Stinson Band Organ Company
Designers of Magnificent Band Organs since 1965
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Don Stinson's Band Organ Notes
Stinson Band Organ notes are authored by band organ architect and builder Mr. Donald Stinson. Stories includes experiences, past and present, encountered during design and repair of mechanical band organs, along with Don's unique experiences during his early days with the New York Central Railroad.

One of the things I learned the hard way as an apprentice atthe railroad was not to pay too much attention to what the old boys told you todo. If they sent you after the gob stretchers or some other sillynon-existent thing the first man you asked would send you to another man who wassupposed to have them in his toolbox.

After going to about ten different places you began to realizeyou were the entertainment for the day and went back and got chewed out for notfinding them. This was standard practice for all new men. Even in the Air ForceI was asked to get a bucket of prop wash once but did not fall for that one.

Another time in El Paso Texas I asked if I could go up on atest flight on a B29 and was given permission.

Everyone on the crew knew I was new in the Air Force and hadus standing in front of the aircraft inspecting each otherís parachute pinswhen the pilot asked me this question.

"Airman, if we fly low over the hanger and you see a redlight do you know what it means"?

My answer was NO SIR and I waited for the explanation that Ithought would be of great importance.

He then told me if I observed the red light it meant the Cokemachine was empty.

Back to the railroad story I was asked to go out with atroubleshooter when there were problems on a locomotive and my old friend Jiminstructed me to always order the best steak in the restaurant on our way backto the roundhouse after completing the repairs.

This man always stopped at a restaurant on the way back and Ialways had the best meal as Jim instructed me to do. After a while I noticed the supervisordid not eat as well as I did but his expense account alwayscovered the bill.

One day we had a larger breakdown and Jim and I both went outto do the repairs. On the way back we stopped at a good restaurant and I was setfor the best steak in the house. Jim ordered first and told the waiter he would have ahamburger and told me to get the same.

Outside the restaurant he told me the man we were working forinformed him I was running up his expense account too much at the restaurantsand asked me if I knew who told me to order the best in the house.

I told Jim he was the one who gave me those instructions. At that point he just laughed and said "You just canítbelieve a word us Irish tell you!" I had many cheap hamburgers after that.

And so it was at the old roundhouse.

Next Band Organ Note No. 21, November 2000
Previous Band Organ Note No. 19, September 2000

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