Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Third Music Festival

Two weekends ago, Seattle's Folklife Festival. The next weekend,
Sedalia's Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival. And this past weekend, Union
Illinois' Annual Antique Music Show and Sale. Union is 45 miles west of
O'Hare Airport, and the site of the Donley Wild West Town Museum, where,
in 1976, a group of antique phonograph collectors held a swap meet, and
had so much fun, they repeated it the next year. Now, 35 years later,
it's the biggest Buy-Sell-Trade event of its kind in the world, with
attendees from around the globe, most of whom are long-term friends and
correspondents, but actually see each other only once a year - at
Union. Picture a large hall with six rows of tables holding
hundred-year-old talking machines with beautiful horns, music boxes from
Switzerland and Germany that play the hit tunes of the days of our
great-great grandparents, and other strange and rare old-time musical
contrivances. No wonder I was so entranced, I forgot to take a photo.

Now, I'm in Scottsdale, basking like a lizard in the three-digit heat,
and will have an appearance tonight for "The Ragtime Fool" at the
Poisoned Pen Bookstore. Tomorrow, it's Borders in North Scottsdale, and
Clues Unlimited in Tucson, then Thursday, the Velma Teague Library in
Glendale for an interview with Librarian Lesa Holstine. That'll wind up
my 17-day tour. It's been a blast, but it's time to get back to my
writing room on Puget Sound.

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