The Old Music Shop

   Eleven Coryell Street stood an old two-story white clapboard storefront. The sign swung slightly in a breeze coming down the road from the river. As you approach one can hear the striking music emanating from string instruments. Also, sounds of old men singing and cavorting amongst each other.  The down home folk music was sounding of high quality and brilliantly played.

   The glass in the old door shudders as you close it behind you. A wood slat floor creaks as you walk around the store. A few fluorescent lights brightly light the room, which is the first floor of a two-story house.

   The owner announces himself to you with his name and a welcoming hello. He looks the part of the wizard in OZ. His face garnished with a gray beard. Wavy hair, wrinkled face, and rings below his eyes are hints of his age. A raspy voice beckons you to come over. He lays out the history of the shop. Hours pass by as you learn of his journey in life. A builder of instruments, musician of extraordinary talent.

   All around, antique guitars, banjos, mandolins, and many other instruments hang on the walls hiding the dull paint that is chipping away. This is the area of the room that the band played. At the front of the store are three pianos. One is a beautiful Steinway made out of rosewood. The other two are Wellingtons being reconstructed. To the left, display cases and glass counters are filled with musical accessories, old sheet music, and records. A small area beyond the counters is used for teaching. Photographs of musicians and students known only to the proprietor are clustered on the wall. Across the room are rows of violins, guitars, and other kinds of instruments. Some of them are antique restorations and others are custom built.

   The building and repair of the instruments is done in the back. Power tools such as a circular saw, drill press, and sanders are lined up along the back wall. Unfinished instrument bodies, necks, and pieces, lay haphazardly on several benches. Woods of various grades and kinds of mahogany, rosewood, and ebony are stacked in piles underneath the workbenches. The odor of wood, glue, and finishes permeates the air in this area.

   When leaving, you glance back and look at the display window filled with antique instruments, having a distinct feeling of walking back in time in a museum.



James Killmer

© 2014  •  Art-Tronic Design, LLC  •  James Killmer