1992 G.A.L. Convention
Overview | Presenters | Music | Exhibition | Auction | Miscellaneous | Open House | Staff & Helpers

Recession? What recession? These folks came ready to buy!

Bids come fast and furious as Tim Olsen, guest auctioneer Jim Williams, and Todd Brotherton attempt to keep everything straight.
Bluegrass barnburners The Piceoid Pits, fronted by Bruce Harvie and featuring (L to R) Donald LaPlant, Lawrence Smart, William and Loyd LaPlant, and Tom Nechville, took the stage of the Grand Ole Auction. Here's the view from the choir loft.
Classy jazz sounds were provided by Bruce Lawrence on bass, Lon Tucker and Billy Cook on guitar, and Harold Golden on violin At the auction preview there was always a crowd gathered around the Harmony side bending machine. Here Mary Alice Campbell discusses her dream of owning it with Will Bremer, D.L. Gaudreault, and Judy Threet.
Andre Larson poses proudly with the Harmony side bender he purchased for the Shrine to Music Museum at the benefit auction.    

Auction Party

The GAL auction/party is always the exciting climax to the convention experience. Most of the lectures have already taken place, the chaotic exhibition is over, everyone is nearly exhausted, and it's time to celebrate and get crazy with the gang you've been practically living with for four days straight.

This year's party was held in a beautiful former Catholic church now housing the Washington Street Arts Center several blocks from USD. While beer and pizza were bought and devoured, the festivities got off to a cool start with an impromptu (although you'd never have guessed it) jazz quartet. It was just what everyone needed to start getting in the party mode.

The auction excitement got underway with Tim Olsen (in a giant Mr. Spock T-shirt) and Todd Brotherton selecting the guest auctioneers and keeping the items flowing as quickly as possible. That overflow convention crowd was also generous in donating a record number of items to the auction. Guest auctioneers included Willis Groth, Jim Williams, Roberto Gomes, Bruce Harvie, and John Jordan.

For a break partway through the auction proceedings The Piceoid Pits led by Bruce Harvie took the stage to perform their version of “Floppy Tops” a takeoff on “Rocky Top” penned by Bruce himself with assistance from Lawrence Smart. The crowd was delighted with this enthusiastic and highly hilarious lament of a woodcutter.

The highlight of the bidding occurred when the old iron side-bending machine from the Harmony Guitar Co. came up for bid. This massive piece of guitar history was generously donated by Willis Groth who had purchased it at an auction when the Harmony Company went out of business. All the members had been admiring it at the auction display during the exhibition. It was obvious at the start that the bidding for this item would be the hottest ever at a Guild auction. Many bidders entered the fray immediately but soon dropped out leaving Mary Alice Campbell, Ed Kalil, and Andre Larson in the action. Mary Alice was soon overpowered, as Ed and Andre pulled away and kept the bidding war going for five tense minutes. Ed agonized over going just a little higher to outbid the cool-as-a-cuke Andre, while the crowd cheered him on and screamed at each bid. Andre won it at $575 for the Shrine to Music. There were no hard feelings as Ed and Andre posed together for photos with the machine.

As the evening auction wore down, John Jordan once again auctioned off “The Little Man” which had been accidentally busted just before the 1990 Auction and miraculously restored and mounted on a walnut plaque by Fred Campbell, the high bidder last time.

Bart Rieter won the bid, so he must elaborate it and bring it to the next auction. When it got to the point where Tim was auctioning off his Spock shirt, the party was over. Foolhardy luthiers hung out in the basement to pick and grin long after everyone else had left.

Everyone aggreed that it had been a exciting auction-packed party. The event seemed even more delightful successful when members attending the business meeting learned that the entire fun-fest had netted the Guild an amazing $8,700, nearly doubling last time's record! How's that for fun?

1992 GAL Benefit Auction Donors

Geary Baese: Classical Italian Violin Varnish • James Bailey: Silvertone archtop, octagonal aeolian lap steelThomas Beeston: Engelmann spruce violin set, Engelmann spruce guitar setBenedetto Guitars: maple for archtop guitar backsSusan Norris and Fred Carlson: two cassette tapes of Wind-Blue Pie. • The Bold Strummer Ltd: The Ultimate Guitar Book, David Russell Young book, two Irving Sloane booksR.E. Brune: slides of Segovia's 1937 Hauser, Japanese spruce, Spanish Guitar Exhibition catalogFred Campbell: three D'Addario T-shirts, the “Little Man”Alan Carruth: Brazilian rosewood back and side setFred Casey: Pearl Inlay, Martin Repair ManualDavid Colburn: mando-banjo neck with stick, one Epiphone banjo neckTed Davis: two red spruce topsJohn Decker, Jr.: one mesquite back and side set, koa back and side setDoug Degenhart: koa mandolin set and guitar sides, matching koa top, back and side set, two sets of koa electric guitar top laminatesElderly Instruments, Stan Werbin: mandolin fingerboards, ebony bridge blanks, three sheets of pickguard material Mary Fletcher: classical guitar caseGAL: Guild T-shirts, misc. magazinesPeter Galindo: guitar tunerRoberto Gomes: eight sets of alternative rosewoodsWillis Groth: bows and remnants, Harmony factory side bending form, violin fingerboard gluing clampRobert Hartman: Guitars and Mandolins in America • Paul Hostetter: Musical Instruments of the World • David Howard: Emenee banjo-ukeElon Howe: wild black cherry neck and cherry back and sides, maple and willow violin materialsJohn Jordan: magazinesSteve Klein: Klein electric guitar bodyRobert Lundberg: five limited-edition engravingsMartin Co., Linda Davis-Wallen: Martin guitar second, two ukuleles, logos, twelve T-shirts, two hats, videotape, 20 necks/fingerboards (slotted, pre-carved, ebony, inlaid), 26 sets of wood (backs, tops, pre-bent sides, veneers), plastic parts, refinishing stuffLuthier's Mercantile: maple billet, guitar back and side sets, ebony, ziracote, ocelot ear, two East Indian rosewood, Brazilian rosewood, zebra wood, guitar top sets, two sitka, two red cedar, one Alaskan yellow cedarDarrell Majkrzak: violin and case, Kent electric guitar, banjo, steel guitarRalph Novak: three multi-scale fingerboardsTim Olsen: genuine government issue hide glueOrcas Island Tonewoods: one-piece maple archtop guitar back blank, Engelmann spruce archtop guitar top blankBart Potter: three koa back and side sets, eight sheets of koa crotch veneerBart Reiter: two rolled brass banjo tone rings, half pound of second quality Mother of PearlNicholas Von Robison: Washburn mandolin Stewart-MacDonald: fourteen books, fifteen tools (files, saws, sand plates, chisels, fret nippers, neck jig, caliper, neck heater), two sets of binding, ebony and rosewood fingerboards, misc. ebonyBurt Stimson: guitar back and side sets, Spanish cedar, mahogany, two Indian rosewoodLarry Trumble: one hat, Sitka spruce guitar tops, Sitka spruce violin and archtop guitar billetsHarold Turner: archtop dulcimerMatt Umanov: “Ramirez” guitar, Moduro guitarDave Watson: two basic wine racks with wineRobert Wenzel: maple fiddle woodArthur West: plectrum banjo Jim Williams: A guitar Maker's Manual • Woodcraft Supply Corporation: brass carving plane

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