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the marblettes

Willie Marble directing the Marblettes as they record backup vocals for his latest venture.

After years of wanting, the fates brought me together with a cheap acoustic guitar with a pickup that I can play in bars. (make up your own joke using "cheap... pickup... bars" if you like) I needed a cheap stand to go with it.

I found a lot of ideas online and mocked up a version out of vinegar and brown paper. Soon time came when I could run one off of plywood- version 01.

guitar stand version 1a

This one hooks together and is held together with a velcro strap at the top.

guitar stand version 1b

The parts the guitar touches have felt strips glued on.

guitar stand version 1c

This worked really well, but I wasn't so crazy about epoxying the velcro on. I got ideas about using a leather strap tacked on or pegged in, but while playing around with this idea I realized that tension applied to the lower legs of the stand would serve the same function as tension applied up top- and then it hit me.

I could use some of the most ubiquitous tech on the planet.

guitar stand version 2a

guitar stand version 2b

The color and length of the lacing took a little trial and error- ten dollars invested at The Dollar Store.

guitar stand version 2c

It's real easy to put together. You can sit with the legs between your knees to lace it up the first time, applying a little squeeze to the thing so that after you've tied the bow it flexes back tight.

Alternatively, you can stand with the legs under your arms and apply inward tension with your elbows while lacing/tying. It's much easier than tying a child's shoe!

guitar stand version 2c

If need be you just untie the bow to take it apart, but it's possible to get the tension just to the point where it comes apart and goes together without untying it. Replacement string- available everywhere- is $1.25.

(all guitar stand images copyright 2018 j.banner design)


Once upon a time time...

There are memories I have from so long ago I wasn't even talking. A pre-language memory is a precious thing, when you think about it. It's pure experience, without reference, without the dark glass of language.

This object is a party favor from my big sister's birthday party. It had a paper bottom, and was filled with tiny little balls of brightly colored candy. The candy wasn't much to speak of, other than... orange...

But I loved this helicopter. You can't read it, but one of the rotors is engraved W.GERMANY. Like, so long ago that Germany was still clawing its way back from the war. By making party favors.

I could not have been very interested in the ceremony of my sister's birthday. A bunch of dumb girls all dressed up in party dresses, gabbing about whatever. This helicopter was rad.

I remember the sunlight streaming in to our dining area off the kitchen in Conestoga, and the chairs around the birthday table, specially covered with a birthday tablecloth. Fancy. But the main thing was the sunlight, and this plastic helicopter. So cool.

Yes, the rotors did spin. Yes, they still spin, after 60 years or so. It was German, right? They knew how to make shit. But the thing is that the memories I have of that scene, the table and the sunlight, were sorta from the vantagepoint of the helicopter. Taller than I actually was. How can that be? Fuck if I know. I was in it.

We had a name for this thing, my sister and I. We called it a hoppencopeller, and that brilliant invention was probly one of my sister's, which included the term crink-cronk for... can you guess it?

She taught me that language is just a game...