Welcome to my first blog-
This is a brief story of how I started pickin' and am now the proud owner of a Gibson Grenada Re--issue (1990).
Back in my college days (~1989), one of my professors started to play the banjo and needed some guitar players to help out. I wasn't that great of a player, but I could stay in time and switch to the right chords and so I played along a bit before graduating. This professor was playing an old Washburn banjo at the time. What happened was that I started playing my guitar more and started playing in my church (after moving away and attending graduate school). After 15 years I am still a so-so guitar player.
In 1996, I moved back to Stevens Point where I attended undergraduate school to take a job. I had not connected much with my former professors but happened to be discussing with some of these professors (fall of 2006) that I was considering taking up the banjo as I have always loved bluegrass and considered the banjo a great instrument (my wife and kids voted down learning bagpipe- go figure). This old professor gave me some advice about buying a banjo and mentioned his old banjo.
I went on ebay and purchased a used Oscar Schmidt banjo with no numbers or marks that I can find (aluminum pot, fiberskyn head). I had a local banjo player inspect it and he said it sounds as good as anything under $1000 (not bad for $100). Problem is that last fall I started going to music stores and playing banjos that cost $2-5K and I realized I didn't have the "real deal".
After looking at Deerings mostly and then having a chance to travel through Lansing to pick at Elderly I called this professor to see what used banjo he had. He said he had this Gibson Grenada he hadn't played in many years and would part with it for what he paid (said he got it through an employee for a discount). After having it in my possession for a few months- I just paid for it ($2000) and also got a boat load of books and misc. accessories.
In many ways, had he never inspired me to play my guitar I may never have tried to pick up the banjo all these years later. He is glad that the Gibson is going to a good home- where it will get played (nearly) every day. So I guess what goes around- truly does come around.
Next time I will tell you my aspirations for my 6 kids becoming a bluegrass band with me (they are just starting violi...I mean fiddle lessons now)
Shalom for Now-3 comments
Playing Since: 2006
Experience Level: Just Startin'
Oscar Schmidt ?
Gibson Granada Re-issue 1990
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Last Visit 8/2/2012
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