Gopal Krishna

I am known by many names: Chaitanya das to some, Charles to others, and yet others as Charlie.  There is also Chas, Snowy (when I was really young), Robbo, Mr. Robinson, Father, Dad, Popo (to my grandchildren), Pops, Popes, Mate, Sir, Mister, and some other names my wife calls me that I cannot repeat here!  People call me different names depending on my relationship with them and also the role I am ‘playing’.

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DEATH without FEAR


You are going on a trip….the biggest trip of your life.  You are leaving very soon.  Have you made arrangements?

Time is running out….stop mucking around…have you purchased the ticket for the flight? Do you have your bags packed yet?  Made arrangements for someone to get you to the airport?  And do you know what flight you are on, and even where you are going?

Welcome to dying….the death of this body! We should be prepared at all times, have our bags packed and know which aircraft and flight we are on.  But who even thinks about this and knows how to get ready?

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What Is KIRTAN? No. 1.

Kirtan is the singing or saying or chanting of sacred mantras. It is transcendental sound meditation. It is uplifting and cleanses the heart and mind. The above example is my son Kirtan das,  leading a kirtan with one of these age old mantras “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya”. The meaning of this mantra is: “O my Lord, the all-pervading Supreme Person, Krishna, I offer all my respects to you”



(or more correctly, we are all spirit souls, sparks of God)

Drawing by my grand daughter Chungi
Drawing by my grand daughter Nityangi

So I was feeding the Rosey Barb fish in the lily pond in the garden, and over time I’ve noticed they all have their individual traits.  They are all little personalities.

One is a bully, and no matter how much seaweed food I feed them, he always tries to stop the others getting any.  Another is Mr. Energetic who swims dartingly around as fast as he can….all the time.  Then there’s Mr. Timid, who stays towards to bottom and waits for the food to fall down and come to him. Another likes to go into the greenery and massage herself against the weed.  And still another will come to the surface and allow me to gently pat him.  They are not all the same.

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Weymann ‘Keystone State’ O Sized Guitar c.1906

H.A. Weymann and Son 'O' sized Guitar c.1906
H.A. Weymann and Son ‘O’ sized Guitar c.1906


This is an early H.A. Weymann and Son made guitar dated c.1906. Labelled ‘Keystone State’ with their early gold decal shield shape that was discontinued about 1910. It has deep red Cuban mahogany back and sides, spruce top, mahogany neck and Brazilian rosewood fret board.  It has a serial number of 6044.  Weymann’s very early guitars did not have serial numbers, and they started adding them about 1900.  Sometime around 1910 they also added style numbers.

This guitar is larger than the standard sized guitar of the era.  This would have been called Grand Concert size.  It has similar measurements to C.F. Martin and Co. 12 Fret size ‘O’ guitar.



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WASHBURN Style 101¾ ‘Terz’ Guitar c.1889

Kirtan Artist PRALAD playing this 127 year old guitar.

This small size guitar was called a 3/4 sized instrument in its’ day but today we would call it 1/2 size.  It is also called a ‘Terz’ guitar.  Made by Lyon & Healy under the original Washburn label it is a quality built instrument.  Brazilian rosewood back and sides with a fine grained Adirondack spruce top.  Originally it would have had gut strings but it has been X-braced to take lightweight steel strings.

Washburn 1889 Style 101¾ Guitar
Washburn 1889 Style 101¾ Terz Guitar

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RICHTER Mfg Co. GUITARS – c.1920-1943


Richter (Richter Mfg. Co. Chicago) was a Chicago label of the 1920’s, 30’s and early 40’s.  Their guitars were budget  instruments but they are on a par with Harmony and Kay guitars of the period, and for blues playing can sound as good as any 1930’s Oscar Schmidt concert sized guitar.  Most Richter guitars were all birch construction, many with a stenciled or silk screened decorated soundboard, very popular at the time.

Richter Guitars from the 1920's to the 1940's
Richter Guitars from the 1920’s to the 1940’s

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RICHTER 1930’s Hawaiian Stencil Guitar

This guitar has Mojo to burn! A great sounding ‘parlor’ sized guitar (24″ scale, lower bout 13 ½ “, upper bout 9 ½ “, overall Length 37”, nut width 1 ¾”) All Birch construction and a great sounding little guitar after restoration and modification.

It’s hard to see from the photos but there are names scratched all over this guitar: John, Helen, Mary, Emily, June, Nick, Steve, Irene, and ‘I love Mabel’.  Cool black stencil.  I’ve seen 2 other guitars the same as this come up on ebay over the years but the timber in those was considerably lighter in color.

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1920’s RICHTER Decal ‘Parlor’ Guitar

I love this guitar! This is an early 1920’s RICHTER guitar.  The boom years for The Richter Mfg. Co. was the 1930’s with stenciled or screen printed or undecorated sound board all birch ‘parlor’ guitars.  This guitar is decorated with decals, and years of playing has given this guitar the patina that drips character.


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