August 13, 2012

Monday, August 13th 2012

Well I knew it was hot in Norman, OK, but it wasn’t until the Technical Experience event last week that I could literally compare it to a bake oven.

While working on pallets for repairs on a chest, individual parts were being stripped and shellacked. These small components were then placed on a sheet laying on a general cafeteria-style food tray. To aid in the drying process, the tray was actually PLACED ON THE SIDEWALK OUTSIDE THE AOI shop building!!!!!
Couldn’t do that here in Atlanta! It’s so humid it would never dry. In the 108-degree heat in Norman, it worked in about five minutes!
I don’t want to say that was my lasting memory of Year Three of the ATOS Technical Experience, but it was one of them. Hats off to Allen Miller who had to overcome some staffing issues that arose late in the process and yet executed a terrific event. You will see more in detail in an upcoming journal and here on line, but the attendees had some good “hands-on” experience on several levels, and hopefully came away with having enjoyed themselves and learned a lot.
It would be foolish to attempt to either rate or compare the Summer Youth Adventure vs. the Technical Experience. Both are vitally important programs, and my experience in attending each in the past three weeks has been simply marvelous.
But we must be clear on one thing…there are no organs to play if there are no technicians to care for them.
In the fantasies of the ATOS future, I envision the time that we have multiple Technical Experience events staged annually across the country. We have great potential in making the University of Oklahoma somewhat of a “home base,” what with its fantastic facility and its educational structure.
But wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be having similar events in the east, out west, elsewhere in the Midwest, providing the opportunity for pipe organ owners to learn; for young “techies” interested to get a start, and for the classically trained installers and technicians to learn about the differences and intricacies of the theatre organ.
No, Allen, I don’t want to work you to death!! I simply hope we can expand this important program at some point down the road.
Meanwhile, sincerest thanks to board member Don Phipps for attending and assisting; to Jon and Meredith Sibley for their terrific support; for all the attendees; to Richard Neidich who handles the video and photographic work which will eventually end up in articles and demo-type “how-to” videos; and finally, to Dr. John Schwandt, Jeremy Wance, John Reister and Dan Sliger whose support and assistance was vital to the success of the event. The staff at the American Organ Institute (our partners with the Archive and Library) went out of their way to make this a successful event. And to Allen for a great job again. Well done, all!!!
On an completely other topic or two….birthdays! Board member Bucky Reddish is going to have his annual Birthday Bash this coming weekend, always a festive event.
I had the opportunity to host good friend and Atlanta Fox board member Carolyn Wills – who celebrates her birthday for a WHOLE WEEK or more – and several of her friends for a party that focused on entertainment on the theatre organ.
This is a good way to cultivate new members. Invite guests….entertain them and educate them…then send them home with a DVD, a CD or a copy of the journal.
Then call them and suggest they join. If done in the surroundings of a fun party, it is an instantly enjoyable experience which might help convince them to become part of our ATOS family.
For many, you have now seen the first of our ATOS-wide email messages. They will come to you monthly…at least to start. And for those who have responded positively, thanks for that!!! It IS a good way to communicate directly with the members.
Take care.