Many thanks to my friend Shuji Ishikawa, for his wonderful gifts!
In 1999, my good friend Barry Grant allowed me to obtain his copy
of the book and I have treasured it ever since
It has brought many hours of pleasure and has magical powers.
More on that later!
We have rarely spoken since that time, but
I was able to regain contact with him and show him recent pictures of Erica,
and some of my Tsumura book.
He was kind enough to go to his good friend Mr. Akira Tsumura himself and tell him of my book on display and Mr.Akira was kind enough to write to me personally .
This is important to me, Mr.Tsumura went to great effort and cost to produce this Historical Reference on Banjo that will never be equaled.
When my Father was still in good health, he was amazed at the number of banjos that he had never seen and loved to look at the book for hours.
Of course, he stayed on Stromberg
and Vega more than the others !!
Here is Tyler (Standing) and
Patrick Bubert a great friend, looking over the book in my shop in 2007.
This book has plenty of wear and tear and as Mr.Tsumura says "Good for the arm strength" !!
PACKAGE FROM JAPAN!
I am very excited
I am only a country boy from Texas!
Shuji really took care of me...I was speechless looking over the documentation.
Much is in Japanese and I love this too.
The connection with banjo is strong in Japan and this connects us across the ocean.
And a Ken Aoki CD!! HOORAY
Ken is a fantastic player and you all should go onto you tube to listen.
Shuji also sent me personal photo album that shows pictures of Himself and Mr. Tsumura and a Curator of a museum in Japan
Many of the banjo on the wall, I have seen examples come into my shop.
And the Banjo clock, it is the same as mine!
I really appreciate the personal letter from Mr. Akira Tsumura, I will place it into my book and my family will hold this in his honor long after I am gone.,
Also some pics of a wonderful Bob Flesher creation for Mr. Ishikawa.
And here is Shuji holding the instrument Erica made .
The memories of this time with her in my shop are precious.
So I have made my Shrine to honor the effort of both Mr. Tsumura and Mr. Ishikawa.
They continue in the effort to bring banjo to young people in Japan and this effort has not gone unnoticed in Banjohaven USA!
It is nice to have a real picture of Mr. Tsumura and Mr. Ishikawa over my Book!
These men are both accomplished players and they have banjo shows and workshops around Japan
And now for the magic part...
When I first met Tyler Jackson he was 15 years old.
We were at the New Orleans Banjo Rendezvous 2000
I had my book with me as I always do, I like to show other people just how wonderful it really is.
Tyler was in love with it and asked could he take it to his room and I agreed easily.
But we were separated and I was not able to get the book so I arranged a later meeting with him to pick it up and visit more.
This grew into a close friendship that continues today.
Without the book, this may never have happened so I am thankful for this Magic.
You can see more of Tyler here
So into the book goes my personal letter, along with many other signatures of great banjoists from all over the world.
I add to these whenever I can, this book is made to be used, not just admired.
Thank you Shuji and Akira!
We will always welcome you in Banjohaven and will continue to support banjo as you do.
And by our matching clock..........we will be always "In time"
Vinnie and Erica Mondello