2018.
Poss, Barry. Telephone, 15 September 2017.
Rankin, Thomas. Telephone, 13 June 2018.
Roberts, Mark. Telephone, 24 April 2017.
Rogoff, Leonard. Telephone, 8 September 2016.
Rorrer, Kinney. Telephone, 18 July 2016.
Rosenthal, John. Telephone, 22 October 2016.
Sandomirsky, Sharon. Telephone, 6 August 2016.
Sapoznik, Hank. Telephone. 25 August 2016.
Savage, Leroy. Telephone, 1 August 2016.
Scancarelli, Jim. Telephone, 3 May 2017.
Simpson, Bland. In Person, 19 September 2017.
Smedley, Bill. Telephone, 18 May 2016.
Smith, Lee. Telephone, 9 January 2017.
Smythe, Jeanne. Telephone, 7 February 2017.
Spencer, Edmund. Telephone, 30 June 2016.
Spilkia, David. Telephone, 18 August 2016.
Stafford, Darrel. Telephone. 27 July 2016.
Stalnaker, Clayton. Telephone, 3 March 2017.
Thompson, Jessica. Telephone, 13 June 2016, and in person, 20 September 2017.
Thompson, Thomas Ashley. Telephone, 18 December 2016.
Trotman, Herb. Telephone,2 February 2017.
Van Hoy, Casey. Telephone, 30 August 2016.
Von Franks, James. Telephone, 11 January 2017.
Wade, Smith. Telephone, 29 July 2016.
Wade, Stephen. In Person, 26 August 2016.
Wann, Jim. Telephone, 22 March 2017.
Warner, Jeff. Telephone, 15 February 2017.
Watson, Jim. Telephone, 9 August 2016; Telephone, 17 March 2017; Telephone, 24 March 2017; Telephone, 6 September 2017; In Person, 19 September 2017.
Wellington, Bill. Telephone, 19 May 2016.
White, Bebo. Telephone, 21 May 2018.
White, Earl. Telephone, 29 June 2016.
Williamson, Tony. Telephone, 10 November 2017.
Winters, Suzie. Telephone, 23 August 2016.
Interviews with the Red Clay Ramblers
(NOTE: Bland Simpson interviews filed under interviews, above)
Old Time Music Scene in Durham/Chapel Hill
-- two emails from Bland Simpson
-- one email from Bill DeTurk
Tommy Thompson - banjo tab project
-- description of project (8 pages)
-- email from Janet Burton (2 pages)
-- email from Adam Hurt
-- response (from Lew Stern) to Adam Hurt (3 pages)
-- draft, by Lew Stern: "Tommy's Own Sound" (11 pages)
-- email from Rob Morrison (1 page)
-- Notes, Patrick Couton on Tommy Thompson's compiled banjo tabs (2 pages)
-- Notes, Tommy's Tabs and his Banjo Playing, February 2017, (3 pages) plus rough draft notes (handwritten)
Banjo Playing, Style, Teaching, Banjos
Lyrics: Notes on Tommy's song writing work
Notes on Play Writing Projects
John Cohen on Tommy, Red Clay Ramblers, New Lost City Ramblers, Revivalism
Red Clay Revivalism - notes, draft, Lew Stern
Red Clay Ramblers "Operational Code" - band SOP
Red Clay Ramblers repetory
Red Clay Ramblers - the Sno-Cone Story
Studying Musicians: field work, field recordings, academic papers, etc.
TT - field recordings sent to author during book research
Updates on book project (2016 and 2017)
The 2016 and 2017 "updates" had actually only been transmitted to fewer than 5 people including Tommy's daughter Jessica Thompson, Bill Hicks, and some music friends.
In December 2017, I began posting periodic updates on a Facebook page:
TOMMY THOMPSON OF RED CLAY RAMBLER FAME.
I posted those updates through to 27 June 2018 when I noted that the manuscript was finished and had been prepared for mailing to McFarland and Company, Publishers.
31 December 2017: "Motivating Puzzles"
5 January 2018: "Banjo Kinetics"
20 January 2018: "Play and Think Hard"
3 February 2018: "Where Things Stand"
10 February 2018: "Intel Gaps: What I was Not Able to Learn"
28 February 2018" "Philosophy and Later Life"
6 March 2018: "First Draft Done, Summary of Constituent Parts"
18 March 2018: "The Rabbit Hole Series: An Excursion Down A Rabbit Hole"
20 March 2018: "The Rabbit Hole Series: An Excursion Down A Rabbit Hole"
26 March 2018: "The Rabbit Hole Series: An Excursion Down A Rabbit Hole"
31 March 2018: "The Rabbit Hole Series: Comparing Old Time Music Communities"
13 April 2018: "The Rabbit Hole Series: Style, Purity"
23 April 2018: "The Rabbit Hole Series: Visits to Tommy Jarrell, Dink"
18 May 2018" "The Rabbit Hole Series: Ray Alden - Memories of Visitations
28 April 2018: "Bobbie Thompson's Art"
2 June 2018: "John Pedan"
11 June 2018: "I'm Finished"
Barney Pilgrim (Stage name for Michael Platt) - bio note
"A Tune for Tommy" notes, correspondence
Bebo Buncombe's Jug Jumpers - refs re Jack Herrick, Bebo White, Bland Simpson
- National Transportation Safety Board aircraft accident report
- Notes, Blanton's banjo style
- Notes, Tommy and Blanton, banjo style compared
- Lew Stern, "Rob Morrison," BNL article
Notes on Tommy's lyric writing, West Virginia-ness, banjo choices, and notebooks.
Notes on Durham/Chapel Hill Old Time Music Scene, musicians, festivals
Notes on the Red Clay Ramblers, on "revivalism," the Hollow Rock String Band; linkages
Notes on forming the Red Clay Ramblers context, influences, "Diamond Studs"
Notes on interviewees: leads followed through early February 2017
Notes on Tommy Thompson and Sam Shepard
Notes on Alan Jabbour, Annotations re: Tommy Thompson Collection, Wilson Library - lyrics, philosophical study of perception
Notes, Secondary Source Literature, regarding:
Red Clay Ramblers, old time music revival, Tom Carter on Joe Caudhill, Hammonses, Gerry Milnes, Jewel.
Notes and draft material (by Lew Stern), regarding:
Notes, Library Research Work:
Tommy's Graduate School Years at UNC's Department of Philosophy
Miscellaneous Draft Notes:
Miscellaneous articles, papers
Miscellaneous secondary source articles, reviews
Tommy Thompson and Source Musicians
"The Last Song of John Proffit"
1973 Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddler's Contest
Notes, Smithsonian Institute Archives
Liner Notes, Wretched Refuse String Band
Bill DeTurk,"Summary of a Fiddle Tune Collecting Trip"
NOTES, TABS, DRAFT MATERIAL FOR:
He Could Surely Make a Banjo Talk” - 109 Clawhammer Banjo Tabs of Old Time and New Time Tunes Played By Tommy Thompson. Bealeton, Virginia: Little Bear Banjo Publishing House, a subsidiary of Little Bear Banjo Enterprises, 2018.
Additional Interviews By Author - tape cassettes for:
Baron, Carl. Telephone, 8 October 2018.
Bernhardt, Jack. Telephone, 11 November 2018.
Campbell, Mark. Telephone, 6 December 2018.
Carlin, Bob. Telephone, 2 October 2018.
Childers, David. Telephone, 23 October 2018.
Davidson, Jan. Telephone, 3 November 2018.
Deturk, William. Telephone, 3 December 2018.
Foley, John. Telephone, 8 October 2018.
Leva, James. Telephone, 11 October 2018.
Owen, Malcolm. Telephone, 17 October 2018.
Sandomirsky, Sharon. Telephone, 25 October 2018.
Thompson, Jessica. Telephone, 6 October 2018.
Von Frank, James. Telephone. 14 December 2018.
Watson, James. Telephone, 11 October 2018.
Wellington, Bill. Telephone, 23 October 2018.
Additional Notes for the Tommy Thompson Project:
"Hollow Rock, Fuzzy Mountain, and Red Clay Music: Bill Hicks, North Carolinian Fiddler - Notes for a Study of Creative Trajectory." Date of Information: December 2018.
Friday, August 16, 2019 @4:18:53 AM
What a daunting list of research materials and working papers! I don't know how you were not swamped and overwhelmed by the sheer volume. ("Now where are those notes about that banjo workshop?") You did a fine job transforming all of this source material into a coherent, readable text for the rest of us.
Sunday, August 18, 2019 @3:55:10 AM
Well, David, I was swamped. It was at least whelming, if not overwhelming. I ended up having to develop correspondence logs, flow charts, file lists and other finding aids - assisted by tons of yellow sticky notes that basically became my home office wallpaper. Thanks for your kind words about the end product. I think I've figured out why I immerse myself this way: writing about banjo players is far easier than playing the banjo. Take care, Lew
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