Wailin’ Wednesday: Memory of a Local Instrument Crafter Lives On
We were happy to receive a letter from our long-time friend Fred Casey one morning. Many of you may recognize his name from the thirty years he spent in the Hand-Made Village, selling his beautiful handmade guitars, dulcimers and banjos.
Fred's last year in the Hand-Made Village was in 2012, so it was a suprise to hear from him. Upon opening the letter, we were met with another surprise: he had built an Appalachian dulcimer in the honour and memory of fellow Manitoban luthier and music-lover, John Godfrey.
John Godfrey passed away in September and his wife, Leslie, and son, Paul, wanted to make sure that the materials in John's workshop would live on to become beautiful instruments. With the materials in the hands of Fred Casey, they would certainly become just that. With the pieces Paul and Leslie gave him, Fred decided to build a dulcimer in John's memory and donate it to the Folk Fest in the City silent auction to raise funds for our community programs – paying Leslie and Paul's kindness forward.
Fred combined both his and John's styles in building this instrument. The pegbox design is his while he incorporated John's soundhole pattern. In this way, Fred says, "the tradition of John Godfrey's dulcimers lives on."
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