May 2001

A Quick Tune, One-man Loader

We just had a truck here and loaded up an organ to go to an amusement park. They came with a power tailgate and two men in addition to three of us that were here at the time.

Watching this organ being loaded brought my mind back to some earlier times when the old Gooding amusement Company was still in business with Chuck Clymer at the head of maintenance. After Mr. Heller left the company I was asked to do some of the organ repairs but the company failed a short time after the new management came in and about all they had time and money for was emergency repairs.

I remember one time when the new management told Chuck Clymer to call me just before closing time to come over the next morning and get the model 38 Ruth organ ready to record as the recording company would be there at ten the next morning. Now the organ had been in a bad state of decline since Mr. Heller departed and no tuning or maintenance work had been done since that time.

Mr. Clymer and I both knew that not much could be done for the organ in the short time we had remaining but we managed to get the bells and registers working with some fast repairs. The trumpets were out of tune and one in particular was buzzing very badly but could not be reached without removing the facade.

The recording company came and did the recording and much to my dismay put my name on the cover of the record jacket. It was a fine organ and I would have been honored to have my name there if I could have had about three months to bring it back to proper playing condition.

If any of you readers have any of the old records still around and are wondering why the organ was recorded in that condition you now have "the rest of the story." I am very happy to let you readers know that the organ is now in the hands of a collector who had the organ and facade completely restored by top notch professionals and is once again the fine organ it was when I first heard it at the old Columbus zoo park.

Mr. Clymer would send an organ in for repairs when needed and instead of three or four men and a power tailgate he would just have one man who usually had his wife with him.

Oscar Meyers would come in and when we would ask if he needed help he said he could handle it himself. He had one of the Gooding trucks, which he always seemed to be using when I observed him, and I think it might have been assigned to him but no one knows for sure about that. He would back up to our door, drop out his special ramp and hook the organ to his little chain hoist and hand crank it up and in the truck while talking to me or my employees.

He never seemed to put out much effort and always completed the loading and un?loading with no help. He operated on the same principal as my first cabinetmaker that we will mention in future articles.

His motto was: IF YOU USE YOUR HEAD YOU DO NOT HAVE TO USE YOUR BACK.

And so it was in the old organ shop.


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