• Mandolin Builders and Retailers Share Their Pandemic Experience

    While musicians saw summer tours, gigs and teaching opportunities at camps and workshops go by the wayside during the Cornavirus Pandemic, retailers and builders fared no better. Forced to close shop or operate with limited capacity — though some may soon re-open on a limited basis — the damage continues.

    We asked a group of prominent retailers and builders from across the U.S. (large and small) to weigh in and share their perspective.

    This is their story.

    Cathy Pelosi and Tom Ellis
    Ellis and Pava Mandolins, Precision Pearl

    Cathy Pelosi and Tom Ellis

    At the start everything was changing so fast. Nobody knew what was going to happen. It was chaotic and scary. As the haze wore away, Tom and I put our heads together planning to carry on.

    We are a small shop. The building team consists of Tom, Pava, Mary and Christian. I take care of the business. We do it all in Tomís backyard and it is a wonderful place to be.

    We rely on cash, not credit, to operate. This means that while we have no debt, we depend on cash flow for 100% of expenses. We had to temporarily cut employee hours. We applied for the Payroll Protection Program. Unfortunately, at this time we have not received funding. Having this in place would be huge. The loan would allow us to bring everyone back on the payroll full-time. Taking care of employees is important to us.

    Where does that leave us now? While we don masks and keep social distance there is still uncertainty. We do not know when life will return to normal. Meantime, Tom and Pava are continuing to build mandolins, just more slowly.

    Tom and I are here to support everyone in our extended mandolin family: artist, owners, admirers, and future owners. Players with online performances can send us links to share on social media. We are also working on an "ask the builder" segment for Facebook. Be on the lookout for that in the next week or so.

    From this chaos has come a renewed sense of appreciation for what we do, and all the wonderful folks involved. The way the mandolin community has come together, supporting each other is inspiring. From our staff we send our heartfelt thanks for allowing us to share our experience.


    Stan and Lillian Werbin - Elderly Instruments

    Stan and Lillian Werbin

    It's been almost 48 years since we opened our doors at Elderly Instruments. I thought I had seen it all. But nooooo! The pandemic has brought unforeseen challenges to all of us.

    Here are some of ours:

    Our initial reaction was to make sure staff and customers remained safe. We immediately started a regimen of cleaning high-risk areas. When customers entered the store we made sure they were aware of this. Some scoffed at the idea and acted unsafely, so shortly thereafter we closed the showroom.

    At this time, our showroom remains closed. Lucky for us, our website is open for business, but sales are significantly down from last year.

    Our staff are mostly working from home, answering emails, website chat messages, taking some orders, and more.

    Our repair shop is inactive, as they cannot work from home, and are deemed non-essential by the state of Michigan. Catch their YouTube videos here.

    Some purchasers are working from home, but many of our suppliers and manufacturers are shut down.

    We have been able to ship incoming website orders due to a handful of managers functioning as a skeleton crew. As of a few days ago, we can now ship orders with a full staff. We will work towards that with caution, and will be "back to normal" beginning May 4; meaning our phones will be activated and we'll have repair, purchasing, sales, appraisers, photo takers, and shipping operating regularly. The showroom will remain closed, but curbside pickup will be available.

    Meanwhile, rather than taking our chances with unemployment, we elected to pay 40 employees for 20 hours per week, to stay home. We hope to do more, but are at the mercy of federal funding being. But who's complaining? It is what it is. Most small businesses have similar issues and many individuals have it much worse. We're heartened to hear from friends and customers who cheer us on. We all have had more time with our families, the earth has had a chance to breathe, and we have more time to play music.

    We wish you all the best, and look forward to seeing you on the other end of all this!


    Steve McCreary - Collings Guitars and Mandolins

    Collings Guitars and Mandolins

    The first "known" case of the COVID-19 illness appeared in mid-January of this year, as was related to a young man returning from the city of Wuhan in China. The first "recognized" death from it was reported in late February. I now look back and wonder about the 100,000+ attendees at NAMM in mid-January. There were countless other such events, whether trade shows or sporting events, etc., with thousands of people crowding airlines, hotels, restaurants, etc. Oh, how the mind can wander... but it's easy to see how a totally undetected virus like this can "travel" so far, so fast.

    Closer to home: On March 6, South by Southwest was cancelled. It was scheduled to start March 13. In 2019, SXSW brought over 350,000 people to town and added over $350,000,000 to the local economy. Cancelling it was of course the right thing to do, but it was a BIG deal. Needless to say, we were paying close attention and decided to close for the week of Spring Break, to make a plan. On Monday, March 16, a small group of us started working on splitting shifts to limit the number of people in the shop at a time, with ample time for disinfecting between shifts. However, by the end of the week, we were deciding how many people to place on unemployment!

    California, Illinois and New York were closing "non-essential" businesses, so we knew what was coming. I was in touch with Taylor and Martin, who were doing the exact same thing at the same time. Fortunately, the Texas Workforce Commission had a program called "Mass Claims" that allowed us to keep employees on our records, but allowed them to collect unemployment, including the extra $600/week, provided by the government. On March 24, we were ordered to "Shelter in Place" by our Mayor. We then had to place more people on the Mass Claim. Since then, we have had a small group of people in the shop to maintain essential operations, which our order allows them to work on customer repairs, check the kiln, work on our equipment and move a few things closer to the door. Our shop is large enough that we are easily able to do this while maintaining social distancing. Masks are also part of our COVID program. Our return date is currently May 9, but that could change any time as states are either extending, or relaxing, these orders.

    Then, there were the SBA loans. The EIDL loan was easy enough to apply for, which I did on March 30, but we have not had any response to date. We wrestled with the PPP loan for weeks, trying to understand how it worked and how it was going to affect us. What sounded simple at first, proved to be anything but.

    Where to from here...

    As one can easily imagine, this has impacted every facet of our business. Trying to work out schedules and to move employees around the shop chessboard, trying to determine which POs to cancel and then to guess what materials we may need, as we bring folks back, whenever that may be.

    Like everyone else, I do not know how this will end for the new instrument market, though I do know that it will be different. Some really heartening news is that we have a number of stores, who are able to sell online, doing very well! I know this is not the case for every store and I feel that both of these situations will continue for a while. I'm not really expecting to get a good feel for what the "new abnormal" is going to look like until the end of the year. I do know that people need to make music more than ever, especially now. It is so inspiring to see all the streaming shows and benefits. It's great to see all the lessons online for those at home who want to increase their skills. Anyone who reads this will understand that music will get you through times of being separated better than being separated will get you through times of no music!

    Until we can all get together again, please be safe and do what we all know we're supposed to be doing!


    Dennis Vance - The Mandolin Store

    Since making this video Dennis said he would like to add the good news that he has been approved to receive the double transplant procedure he speaks of.




    Walter Carter - Carter Vintage Guitars



    At Carter Vintage, we shut the doors to walk-ins on March 15, a week before our city shut down. We stepped up our online offerings and cut back on staffing and store hours. Business fell to less than 50 percent of normal, but to our surprise sales have remained steady at that level over the past five weeks. We haven't purchased any new inventory, so all our cash flow can go toward payroll and operating expenses. Obviously, we can't survive indefinitely in this scenario.

    A Payroll Protection loan will cover payroll for eight weeks, but then what? "Reopening" the country will not change anything. Nothing will change until there is an effective prevention or treatment. For us, reopening will be highly restricted: Appointment only, wear a mask, wash your hands when you enter the store. It may be months or years — or maybe never — before we see Carter Vintage jammed with customers again.

    I've written a few editorials over the years about "the Elvis factor" — some unpredictable phenomenon that changes everything, such as the transistor, the computer, or the internet. In the instrument business, the rise of big box stores (Guitar Center) and, more recently, the online marketplace have had that sort of effect, shaking up the industry and forcing many dealers to adapt or perish. Barring a miraculous return to normal, we will have to make some adjustments to our business model if we expect to survive.

    The scariest part is the uncertain future of music. "Musician" is not a viable profession any more. Nor is roadie, club owner, booking agent or any other job related to live performance. With no music business, it's only a matter of time before there's no musical instrument business either. Where's Elvis when you need him?


    Saul Friedgood - Eastman Mandolins

    Eastman

    Eastman was first impacted by the Coronavirus in late January when our luthiers in China were quarantined for nearly two months. Within a few weeks of returning to work, the virus had spread throughout the world with stay at home orders still in place at this time. The good news is that everyone at our company is safe and healthy.

    We are currently back to building building mandolins, mandolas, and mandocellos, at our workshop near Beijing. Life certainly hasn't returned to "normal" there, but everyone is happy to be able to work, and we are navigating the challenges one day at a time.

    We are busy here in the United States working on new projects. Eastman recently formed a partnership with Bourgeois Guitars, and we have been working with Dana Bourgeois on some pretty cool mandolin concepts.

    This week we are going to be launching an initiative to support local musicians during this difficult time. Our plan is to officially announce the idea on our social media channels at the end of this week, and we are excited about this opportunity to help support musicians.

    This is a tough time for so many people. We are focused on supporting our employees, customers, and fans, who do so much to support Eastman. We want to do our best to help get through this trying time, and we are open to any ideas or suggestions. Eastman is grateful for all of the support that we have received from the mandolin community. Thank you!


    Richard Johnston - Gryphon Stringed Instruments

    Richard Johnston

    The San Francisco Bay Area had the earliest and most strict COVID-19 lock-down, but once Gryphon was able to open for online shopping mandolin sales have been quite strong. As we noticed during the financial melt-down a decade ago, people often turn to self-made music in times of crisis. Of course this shelter-in-place shutdown is very different but I think playing music is a natural reaction to uncertainty, perhaps because it can so quickly transport you to the familiar and it's hard to worry and pick at the same time. But it isn't all just putting on fresh strings to play the same old tunes, and during shelter-in-place orders people have a lot more free time. This eliminates the excuse we usually rely upon for why we haven't learned how to play a new style, new songs, or a different instrument altogether.

    Mandolins are easy and relatively inexpensive fretted instruments to ship, which adds to their appeal right now, but the wide range of mandolin styles and related mandolin family instruments helps keep players coming back for more. We've seen mandolin players stretching out of their comfort zone, which often breathes new life into a musical habit that was getting rusty.

    One staunch bluegrass F-5 kinda customer emailed me in March because his girlfriend was a songwriter and guitar player but when they played together she just couldn't relate to the tone he added to her songs. I suggested trying a mandola and to my surprise he went for it, replying "What the hell, I've got lots of time." On last report their duets were showing more promise. Would he have jumped into playing a mandola, and doing left hand stretches, when he was working full time? Probably not.

    Optional bit of humor to end this story: As he put it, "We may not be Mandolin Orange, but at least now we're not Guitar Purple with Red Plaid Pants."


    Will Lowe - Lowe Vintage Instrument Company

    Lowe Vintage Instrument Company

    With our storefront location closed to the public for the past month, we feel very fortunate to continue to conduct business over the web and by phone, and truly appreciate the people from all over the country who have supported Lowe Vintage during a very difficult time.

    As a small father-son business, we've been able to change and adapt to the new reality facing us fairly quickly. If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, you'll see we've been trying to keep our social media presence strong (because when you're bored, what's better than looking at pictures of instruments?), and we speak with customers by phone and email daily, shipping instruments "contact free" all over the country.

    When things get challenging and frustration inevitably creeps in, we think about those on the front lines putting their well-being at risk to help others, and remember to be grateful for our health and for each other. If we've learned anything during this ordeal, it's that music can bring people together and help us through hard times in ways few things can, and we feel lucky to play a part in that for people.

    Having to change our lives so dramatically can be inconvenient and stressful, but it's a small price to pay to protect the most vulnerable among us. We look forward to being able to greet our friends and customers in person again soon... we're all in this together!


    Alvin Deskins - Morgan Music

    Morgan Music

    The Coronavirus pandemic and its impact is unlike anything we have faced in our 42 years in business. I guess 2008 would be the closest for us. That year we lost our store and all our inventory to a fire on top of the financial crisis that was going on.

    History tells us music industry sales will follow the downward path of the stock market in the near term, but just as folks did after 2008, I believe we will see an uptick in investing in high quality instruments.

    During the stay at home order that ends May 3 in Missouri, our showroom is closed to the public, but we are doing curbside service and on-line sales.

    We have a professional sales staff here with years of experience and our priority is keeping them on the payroll. I have always felt we have a responsibility to our workers and their families. We are doing some split shifts while adjusting schedules and have allowed our high-risk employees to stay home.

    Over the last several years we have updated our business practices and moved to a healthier balance of a brick and mortar/e-commerce. This hybrid approach as well as our loyal customer base is what will allow us to survive the shock-wave of the economic downturn we are seeing from the pandemic.

    We also have a responsibility to our customers, to offer great service and advice as well as the best new and used instruments made today. I am so thankful for our customer base. Their loyalty in 2008 and now is what will get us through this difficult time for sure!

    Morgan Music has always believed in carrying the good stuff. Because of that, we are not going to just survive, we are going to thrive. Let's all work together and we will come through this stronger!


    Adrian Bagale - Northfield Mandolins

    Northfield Mandolins

    We're sending our best wishes and thoughts from the Northfield family to those that have been affected by this horrible ordeal.

    I feel quite fortunate that we have avoided sickness in either of our shops. We've been affected by shutdowns and stay-at-home orders in two countries since late January but have managed to stay healthy while being acutely aware of the severity of the situation. Iíd be lying if I made it sound like anything but scary. News about the virus started really circulating while we were at the Anaheim NAMM show and prepping for the long Chinese New Year holiday. The first wave of the lock-down came like a thundering gavel. Everything stopped.

    Then little by little things started getting better but Europe was in the trenches and the USA was about to get walloped, and we sure have been.

    All the while, we tried to keep our shops busy and have used this time to prepare for the future, which we believe will be bright for music, musicians and the mandolin family all over the world.

    I have to say that being diversified in location, time zones, and points on the timeline of this pandemic is what made it possible for us to keep going and not lose sight of a light at the end of the tunnel. We watched our friends and colleagues weather it in China and that gives us hope that we too can come out of this soon, if we're careful.

    To keep calm and stay working we've spent a lot of time finishing up and rolling out videos to our YouTube channel, releasing a new one daily for a month. With everyone home it presented the perfect motivation to try and share some great and uplifting content from our annual Marshall Mandolin Summit. This concert and workshop footage has been very meaningful to watch all over again and get out to enthusiasts around the world. A big reminder of why the community is so important to us.

    The past few weeks we've been looking closely at distance learning and all the possibilities. When we developed our app we put in a feature to slow down videos so people could use them to help learn tunes and licks and we've seen a big increase in people using these features. We've even learned a few tunes ourselves! We'd like to get much more active in developing and sharing educational video content in the future. Seeds to sew.

    We have also spent a lot of time working on designs and techniques. Northfield is always very active in working on new ways to make instruments and we have used this time to try out many new ideas. When things get back to normal I think we'll come out of this much stronger and more versatile, with a lot of things to share with players.

    And if sales are a barometer I'm quite enthused to say our Calhoun mandolins have been very popular during this period. People seem to be using this time to pick up a new instrument. This is really positive. Amidst all the trouble and challenge music and musical instruments just have a way of adding that glimmer of hope and expression we all need a big dose of right now. We think this community will continue to grow right through all of this and we feel very fortunate to be a part of it.


    Mike Sparber - Sylvan Music

    Weird is the word I hear the most about our current situation, and I think that does indeed sum it up. We're all doing our best to navigate these uncharted waters and we hope all of you are staying safe and healthy and maintaining as much sanity as possible.
    Sylvan Music
    Here in Santa Cruz we are pretty lucky. We haven't been hit too hard with COVID cases (so far, fingers crossed) and most folks are adhering to social distancing guidelines. We're incredibly blessed to be surrounded with natural beauty so my family, and lots of others, have been getting out daily to the beach or for a hike or bike ride.

    It's certainly been hard, and disorienting to say the least, to not have regular work hours or be interacting with the usual hodgepodge of customers, tire-kickers, shop-talkers, and ne'er-do-wells that frequent our store, but I assume everyone is spending this extra time wood-shedding on their instrument so we'll all be finger-calloused, shredding wizards by the time this passes.

    Though the doors of Sylvan Music are technically closed, we have been doing a pretty high volume of online sales and even some face-masked scheduled curbside pickups. A couple of our luthiers have been spending time in the workshop, as well, catching up on customer repairs and our vast back-stock of vintage instruments waiting for repairs. We plan on reopening and resuming standard day-to-day as soon as we get the all-clear. That being said, none of us have any idea what the economic landscape will look like by then and how much money folks are going to be willing to spend on extravagances like boutique and vintage instruments. Even though many of us consider musical instruments "essential," when it gets down to the nitty gritty there are lots of true essentials (food, rent/mortgage, medicine, etc) that will, and should, take priority.

    We are incredibly lucky in yet another way, which may be the most important; our community support. We continue to have a beautiful and continually blooming symbiotic relationship with the greater Santa Cruz community. And, as evidenced by our large number of local orders lately, they want to see shops like ours survive during this crisis. We will be forever grateful for this support, as well as the support of our out-of-town patrons who have placed orders with us and/or sent us messages just to check in.

    Again, we don't know what exactly the future holds, but there will be a greater need for music than ever before. At the risk of sounding too Santa Cruz-y, music is an incredibly strong force of healing and promoting togetherness, which will be exactly what this world needs moving forward.

    We hope to see you all in person on the other side of this crisis. In the meantime, let's stay at home, talk to your loved ones as much as possible, and keep on playing music.


    Tom Bedell - Weber Mandolins

    Tom Bedell - Weber Mandolins

    We began 2020 filled with optimism for the new year. Our Weber Team had a blast designing four special editions to begin the year: two deeper body models, the Red Rocks and Road Dog, a 2-point Pronghorn and an all Exotic Koa Octave.

    The reception was terrific and we had a bigger backlog than we have for some time. All was a bustle at the shop and then... like a tornado, the Coronavirus invaded and to protect our CoHippies, we suspended operations. It all unfolded so abruptly, it was hard to grasp what was happening. Boom to bust.

    My new word is surreal. We have been able to use PTO credits and the government SBA forgivable loan program to keep all the craftsmen fully paid, but a builder doesn't do it as a job, it is a passion. Being shuttered at home has been a challenging adjustment. The team is chomping at the bit to get back to the shop, which will be April 27. It will be different: everyone wearing masks and gloves, checking temperatures every morning when we all arrive, taped off areas to keep everyone a minimum of six feet apart, wiping down every surface where hands touch like the water cooler and coffee pot, in addition to work areas.

    Even with social distancing, it will be wonderful to be back together as a family and feel the presence of our teammates. We are extremely grateful that we have been able to retain our entire team. I know that many companies and dealers have been unable to do so and it must be so heart breaking. There is a lot of music being played, we cannot wait to be back building instruments again to keep the music flowing.


    Saul Rosenthal - Denver Folklore Center

    Saul Rosenthal

    It's now been 5 weeks since the order from the mayor of Denver that non-essential businesses needed to be temporarily closed — and that we were considered non-essential. I'll remember for years to come that our last day open was March 24 because that was the day I turned 70 years old. Certainly not how I had planned to celebrate that milestone. There's an old Yiddish saying, Man Plans and God Laughs, which seems to fit this situation perfectly.

    In the weeks that have followed I, my partner Claude Brachfeld, and our employees have settled into very different work patterns and are facing an unknown future. Bills and certain taxes still need to be paid, marketing is now more important than ever and Claude and I are committed to keeping our small staff on payroll as long as we can. As we have owned the store for just over three and a half years we had no previous experience with shock waves like this pandemic which has affected our ability to operate as usual and has driven sales down.

    We're doing all we can to serve customers digitally and remotely. Our online store is open for instrument sales and our repair shop is taking in work as it becomes available. What we can't offer is what often brings people to us: the experience of being in our space and enjoying all of the instruments, the knowledgeable staff delivering professional service and the community feeling.

    As difficult as it's been to be closed, we are encouraged daily by phone calls and emails from customers old and new who want to help support us by buying something now. They and we are looking forward to getting the door open again as soon as that can safely be done.


    Will Kimble - Kimble Mandolins



    When faced with quarantine due to the COVID 19 virus my first thought was "Well, I don't expect anybody will be buying mandolins for the next 3 or 4 months..." My next thought was to the common wisdom that you should keep 6-8 months of salary in savings in case something unexpected comes up. And thank goodness for that.

    As the situation continued to unfold most of my concerns have been for my family, particularly my talented wife (a nurse), my two kids (15 and 12) and my very sick uncle who was in a car wreck mid-January. My kids are old enough to stay home alone, but they have had their share of challenges with online learning and the eventual cancellation of classes for the school year, not to mention the loss of the school musical, Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra and a spring soccer season. We are thankful for FaceTime music lessons on the French horn to keep some sense of normalcy and progress.

    I worry for my wife working in the hospital each day, but I also understand how lucky we are to both be working. She is not on the front lines of this battle, yet. But every day things are changing and it is clear the stress level is at an all-time high. It has really complicated matters for my uncle who has been in and out of ER, hospital and rehab facilities multiple times over the last 3 months. It is difficult to communicate with him and I am generally not able to visit him regardless of where he is. My heart goes out to anyone dealing with a health issue during this pandemic.

    My heart also goes out to all of my musician friends. You inspire us to sing, write, and pick up an instrument. You inspire me to build mandolins. It is already tough enough to make a living in this age of digital music and now your one sure way to make some money — performing — has vanished overnight for an unknown amount of time. It is just devastating, I don't know what else to say.

    Will Kimble

    I work alone so social distancing is nothing new for me. I guess I am looking at this as a time to refocus and a time for reflection. I have always been my toughest critic, and the questions never stop. What is good? What is good enough? What is the best and why? Where do I fit in? What do players want? What does the music need? What am I trying to build? Is my pricing right? Is my distribution right? I am actually getting solid productive days in the shop, largely because there is very little right now to distract me.

    All in all I would say I am staying busy, feeling good and lucky to be working. Biggest negative is that I have not felt like playing music much during this time, but hopefully that will turn around soon.


    Austin Clark - Clark Mandolins



    This has been a pretty interesting year so far for us but I think we have been adapting pretty well.

    It started with a bang at Wintergrass as usual, but what we didn't know at the time, was that the Coronavirus was already spreading through Seattle and the surrounding area! Nothing like shaking hands and sharing instruments in confined areas with hundreds of people!

    Pretty soon after that I stopped taking in local repair work. Repair has grown to be an important part of my business and I certainly miss the income and the social interaction. Here in Idaho, non-essential businesses have been asked to close and with none of the other shops in town being open, this has been a hardship for local musicians, too!

    Though the lack of repairs has hurt day to day income, I'm using the time to try and get ahead on my wait list for new instruments. On the plus side, there will be a number of folks getting their instruments early this year! On the flip side of that, there are folks on my list that have seen their savings hit hard. While I haven't had any outright cancellations yet, we've been able to be flexible and move a couple people to the back of the list. I know a number of other instrument builders are losing orders and hope it doesn't come to that.

    Austin Clark

    My wife Cynthia is now working from home and as my shop is at my house. This has been an interesting experience for both of us. I'm finding it much harder to be lazy when I feel like it! She has taken over my office and her day consists of lots of video and phone meetings. I think she's had to explain some odd background noises to her coworkers a few times as the compressor kicks in or the saw starts up. Oh, and with her here I'm eating a LOT more. This part is not so good!

    I've had a few problems getting supplies such as my custom built truss rods and D'Addario has been closed for a few weeks holding up a large string order.

    Two festivals, at which I show instruments and do repair, have cancelled this summer. I will miss both the work and even more, all the friends and fellow luthiers I look forward to hanging out with every year

    In general though, things are good so far and we will hopefully get through it OK. I'm looking forward to seeing my customers again!


    Additional Information

    Comments 13 Comments
    1. cayuga red's Avatar
      cayuga red -
      Wonderful people with both hopeful and realistic outlooks. May they remain well and safe.
    1. mingusb1's Avatar
      mingusb1 -
      Thank you for posting this. I appreciate the perspectives these builders and shop owners bring to these challenging times.
    1. Kevin Winn's Avatar
      Kevin Winn -
      Thanks so much for this feature, Scott. All our best wishes go to these fine people and their staffs. We'll get through this!
    1. rfloyd's Avatar
      rfloyd -
      A good read. Thanks for getting this together and putting it on the site.
    1. MISTAHCOUGHDROP's Avatar
      MISTAHCOUGHDROP -
      Thanks, Scott! Truly wonderful to see these fine builders in their studios and the wonderful spirit they carry and impart in their mandolins. A real pleasure to see and read and watch and listen. Let's play music as soon as possible!
    1. Jill McAuley's Avatar
      Jill McAuley -
      Great to read about how folks in the community are getting on in these challenging times. Wishing all the best to everyone, and extra best wishes to Dennis for his upcoming transplant.
    1. Sue Rieter's Avatar
      Sue Rieter -
      "..it's hard to worry and pick at the same time." Richard Johnston

      Yup. For worry warts like me, music really helps.
      You all are really doing the world a service right now. Bless you all.
    1. JEStanek's Avatar
      JEStanek -
      Thanks for these. Glad to hear Dennis will be able to get his procedures done.

      Jamie
    1. Al Trujillo's Avatar
      Al Trujillo -
      Sure hope everyone comes out of this healthy and still in business. Dennis - all our best to you especially.
    1. Mike Romkey's Avatar
      Mike Romkey -
      Interesting perspectives. And that Clark video -- WOW! Great stuff.
    1. Randi Gormley's Avatar
      Randi Gormley -
      I'm glad to hear that most of these folks are holding their own and hope that, when it's safe to do so, their shops will be filled with paying customers!
    1. Gene Summers's Avatar
      Gene Summers -
      Thanks for including these videos Scott. I was moved by Dennis' health concerns and as a Liver/Kidney transplant recipient myself, almost 9 years now, I would like to let him know that he can be assured that life is GREAT after a transplant. I had an auto-immune disease called PSC. Our thoughts & Prayers for Dennis! Also, I bought a Weber Yellowstone A HT from TMS back in 2015. It's a wonderful mandolin. Dennis takes care of his customers!
    1. Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
      Mandolin Cafe -
      FYI, not going to make big news of this but Dennis is no longer working while he's waiting for his transplant. Things seem to be moving fast on that front and they apparently need to, goes without saying.