mass street & the music man

First, I'm sorry. We've been away from blogging for 5 days. Maybe six. Either way, thank you for staying with us, and we hoped you also enjoyed the time away. But we're glad to have you back!

Those of you who've been with us a while know that Hawk is a fan of the mandolin. While others stalk facebook, read books, or catch their latest favorite episode, Hawk grabs his mandolin and surfs youtube or themandolinstore for sound clips and the latest models up for sale.

So when our families were finally able to give him a real mandolin for Christmas, he planned to use a portion of our time with Luck Luke & Lori at the infamous Mass Street Music.

Considering their level of expertise, the work he received on the mando was about 25% of what we expected to spend. Here's one of the guys plunkin' away on Hawk's mando:
All in all, it took about 2 hours of work on the mando, so the four of us had plenty of time to peruse each instrument on their second floor. This shot was taken toward the end. And though we were having a blast learning everything from the internal design of a guitar to what makes one piece more collectible than the next, you can see by Lori's face that we were getting ready for some NCAA games. You'll also see a desk to the right:
That desk is the home of this guy, Tim Nelson, master of all things stringed. He answered every question with grace and enthusiasm. And trust me, we had a lot to ask.
Half the time while Lori and I asked questions, the boys plunked away at every instrument, one by one.
I'm convinced that Luke's children are someday going to frame this photo of him. It's so classic:
The shoppe boasts banjos, electric, slide, and classical guitars, and of course, mandolins. I'm sure there was an even greater variety downstairs, but we had enough to keep us busy in this one room. I was constantly terrified of knocking over this row of banjos:
And you can see the A & F style mandolins, as well as the older model which has the opening under the strings (I really hope no musicians are reading this. I'm terrible at the lingo).
Later, Mr. Nelsen mentioned that they have 2 guitars valued at 40k & 80k. I asked (who wouldn't?) if we could see one of them. He brought out the "cheaper" of the two and offered it to me to play. I said I couldn't bring myself to breathe on it. So Hawk picked it up. It is a 1929 (1932?) Martin, very worn, and very full in sound.
You can see the decades of pick-marks in this shot:

Finally, we took off in search of a Kansas bar that had access to the Wisconsin game. We stopped here first and waited until we were sure that they couldn't get the game.

then took off for about 20 minutes of searching down Mass St. We settled in a Buffalo Wild Wings. Less coloquial, but we were surrounded with 10 screens. It won. And so did Wisconsin.

Our last big event of the day involved fabric. It turns out that Lori is a quilter! SO EXCITING. We actually have quite a bit in common when it comes to our love of things homemade and less-new. We stopped here first...I just sighed with happiness.

Both Hawk and I separately noticed this fabric, which we both thought would look great in our dining room. I purchased a quarter-strip and we've had it hanging in the room for the last 2 weeks.
Yes, even the men got into it:

Lori walked out with a great pillow fabric, we snatched a few swatches for the dining room, and settled in for an evening of basketball.

Gotta love vacations...

See you tomorrow!


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