Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Letter: Common Ground Fair and Tuba Repair

Publications \ The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener \ Winter 1997-1998 \ Letter

Dear Heather:

The Penobscot Banjo Company had a wonderful time at this year’s Common Ground Country Fair in spite of the rainy weather on Saturday. There were just enough breaks in the weather to get in some music and to get a look at some of the great exhibits and displays at the Fair. It was our first visit to the CGCF. We were very impressed with the size of the crowd that is drawn to your Fair, and the crowd was very receptive to our music! We met many friends from all around Maine whom we haven’t seen in years. It seems people from all over the state are drawn to this one event. There seems to be a certain spirit to the Fair – one of friendliness and helpfulness. Something happened to us at the Fair that represents this spirit. I thought you might wish to publish the following story in your MOFGA newspaper.

As the band arrived for the Fair and went through the gates, we found our tuba player was already there and was dismayed to report that as he came through the gate he noticed one of his tuba valves was broken. The valve stem had broken off just at the point where it entered the valve. The repair of such a problem would usually have to be done at a musical instrument shop and would take special skills and often days to complete. A dixieland banjo band is really at a loss without its tuba player, so we pondered what we could do in just an hour or so before we had to perform. Robbie, our tuba player, went to the CGCF headquarters to inquire what was available for repair services at the Fair. There happened to be a very clever chap available, a member of your Fair staff, who happened to have his tools with him in his vehicle. In about an hour, he drilled out the broken piece of the valve stem, rethreaded the stem with taps and dyes, and had us back in action in time for the vegetable parade. Who would have thought the CGCF would have such depth and skills available in the nick of time. Our hats are off to this gentleman who did the repair. He saved the day for us and left us with a very warm feeling about the Common Ground Country Fair!

Yours truly,
Wes English
Band Director, Penobscot Banjo Company

Editor’s disclaimer: Wes is not relation to me, as far as I know.

MOF&G Cover Winter 1997