2004 G.A.L. Convention
Overview | Presenters | Music | Exhibition | Auction | Miscellaneous | Open House | Staff & Helpers

Floyd and Sandy Cheatum check out the preview in preparation for several brilliant purchases to come.

Staff kids Isaac Olsen and Marty Peterson haul a table of goodies to the silent auction.
Hey looky! John Kruse got some old magazines! Now that's more like it. Norm Upham got a busted mandolin.
Chris Herrod (center) of Luthiers Mercantile watched a lot of juicy LMI donations cross the stage. Todd Brotherton holds aloft “The Little Man” as Kurt Kendall sends him home to Ohio with Don MacRostie.
Sign language Ä Bruce Harvie gives a thumb-up during the live auction, but wow, would he be mad if he knew that Cat Fox was giving him the devil horns! John Mikelson (left) and Rick Turner chuckle. Here's a row of better-behaved boys, hands folded in their laps. From left, they are Scott Spearman, Rob Mertz, Keith Allen Young, Don Bradley, and Dave Cohen.

Auction Party
by Bon Henderson
On Saturday night there's one thing everybody can agree on: The GAL auction/party is the perfect way to top off four days of convention overload. Let's all get silly, spend a bundle on some great lutherie bargains, and help out the good ol' GAL in the process.

For the third time we called on our resident blabbermouth who coined the phrase “I'll forget right on that, Deb”, to handle the job of main auctioneer. Staffer Kurt Kendall's lack of lutherie knowledge combined with an inability to remember the names of most of the audience always makes for an entertaining evening. Kurt didn't disappoint this year as he quickly made up names for bidders off the top of his head (or recycled a few from past convention) such as “Soul Patch”, “Quiet Guy'', “Pops 1” and “Pops 2”, “Coffee Cup”, “Pappy”, “Pretty Lady”, and “All-American Good Guy”, Unfortunately, “Funky Hat” and “Dear Abby” were not able to attend this year.

Once again, Fred Carlson generously donated the beautiful banners he'd created to decorate our convention stage. Fred's artwork has become an auction highlight, no doubt helped by the fact that Fred helps to auction them off himself. This year's banners depicted whimsical instruments illuminating the alphabet from A to H (“A is for Autoharp”, “B is for Banjolope” and so on). Four individually-colored versions of each letter were auctioned off by letter at different points in the auction proceedings, as Fred would take the stage and read an original poem (is there anything this guy doesn't do?), explaining that particular instrument. The bidding was fierce, and winners walked away happy to own a Fred Carlson original. Jay Hostetler went home with a complete set!

We aren't sure how huge long-time member Fred Lyman's closets are, but when he “cleans” one out, the Guild and the members are sure to benefit. Although Fred hasn't been to a convention in years, his presence has definitely been felt. In the past he has donated some of the oldest, best quality wood that is becoming more scarce as time goes on, and this year was no exception. Thanks, Fred!

And who would be better than wood dealer Bruce Harvie to take over from Mr. “this looks like firewood” Kendall to auction off Fred's impressive collection, along with some other amazing wood donations? Besides, everyone knows that Bruce is about the only guy who can rival the entertainment value of the Kurt Kendall show.

No auction would be complete without a few really cool learning opportunities to bid on. Some generous schools and individuals have consistently stepped up to the plate at our auctions to offer some incredible bidding on lutherie classes. This year, Tom Ribbecke donated an archtop guitar making class, David Freeman gave a complete seven-week course at Timeless Instruments, and Harry Fleishman auctioned off his own course at Luthiers School International. These classes represent some of the best deals of the entire auction.

For the third auction in a row, Duane Heilman donated unique instruments for our auction. If how much an item is handled during the three-day preview is any indication, Duane's creations are definitely the most irresistable. This year his wooden cigar-box banjo and totally unique Spam-ocaster (a spam can with a Fender-esque headstock and neck) were, as usual, a big hit. Neither instrument could be passed by without a little demo session in the auction preview room.

And then there's the “Little Man”. The Little Man has certainly logged some miles in his time working as a GAL representative. If you don't know the story, the Little Man's adventure started at the 1990 GAL Convention when Canadian luthier/instructor David Freeman donated him. The Little Man was then but a small clay model of a guy with a guitar, made by one of Dave's students. He was a solo entertainer who, by accident, became a man with a mission when he was unceremoniously dropped and ended up in several pieces. Guest auctioneer John Jordan piteously offered him for bid in light of his recent injury. Members pooled their money so that Fred Campbell could win him. The Little Man was off to his first gig in California with Fred, who got the great idea of gluing him back together and mounting him on a plaque. Three years later the Little Man was back with Fred at the convention in Vermillion, SD, looking rejuvinated after his sunny vacation. From there our GAL troubadour was on his way to Haslett, Michigan to spend three years with Bart Reiter. He flew back to Tacoma without Bart, but his plaque was sporting some beautiful MOP stars. Apparently all that traveling made the Little Man homesick, because the next three years found him back in Canada with David Freeman, his original donor. Equipment prices in Canada must have been good (it's that Canadian dollar exchange rate), because he wound up back in Tacoma with a new amp. A down-home good time was just the ticket as our GAL goodwill ambassador flew off to Texas with Stuart Murphy. But somewhere along the line he must of crossed paths with an early music group because he came back playing a lute instead of his electric guitar! Sunny California was again the destination when the Duchess of Pearl Cheryl Erikson got into a heavy bidding war against Chuck Erikson, The Duke of Pearl! Either way, the Little Man was definitely headed off to Grass Valley, only to come back sporting a snappy-looking black top hat (as worn by the Duke of Pearl). Wow, The Little Man has been on tour now for fourteen years! Well, start packing your bags again little friend, because you're headed to Athens, Ohio with your new manager Don MacRostie! We can't wait to see the Little Man again, newly transformed, at the next convention!

It was another successful auction, another laugh-filled night, and a record $17,702 to the good old GAL. Thanks to everyone who made it all possible!

2004 GAL Benefit Auction Donors
Ken Altman: handmade plane.Brady Anderson: guitar clamp. • G.D. Armstrong: 8 bottles Yamhill County, Oregon wines.Brad Bannister: rum pound cake.Norman Berberman: GuitarNation.com sweatshirt.Blues Creek Guitars: pneumatic micro grinder and stand, side bender and rubber blankets, guitar mold.Fred Carlson: 32 handpainted woodcut banners.Craig and Sherie Clipson: wild Oregon grape jelly.Brent Cole/Alaska Specialty Woods: 3 sets quilt/pillow Sitka spruce, 2 sets Sitka spruce.Bruce Creps/Notable Woods: koa for baritone uke (top, back, and sides), fiddleback walnut back and sides.J.K. Danae Denby-Spencer: psaltery.Marshall Dixon: one night lodging at Rogue Forest B&B.Jeffrey R. Elliott: 2 Hauser plan t-shirts, oscilloscope, banjo neck, mandolin molds with F-5 patterns and bending iron, violin string storage tubes, mandolin strings, bow and bow hair jig, thickness gauge, miter saw box.Cheryl Erikson/Duchess of Pearl: “The Little Man”.Chuck Erikson/Duke of Pearl: inlay strips, videotapes, magazines.Ron Fernandez: 2 sets Fustero tuners; 2 instructional videos.Harry Fleishman/Luthiers School International: class at Luthiers School International.Craig Finnegan: 4 saws.Ken Floodstrom Repair: koa back and sides.Frank Ford: mandolin: Martin backpacker, guitar body half.David Freeman/Timeless Instruments: Timeless Instruments seven-week instrument making course.Joe Gallacher and Jack Spira: Australian woods set, top and head veneer.Gulab Gidwani/Exotic Woods Co.: East Indian rosewood bridge blanks and headstock, ebony fingerboards, bois de rose fingerboard, South American mahogany back and sides.Bruce Harvie/Orcas Island Tonewoods: curly redwood, Trailer Tapes CDs ÿ Richard Hankey/Mr. Oud: lute form, oud construction book.Duane Heilman/Black Bear Guitars: cigar box ukulele, spam-o-caster-style spamdolin.Hibdon Hardwoods Inc.: ziricote back and sides.Kenny Hill: Ram¡rez-style guitar.Peter Hurney: photo background material, small rubber sanding blocks.Stephen Janofsky: 32 cassette tapes.Eric Johansen: guitar neck and sides, ukulele back and sides with mold, 4 sets tiger oak sides, 1 set koa sides, redwood set, assorted necks, 12-string guitar.T.V. Jones: set of T.V. Jones chrome filtertron pickups.Stephen Kinnaird: custom made try squares.Saul Koll: electric guitar body, cello.Bob Laughlin: kerfing, CFox side bender plan.Roger LeBlanc: guitar book and lutherie magazines.Luthiers Mercantile International: 2 sets Adirondack spruce, FSC certified European maple back and sides, KTM waterbase finish with epoxy filler, flamed maple back and sides, pernambuco guitar binding, myrtlewood back and sides, 2 sets rosewood.Fred Lyman: Engelmann spruce tops, spruce violin tops, German maple, quilted maple, European maple, multiple Sitka spruce tops, multiple sets and billets of bigleaf maple, red spruce top, German spruce billet, German spruce guitar top, maple guitar sides, German maple guitar back, yellow cedar guitar top, violin necks, red maple sets, red maple rib stock, cedar tops, cedar for violin, fretboards.Don MacRostie: 2 Loar mandolin sides with forms and clamps.Lloyd Marsden: lodgepole pine, CD.Vince Meyer: vacuum clamping press components.Hap Newsom: limited edition signed photograph, didgeridoo.Northwest Specialty Woods Inc.: spruce and western red cedar tops.Isaac Olsen: original art of convention program staff caricatures.Tim Olsen: assortment of old hand tools.Thomas Peterson: 6 sets Engelmann spruce tops, African mahogany back and sides, 6 sets cherry back and sides, 48 pieces Sitka spruce kerfed lining, 60 pieces mahogany reverse-kerf roundover, bigleaf fiddleback maple back and sides, 48 pieces basswood kerfed lining, Peruvian walnut back and sides.Ken Picou: Luthier's Friend sanding station.Tom Ribbecke: archtop guitar making course.Ervin Somogyi: guitar tuner necklace ÿ Larry Stamm: 2 small sets Engelmann spruce wedges, 2 large sets Engelmann spruce.Stewart-MacDonald: inlay books, nut making kit, ukulele and lap steel building books, Trade Secrets book set, radius block set, diamond fret file set, Sitka soundboard wood, straightedge set, Sitka bearclaw soundboard wood, saddle slotting jig with Dremel, western red cedar soundboard, Engelmann soundboard wood, essential fretting kit, 2 sets vintage-style Waverly tuning machines, soundhole clamp set, tang nipper set.Todd Taggart/Allied Lutherie Ltd: Brazilian rosewood slab.Robert Tibbetts: 6 Sitka spruce sets.Jeffrey Yong/GIM Music and Instrument Corp: 2 sets Malaysian blackwood back and sides.

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