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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:20 am 
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Location: Southern Indiana
On a related topic, and not trying to hijack this thread (Wonderful guitars and sentiment!).

(Stepping up on the soapbox)

The Veterans and the WWII talk reminded me of my father who was in England, France and Germany. This reminded me that the VFW post in the small town where I grew up (Wadesville, IN) was recently shuttered and auctioned off. At one time that building was the Wadesville high school gymnasium, but when the school districts moved from communities to county systems (1950s?) the gymnasium was purchased to become the VFW. My childhood early memories were my folks going to meetings, dances and parties there. I vaguely remember polka and other dances there that my parents attended. I remember new years parties. I am sure mass quantities of alcohol were consumed. We would see Santa Claus there as a kid and usually get a bag containing some candy and fruit in it as a treat. We rode our 20" stingray bicycles with the "banana seat" everywhere, later we grew into 10-speeds. People would fill the bars at lunchtime for blue-plate specials. We had town bierstube (outdoor German beer parties with music and food) on the grounds which also doubled as a community little league baseball diamond. I'd get a brat there as I was just a young kid. My brother and sister's weddings had receptions in that hall. I folded many chairs, tables and pushed many brooms as a kid on that wooden floor of that former gymnasium and would be rewarded with a cold bottle of soda from the walk in cooler (hey, it was a big deal when I was a kid). Dad became the commander for the post. He was helping remodel the place busting up some concrete with a sledge hammer in the 70s. He became ill and later we found out he had multiple heart attacks (we didn't know the warning signs like we do now). I was in 2nd or 3rd grade at that time. After I grew up my parents had their last major wedding anniversary party there. One of the class reunions I had was also there. It was a large post too because of the building and it drew from much of the northern towns in the county. Dad passed away in 1990, Mom in 2003.

Wadesville used to be a vibrant little town, and now it is very sad. It has gone with the generation. We need to treasure and appreciate the few ones we have left from that generation. There is no longer a community there to speak of, the small businesses are all gone, the main street looks like a slum. I would visit my friend when he would visit home from NC (where he moved) and visit his mother. She was kind of a "town mom" because many of us kids wound up playing in her yard or at their house. She recently passed away, and their old Victorian home was still rather well maintained (I remember them stripping the oak staircase, doors and woodwork as a kid and restored it) but it is surrounded by a sea of homes that are not well-maintained, dilapidated with high grass and weeds in the yard. They were the same houses, just they had no life left in them. No one loved them or took care of them. It used to not be that way. I never was "high class" but it always seemed to have dignity. It is so very sad. The only area with any life in it are the subdivisions near the highway on the west of town.

That generation is gone (everyone I knew) and the town went with it. A town with a couple restaurants, 2 bar/restaurants, 3 gas stations, a bank, a grocery store, a hardware store, a large VFW post, an "athletic" club with a town and chowder festival, a yearly parade and bierstube, baseball teams, a farm co-op, a post office, barbershop and an auto parts store now is down to a single convenience store, and it might still have a bank branch (it may be closed, not sure). The VFW closing is just a final nail in the coffin, and I feel we might as well throw some dirt on it and start mourning. I just always thought it would continue with all the veterans from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Don't kids still play baseball (even if they suck at it like I did)? Wadesville, IN RIP. It also has so much to do with all those people being gone and they deserve to be commended! It is truly sad to see the change. An end of an era.

(Stepping off the soap box)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:26 am 
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I hear what you're saying, and I think you'll find that is happening all over the so-called "First World"; smalll towns that aren't close enough to a major city to become a dormitory suburb are dying because the young are moving on to where employment and excitement can be found.
It's certainly happening here in Australia where the distances between towns that aren't aren't on the eastern seaboard are immense, and in Queensland especially, the mining boom that sustained a lot of towns is being wound down.
I know, too, that the RSA - Returned Servicmens Aassociation - in NZ suffering badly with a seriously declining membership but, yeah; I'd've thought that the US with it's large, active military would have no trouble keeping the VFW going, even in the smaller towns! Every town in NZ, no matter how big or small, had an RSA at one point, and they were very lively, too, but PC madness has also taken it's toll there with captured weapons and/or memorabilia that stood outside, or even on display inside, these establishments being deemed unsuitable or unsafe and removed from public display!

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Every guitarist I would cross paths with would tell me that I should have a flashy guitar, whatever the latest fashion model was, and I used to say, 'Why? Mine works, doesn't it? It's a piece of wood and six strings, and it works.'

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:19 pm 
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Location: Tenn.
I share your feelings and have stood there. As I stood on the empty bull dozied lot where the old Mobil station was, looking across the street where the little store was (now a mexican resterant, with great food I'm told) and the 4 lane intersection with multiple traffic lights and turning lanes where dump trucks from the nearby rock quarry would slide at the 2 lane 4 way stop. Like you guys I can only tell my kids what it was like. And as Thorney said, all the moms and dads are gone, the kids you grew up with are gone and the houses are gone. But I tell my kids about how we carried our small practice amps up and down the streets to one anothers houses with the moms offering drinks as we played. We didnt have a VFW in our little corner but it was over closer to the airport and natioal guard base. For the last year and 1/2 I have been lucky enough to have made a new friend at work. He's a 60 yr old Naim Vet. He's told me a lot of stories about it and one of the latest things I found out at age 14 he was also at Wood Stock! I love working with this guy. He proudly has Marine Stickers all over his tool box. He inlisted before he was drafted ( I think he was to young and had his mother sign the paper) and got his draft papers after he got back from his tour over seas. He said he left 10' of intestant over there. He woke up in the hospital and never got all the metal out of him and had to finish his tour back in action. He said he was a skinny kid with a M60 machine gun and a 45 side arm from WWII that was junk so his dad, a vet himself sent him a 357 mag with a shoulder holstir like Clint Eastwood. He's a great guy to work with and I have another friend who went to Desert Storm. I've been thinking of making a guitar for both like John did. Neither play but I think they would love it.

Like John said, we cant forget what they did for us all.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:17 am 
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:bawl: This is indeed a huge problem. all of the organizations are slowly losing active members and there are no new younger ones to take charge. The VFW, American Legion, and Disabled American Veterans are all struggling to keep chapters and posts alive as there are little to no active members any longer. The younger generation is to wrapped up in the fast paced world of today to take time to spend with any organizations it seems. Sad to say but true.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:22 am 
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The VFW's and American Legions around our area are little more than dismal bars for drunks to sob away in... very sad! It didn't used to be that way years ago.

Regarding WWII vets, barely any of them left anymore, they are worthy of double honor. I feel blessed to run into them, I thank them for their service and shake their hand. I treasure every moment of those encounters.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:59 pm 
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Rightio, lads... I've posted this all over the place so if you've seen it before... please suggest something!! :D

Alrighty then... hell; 4 years since I started this and 3 since I finished it!! Anyway, I'm going to make a few changes to it: new machines, new nut, new string trees and pickup swap. The big change is going to be a side-mounted Electrosocket output and given that I don't want to damage the finish, the current output hole will be a switch, probably coil split but I'm open to suggestion?!
I may also sand the headstock back and have another go at it as it was never really 100%, and while I have the sandpaper out, the back of the neck is going back to bare wood! The headstock will be re-finished to match the body, as well.
Suggestions are more than welcome as to a suitable pickup for the hole; it has a 45 but I'm looking to change simply because I have lots of 45s in other guitars. Toneriders of some stripe are looking pretty good...

So, come on, lads - well, anyone who's still in here!! - let's see what we reckon, eh!!

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Every guitarist I would cross paths with would tell me that I should have a flashy guitar, whatever the latest fashion model was, and I used to say, 'Why? Mine works, doesn't it? It's a piece of wood and six strings, and it works.'

Angus Young


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:32 pm 
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The Tone Rider Generator would be a good choice. I have a Rock Song in another guitar but that is a bright sounding guitar (so the rocksong being a little on the darker side so it was perfect for that guitar). A duncan designed version of the JB - the HB102 bridge version. It is essentially a korean-made JB copy. So it has import wide spacing in the bridge position - a good thing for a bridge pickup in that guitar. They come in many medium priced guitars and they are excellent pickups, but because they say Designed on them a lot of people assume they are not as good. Well if they aren't, they are really close. I have a couple in mine. A lot of people swap them out for duncans, dimarzios, or in your neck of the woods something different.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:10 pm 
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Those Toneriders look good, eh; looked long and hard at the Generator and the Octave until I realised that perhaps I should go for low impedance rather than high... thinking PAF-style here? This is a very bright sounding guitar so it may suit that style of sound.

There's so much choice out there that my head is spinning with information and alternatives so it'll be slowly, slowly, catchee monkey!! You know; my usual glacial speed of working!! :lol:

The Kent Armstrong P90s I put into the Rat are flippin' awesome in a light bodied guitar, mate, they really bite and growl but for a single pickup guitar, I think P90s are not what I'm looking for.... not that I know exactly what I'm looking for, just something different!

I do appreciate the heads-up and the positive vote, mate; thank you!!

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Every guitarist I would cross paths with would tell me that I should have a flashy guitar, whatever the latest fashion model was, and I used to say, 'Why? Mine works, doesn't it? It's a piece of wood and six strings, and it works.'

Angus Young


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