Introduction

My name is Chaitanya das, my other name is Charles Robinson. Chaitanya das is the name given to me by my spiritual teacher, my dear friend, Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda.

I have been dealing with advanced prostate cancer now for almost 15 years. In my blog I want to talk about how being diagnosed with cancer affected me, and how in the years since, I have come to not only understand but experience who I am through meditation and the philosophy behind it. This has also helped me understand my relationship with others, and also my relationship with the Supreme Soul, who is beside not only me, but all living beings, always.

With a diagnosis of advanced cancer comes fear. The fear of pain and suffering. The fear of death and dying. As well as being worried about dying we also worry, and are fearful, for our loved ones we will leave behind. We are attached to many things in this world and every one of these attachments accentuates our fear of leaving this world. But this fear can be overcome.

So from time-to-time in this blog, I’ll try to unpack as best I can some of the many lessons and insights from the Vedic literatures such as the Bhagavad Gita and the great sages of Vedic history that I have come to appreciate by hearing from my spiritual teacher Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda.

During my life one of my interests has been vintage guitars - guitars that were made pre 1940’s. I have undertaken a great deal of research into different makers of vintage American guitars, particularly H.A. Weymann and Son. This is an interesting label and I’d like to share some little known facts about them as well as some other early vintage ‘parlor’ guitars that have come my way.

Thank you and Namaste

(I welcome and encourage comments and questions on all blogs).

An easy way to navigate this site is by using the POST INDEX.

PLEASE REGISTER YOUR WEYMANN

For research purposes, I have set up a page with a form so that Weymann owners can register their stringed instruments (Banjos, Mandolins, Ukuleles, Guitars, Mandolutes etc.).

My aim is to gain information that will help make dating these instruments more accurate as well as providing general information.

Please take a minute and Register your Weymann(s)

I really do hope that if you own a Weymann instrument  you will kindly register it on my page with the registration form. It only takes a minute and all contact information will kept confidential.  Here’s where to Register:

REGISTER YOUR WEYMANN INSTRUMENT

So far I have almost 100 instruments registered.  As more are added,  more information is unlocked. It’s early days but already some interesting facts have come to light, and I will do a post about this in the near future.

Many thanks  . . . . .Charles

DECALCOMANIA (DECALS) – Guitar Decoration Pt. 1

(Coming soon: Guitar Decoration Pt. 2.SCREEN PRINTING & STENCILS)

The term decal is the shortened version of the word ‘decalcomania’, which is the English pronunciation of the French word décalcomanie. It entails the transferring of a printed image on paper onto ceramic, wood or any other material. The image is then varnished over to protect it from damage.

1930’s Oscar Schmidt Stella Guitar with decalcomania imitating wood and pearl inlay

OSCAR SCHMIDT and other makers using DECALCOMANIA

“With decals, inlaid marquetry can be closely imitated and various shades of wood and even pearl can be reproduced with exactness.”  In the USA, from the end of the 1890’s, this decoration was used on pianos, mandolins, guitars and zithers etc.
Music Trade Review 10 Aug 1899 p.16. Continue reading “DECALCOMANIA (DECALS) – Guitar Decoration Pt. 1”

COLLECTING & DECLUTTERING – Living & Dying

Collecting & Decluttering

I’ve always been a collector. When I was very young, I collected coins. My parents owned a corner store and I would go through the coins at the end of the days sales and pick out any foreign or unusual coins and add them to my collection.

As I got a bit older, I would buy rarer coins and collect those.  Eventually I lost interest in numismatics and my collecting had a decade or so break.  I got married and started collecting kids, six of them, each quite rare and valuable.

Continue reading “COLLECTING & DECLUTTERING – Living & Dying”

AN EARLY 1917 WEYMANN UKULELE

This is a rare early 1917 Weymann Ukulele, very similar to a Martin Style 0 soprano ukulele.  Style 0 indicates that the edge is unbound and this was not introduced by Martin until 1921/22.

Originally I thought this was a 1914 Ukulele, but after contacting ukulele aficionado Tom Walsh*, he questioned the information this dating was based on.  I now agree with him and believe this is a 1917 Weymann made instrument.  However this is still a rare early stateside made ukulele. (please see more about this in the dating section below).

*Tom Walsh  co-authored the book: “The Martin Ukulele: The Little Instrument That Helped Create a Guitar Giant” and is a director of The Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum.
Jim Temple's uke - Front View Back View
Jim Temple’s uke – Front View                                         Back View

Jim Temple, halfway ‘round the world (in Texas) from where I live in Brisbane, Australia, bought a little uke years ago and was amazed by its sound. He’d played it for several years before he was finally able to identify it with help from a visit to my website.  He’s dang near 80 years old but he said he will remain a member of our Weymann family so long as he has breath!

Continue reading “AN EARLY 1917 WEYMANN UKULELE”

IN DEFENSE OF THE ONCOLOGIST

I’ve met maybe 8 oncologists in my cancer journey and I’ve never met one I didn’t like.

(Click to enlarge cartoon)

I may joke about going to see my oncologist, thinking, if I do not look my best, he will give me less attention, but it is just that, a joke.

I have the greatest respect for all the oncologists I have consulted. To me they seem very dedicated to finding the best solutions for their patients.

Continue reading “IN DEFENSE OF THE ONCOLOGIST”

H. W. WEYMANN PORTRAIT – A Question . . . .

A question for Weymann fans; I am hoping a Weymann descendant, or someone can help with this please.

Buying an old guitar for about $100 some years ago started me on a journey to discover more about Weymann guitars. It’s been difficult at times to ferret out information about this maker whose manufacturing arm ceased almost 90 years ago.

Most difficult has been finding an image of H.W. (Harry) Weymann – (1866-1930).

Initially all I could find were these likenesses in the 1922 Philadelphia Inquirer:

H.W.Weymann portraits Philadelphia Inquirer 1922 and 1913
H.W. Weymann portraits Philadelphia Inquirer 1922 and 1913

Continue reading “H. W. WEYMANN PORTRAIT – A Question . . . .”

OSCAR SCHMIDT COMPANY (1897 – c.1939)

OSCAR SCHMIDT (1857 – 1929)
W. F. (Frederick) MENZENHAUER (1858 – 1937)

Oscar Schmidt portrait

The Oscar Schmidt company was founded in the late 1890’s and incorporated in 1911.  They are best known for the Zithers they produced in the early 1900’s, and for their early guitars, particularly the Stella label, and their 12-string guitars, which are still favored and sought after by blues players today (see Footnote 1.).

Continue reading “OSCAR SCHMIDT COMPANY (1897 – c.1939)”

THE TWILIGHT ZONE!

(I’d like to apologize to those that have subscribed to my blog that I have been inactive in posting for some months now.  This was both forced [because of a reoccurring medical problem] and voluntary because my wife and I took an extended trip to spend time with our children and grandchildren .  I hope to be more active on my blog in the coming months).

The Twilight Zone

Some may know of an old groundbreaking TV show from the 1960’s called ‘The Twilight Zone’ presented by Rod Serling.  The early episodes started with the words:

“There is a 5th dimension beyond that which is known to man, it is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity.  It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge…..it is the area we call….The Twilight Zone!”

Continue reading “THE TWILIGHT ZONE!”