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).
An easy way to navigate this site is by using the POST INDEX.
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:
Continuing with featuring another readers’ Weymann guitar, I present this instrument owned by Neil Reck, Weymann aficionado and a collector of Weymann quality guitars. The latest addition to his stable is this Weymann guitar style 870:
In the words of Neil, it is as “exactly as described in the catalogue and is a powerhouse of a OM guitar.”
Johnny Depp owns a Weymann ‘F’ hole guitar, and he played it briefly in a YouTube clip he made with Paul McCartney in a recording of Paul’s song, My Valentine (YouTube link below with Johnny Depp deaf language signing lyrics to McCartney’s song). When Paul McCartney first saw the guitar, he said “that’s a good-looking guitar, with those F holes there’s something romantic about it.” And that’s true, these vintage Weymann ‘F’ hole guitars have a certain ‘mystique’ about them. They are valued highly by their owners and rarely do they come up for sale.
H. A. Weymann & Son was a different type of wholesaler because they had a very stable and large retail outlet to augment the production from their workshop. They produced many different designs of guitars, often in small runs, but I suspect they also made guitars to order, or to satisfy the creativity of their crafts people. Consequently, the variety of their guitar styles never ceases to amaze.
I have photos of various Weymann guitars I want to feature in individual posts. I’m going to start with this guitar owned by a very nice lady, Judy Freeman, who has given me permission to share photos and information about her guitar. Whether this is a one-off instrument or a limited run, I guess we’ll only know if another turns up:
So sometimes the bigger they are, those with the biggest false egos, the harder they fall. And the harder they fall the happier they become because they experience, “ I am the most fallen, the worst. I am the most sinful person and yet God still forgives me.” They experience how unconditional God’s love for them is.
When I experience how unconditional God’s love is for me, then I know that I have a true friend, an unconditional friend and protector. I feel completely secure knowing there is nothing that I can be or do that would make me such that God does not love me. If I approach God completely naked, not in any way defending myself, or trying to hide my imperfections, then I experience how God’s love for me is perfect, and that I need no other protection, no other friend, no other source of happiness. This realization is complete self-realization.”Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda
Anzac Day (25th April) is fast approaching. In Australia and New Zealand this is the national day of remembrance that commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served in, and died in, all wars and conflicts.
It was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (thus ANZACS) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in World War I, (1914-1918).
It is a solemn day in Australia and New Zealand and rightly so. It honours the soldiers, irrespective of the right or wrong of the different wars they’ve participated in.
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.
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:
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.
UPDATE 20th May 2019: There are now over 200 instruments registered. Keep them coming in. I hope to do a post soon of some of the insights that are revealed from the registration of these 200 instruments.