I am located in upstate South Carolina near Clemson and Greenville, about midway between Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA.
I have played autoharp since 1975 and have had an autoharp business
since 1998. My Autoharp Works was the first online store featuring
autoharps as a specialty. Thus I may on occasion reflect a certain
"attitude" about copycats, wannabees, and those who pretended to be
friends in need of assistance until they realized they could make money
copying what I do while falsely claiming expertise, ignoring any
agreements we might clearly have had.
I despise commercial hyperbole or exploitation of ones family situation
or religion just to sell stuff. A customer should pick a vendor for the
right reasons...product, product knowledge, quality, professional
service, and value.
I am a long time dog lover and am very attached to my buddy, Rufus.
Many years ago I owned a dog grooming business, bred and showed
Basenjis, and was a professional handler for others' Basenjis. Rufus
looks quite a lot like a Basenji but is a mixed breed and came to me
totally by chance. He is a real blessing and the best dog I ever
had...a little short on manners, but that's my fault. He pays attention
and learns quickly. I have the luxury of working in my own shop, so I
have the constant company of my dog. We both have it pretty good.
I am in my 60s and semi-retired. My professional background is in
manufacturing, production and inventory control specifically, mostly in
defense contracting. I am certified in production and inventory control
by APICS and with additional schooling progressed into the software
side, completing any real career as an application designer, manager,
and project consultant for a couple of software companies. While that
was industrial strength computing, I also became quite proficient with
PCs, involved with them as tools since 1983.
A great deal of that work was technical writing and a technical
orientation, so this blog will reflect some of that background. There
is nothing florid about my writing as a result. Straightforward,
structured, intended to clearly convey ideas, and free of indulgence in
language that only I would really understand. It's not poetry.
Another symptom of being as much engineer as artist is that I rarely
read fiction. I read mostly nonfiction. I also bridle at nonsense, BS
if you will, and will probably comment if I think someone is full of
it, didn't do their homework, or got the wrong impression from
something they encountered elsewhere.
I am a real friendly guy. I just react to nonsense, sometimes gracefully and sometimes not. I mean well and keep trying.
I am not arrogant and am not elitist but will not back off when I
encounter nonsense. Having the autoharp become more highly regarded
requires some tough love on occasion. I keep searching for the best
ways to convey ideas but am kind of stuck with being myself at the same
time. I can be candid to a fault. Just know that what I write is what I
believe. What I may advise is for the other party's benefit, not just a
My training as a Boy Scout sticks with me. I value the virtues of that oath:
About this blog
purpose of this blog is to provide a place to present my writing about
autoharps, allow others to respond, and to be able to control the
appropriateness of what others choose to offer. The intent is to
discuss ideas, not personalities. Any unpleasantness will be summarily
deleted and the writer will be escorted to the door along with anything
he or she may have written. With that in mind, any contributors have my
pledge that their material will be treated well, protected from abuse
by me or anyone else. The site is fully, and actively moderated and
will deal only with autoharps and directly related subjects. It is not
a chat room, a place for socializing, a stage for goofy humor, a place
to promote products, a prayer list, or a place to obtain illegal copies
of written or recorded music. It is not a place to discuss anything
except autoharps and the application of that instrument.
shot is from about 1998. I no longer own most of those instruments but
it is a pretty good collage of what luthiers offered at that time,
including my Orthey Winfield prize harp, the black Fladmark from
Winfield '95, a custom Zephyr Hill in the background, a custom Goose
Acres in my lap, and my old faithful FC Centurion in front of my leg.