A blog about cancer, spirituality, death, and guitars
DEATH – have no fear
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).
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While I am merely a hobbyist when it comes to working with wood, it is something I have done my whole life. I don’t have a lot of specialized tools, but I do like precision, so I try to work out methods of doing things that work for me.
Cutting the ‘valleys’ accurately into the guitar bridge blank goes a long way in determining how well a finished bridge will look. I’ve made probably 30-40 guitar bridges, and when I first started I was not comfortable using a drill or a small sanding drum to make these valleys. I didn’t give me enough control.
So, I made a simple jig to sand the valleys by hand, as will be explained a bit further on in this Post. I’m sure there are many other ways to make these pyramid bridges, so take from these posts what you will. I hope someone finds it useful.
There are many styles of pyramid bridges, and it makes sense to individually craft them for a particular guitar.
In the next 3 Posts (Parts 2, 3 and 4) I’ll demonstrate how I make each of these different pyramid bridges.
I believe this style came into use about 1910 but I am open for correction. I really like this style of pyramid bridge. It was used by many manufacturers including Oscar Schmidt. By the 1930’s most manufacturers had phased out using this style (most likely to save on costs) replacing it with a simpler made bridge.
Part 3. Truncated Pyramid Style (or Chicago) Bridge.
Truncated just means ‘shortened’- by cutting off the top of the pyramid in this case. It’s also called a ‘Chicago’ style bridge because it is the bridge Lyon & Healy (one of the first guitar manufacturers based in Chicago in about 1880’s) first put on their early Washburn guitars. Used by many manufacturers including Martin, Weymann, Regal, and Harmony up until about 1930. Continue reading “HOW TO MAKE PYRAMID GUITAR BRIDGES- Part 3.”→
A pyramid bridge from the 19th Century is characterized by the elongated pyramids on the ends. Used on 1800’s Martin and Bay State guitars plus others.
Keep in mind that pyramid bridges can look very different from maker to maker. You can also buy a ready-made pyramid bridge online from Stewmac.com and others, but I like to tailor-make them. There are other sites online showing how they make a pyramid bridge, but once I’ve made the jig to cut the valleys, the bridge is relatively easy and quick to make, and the results are accurate. Because they are all hand made with minimal electric tools, it gives me more control and I have very few rejects.
This 19th Century style pyramid bridge I am making here will be a stylized version of the 19th century pyramid bridge for a beautiful c.1890’s Bay State Grand Concert guitar I have.
From the age of about 25 I have always had an organic veggie garden no matter where I lived. Which was no small feat since I moved around a lot when I was younger. The problem was I would just get it productive and I’d end up moving. But these last 20 years we have stayed in the one place, paying off our house on an acre and a half block.
With the help of my sons and son-in-law we have managed to landscape and build a pizza oven and elevated garden beds.
I’ve mentioned before how in this world of matter, everything changes. Everything in this world that has a beginning has an end. I’m amazed how much a garden changes every day. For the moment our garden is pumping and I’d just like to share some of todays photos with you.
There was a movie called “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” from 1956. The story is such a classic combination of sci-fi and horror that it has been remade several times.
In that movie, alien life forms were killing and replacing people. From memory ‘real people’ had to figure out who where the aliens and who weren’t.
The fact is we are allaliens in this world. We come from a place not of this world, a place where there is no time, a place that does not change.
In this world everything changes. Time gradually changes everything. Everything has a use-by-date. Even a rock becomes sand eventually, then that sand becomes dust, and that dust becomes minerals and chemicals that are absorbed by grubs and worms or by plants, which are then eaten by different animals. Continue reading “THE ALIENS ARE HERE – coming from another world!”→
First of all, we live inside this body. We are NOT our bodies. Each of us is a spirit soul residing in a body. Next, we surround ourselves with family and friends; generally, we limit ourselves to just a few people.
Then we surround ourselves with what we believe are our possessions, ourhouse, our car, our things. But, of course, since at the time of death we cannot take them with us, these are not really oursat all.
Any early 20th Century 12 string guitar is very rare, a Weymann 12 string even more so.
A reader, Tom Giachero, registered this guitar on my WEYMANN INSTRUMENT REGISTER and graciously provided photos for this post. It is only one of two Weymann 12 String guitars known to exist. The other one is owned by British 12 string guitarist, Paul Brett (YouTube link to that guitar further into this post).
There’s a bit of work needed to bring this guitar to prime playing condition, which Tom plans to do over time. Some more photos (click on first image and scroll through):
James Charles Rodgers (September 8, 1897 – May 26, 1933) was an American country, blues and folk singer, songwriter and musician in the early 20th century, and became known known as “The Father of Country Music”.
He was a huge star in his day and most likely influenced more artists than any other singer, including Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan.
When I first bought a H. A. Weymann & Son guitar, there was very little known about the maker. One of the reasons for my site is to bring to light and preserve as much as I can about the Weymann Company.
I’m having a Weymann post blitz at the moment to get as much up about the company and clear out some of my files on the computer. So, for the Weymann geeks and history nuts out there this post features a magazine article about H. A. Weymann & Son published in 1929. It tells a lot about the company in 1929, when the Great Depression and the death of the principal driving force behind the company were both looming. I’m preserving the article here for posterity!
Written in April 1929, in the Musical Merchandise magazine, the entire article reads: