Picking Party 2004
June 19, 2004

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A recipe for a really good time: take about 30 friendly folks, add snack food, water, soda, and a pinch of beer and wine, fold gently with a generous helping of guitars, place in a breezy 80 degree California day -- it will cook for 8 or 9 hours without any further effort. Several folks told me that microphones made them nervous, so I didn't try to do any recording, and Lynn and I concentrated more on pictures of people than guitars, but I hope we can convey a small part of the fun we had hosting these great guitar builders and players.

Our first guests actually arrived on Friday, when Kathy Wingert and Craig Saxon showed up with Duncan the Wonder Dog.

On Friday afternoon Craig really pitched in to help ensure the party would be a great success. He tested the chair for comfort and made sure the weather was just right for relaxing. His Martin 00-21 makes dreamy music when he's awake to play it.

Our kitchen remodel is still not quite finished, but at least it was in shape for baking in time for the party.

The new Wolf range seems to be doing a fine job of baking the shells for lemon tarts. Rusty is hunting for crumbs.

Kathy Wingert has attended all our guitar get-togethers. This time she brought an extra special guest, Duncan the Wonder Dog.

This little Aussie Shepherd was herding tennis balls, empty water bottles, and guitar players all day long.

As long as we're doing lovely ladies and handsome dogs, how about this shot?

Lynn takes on all the organizing and arranging to make the day come off smoothly. She also took most of the pictures we're showing here. The Magnificent Rusty Beast only has eyes for her.

Lance McCollum adds plenty of yucks to any party, and everybody seems to enjoy fondling his works of functional sculpture.

We missed pictures of the session, but Doug Young and Brian Kolner spent a couple of hours comparing their McCollum baritones to the one Lance brought. I think they said they had 20% of the world's McCollum baritone population in one room. It was great to see Dawn again. Melanie is on the other side of the new pass through bar.

Harvey Leach rode down with Lance and Dawn, and got plenty of attention when he started folding his guitars in half.

Quite a trick, wouldn't you say?

Mike Doolin made the trip from Portland.

For most of us this was our first opportunity to see Mike's trademark double cutaway creations in person and they were as dramatic as they seem in pictures. Mike is a wonderful player as well as builder. Even better, he brought Nancy Conescu along, and she mesmerized people with her singing and playing.

Alan Perlman came from San Francisco, where the weather is obviously good for guitar building.

Alan's two classicals were almost too much for the confines of our dining room. These beauties are ready for the concert hall. Alan's playing brought a hush to the group. He also builds steel strings guitars and historic instruments, as well as performing restorations.

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