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Thread: Tragedy

  1. #1

    Default Tragedy

    I lost an early 20's 30's (?) The Gibson A model on 4.13.23. It popped out of the scooter I was riding here in sf. It was irreplaceable- it had body, tone, clarity everything a a mandolin player would want. Geoff at GtrMusic, Carlos Padilla at guitar center, and the local police (who spent an hour and a half going through ther data base of lost instruments) did what they could, but I'm certain the instrument is on its way to mexico, or being fenced somewhere. The above people showed what true friends are made of. and I'm grateful for their support. It's monetary value is about 20 to 30 thousand dollars, but it's true value cannot be separated from what it has meant to me over the last 30 years.
    The Police have a picture of it, but I don't know how to attach the picture to this forum. I'd say keep your eyes open for it but you'll never see it. My backup mandolins are a joke (a Kentucky, a Washburn)--they have no soul, no true mandolin sound. And, of course, I was just about to record with it as the centerpiece of several songs featuring its brilliant tone-"sic transit gloria mundi". Don't ever put an instruement in harms way as I did.

    Jerry Gray
    2750 Mcallister St # 201
    SF, CA 94118

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tragedy

    A little confused. Was it stolen or popped out of a basket while riding? And, you didn't notice until it was too late? If it hit the ground while traveling at speed it could be damaged. Agree, anyone finding it on the side of the road would pick it up.

    There is hope -- sometimes instruments show up on eBay, Craigslist, or at pawn shops -- of course, it may take years. If a non-player found it, it may have been sold for drug money, if it wasn't damaged. The good news is if you have a police report and the serial number you can claim it as the rightful owner, even if it shows up years from now.

    Sorry to hear. Good luck finding it.

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  4. #3
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tragedy

    Sorry for your loss - which I hope is just temporary. I am also unclear about what happened - I don't understand how a mandolin can "pop out" of a scooter without the operator noticing, and even if you did, how it could disappear in the brief time it took to circle back. Be that as it may, I hope it was in a hard case, thus avoiding serious damage in the incident.

    I, too, have lost an instrument, this time through theft, from my parked vehicle in the loading bay at my storage facility, in broad daylight, with security cameras all around. I later learned this late 70s F-12 was considered by the majority of experts here to be not a very good instrument - which wasn't all that much comfort, especially since we'd been together for nearly 30 years, and I'd written the lion's share of my best songs on it. But the effort to recover it led me to this place, and I learned how to use eBay, where I eventually found a replacement, a much better instrument - a teens plain A, which has served me well ever since. over fifteen years.

    I know this isn't helping much, but maybe it does, to know you're not alone in this sort of tragedy. But this should help: Above the message pane are a series of icons. The third from the right is the Insert Image button. Click on it, follow the instructions to upload images from your computer. You can insert multiple images into a single post this way, which is best for people to see as easily as possible. The process is pretty easy. Once you do that, and continue with several photos from different angles, it will be much easier to spread the word about it.

    I'm not sure how an A model from the 20s-30s can be valued as you say, but photos will tell the tale. Wishing you good luck in all ways regarding this.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Finders Keepers, my duo with the astoundingly talented and versatile Patti Rothberg. Our CD "Losers Weepers" is finally done, and available. PM me, while they last!

  5. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Howell, NJ

    Default Re: Tragedy

    ...It's monetary value is about 20 to 30 thousand dollars...
    Sorry for your loss but not even on a good day.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

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  7. #5
    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Missoula, MT

    Default Re: Tragedy

    That is a tragedy!
    A detailed description with serial number and some pictures would be very helpful in finding it.
    "it's not in bad taste, if it's funny" - john waters

  8. #6
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Mar 2017
    Ottawa, Canada

    Default Re: Tragedy

    You're not alone, chitin. Years ago, a friend arrived on his motorcycle at my place to play some music with me. His melodeon, which he'd bungeed onto the bike, as he had many times before, was gone. He retraced his route but didn't find it. It never did turn up. I hope you have more luck. Inform your local music stores and pawn shops (I know, you're in a big city), and look for community bulletin boards online. If the mandolin survived and someone picked it up, chances are they don't know its value. All the best.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  9. #7
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Mar 2020
    New Hampshire

    Default Re: Tragedy

    I'd say it'd be a good idea to post the details in the Lost and Stolen section of the Classifieds as well. Hope you get it back unharmed.
    "To be obsessed with the destination is to remove the focus from where you are." Philip Toshio Sudo, Zen Guitar

  10. #8
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Sep 2002

    Default Re: Tragedy

    To attach a picture:

    Save the picture to your computer. Make sure you know how to find it.

    1. Click Reply below any message on this thread.
    2. At the top of the "Quick Reply" window that comes up, there's a toolbar. Click the the third button from the right.
    3. Click From Computer.
    4. Click Choose File.
    5. Find the picture on your computer and select it. You may need to click Open.
    6. Click Upload File(s).

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  11. #9
    Confused... or?
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    Over the Hudson & thru the woods from NYC

    Default Re: Tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    ... Inform your local music stores and pawn shops ...
    Excellent advice.

    My sister-in-law had jewelry stolen in a home break-ln, in FL maybe 20 years ago. She had photos, and personally took copies to every jewelry store, pawn shop, and police department in the county, plus a few outside. Six or eight weeks later, one of those shops called their local police ... and they lived happily (more or less!) ever after.
    - Ed

    "Then one day we weren't as young as before
    Our mistakes weren't quite so easy to undo
    But by all those roads, my friend, we've travelled down
    I'm a better man for just the knowin' of you."
    - Ian Tyson

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  13. #10
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    Saint Augustine Beach FL

    Default Re: Tragedy

    If it "popped out of your scooter " while on the road... well then it hit the pavement and who knows what happened to it.

    The value of a 1920's to 30's Gibson A model is considerably less than what you stated. Maybe in the 2K range at best.

    Why do you think it might go to Mexico?

    It is always sad to lose a beloved instrument and I sincerely hope you recover it!

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  14. #11
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Co. Mayo, Ireland

    Default Re: Tragedy

    I doubt it would be on it's way to Mexico - it's more likely to pop up in a pawn shop or one of the local flea markets. I've successfully recovered stolen stuff in the Bay Area by scouring the flea markets. Back in the day the Laney College flea market used to have a fair amount of stolen stuff make an appearance there, as did the flea market down in San Jose and the Oakland Coliseum one. I put a listing on craigslist once for a friend's vintage and irreplaceable road bike that got stolen in SF and a few days later we got a call from a guy and his girlfriend who'd purchased it at the San Jose flea market that weekend and my friend got the bike back.
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
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  16. #12
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    Foothills, NC

    Default Re: Tragedy

    Wasn't there a thread a few years back where someone had lost an instrument out of a car or van on the freeway? If I remember correctly it was recovered and all ended well.
    I think this was it?

    OP needs to place an add in the Lost or Stolen section of the Classifieds. I hope it turns up.


  17. #13

    Default Re: Tragedy

    I remember (60 years ago) finding $2 in CASH walking home from elementary school and it made me very happy. (keep in mind, they still sold 5 for a penny candy back then) My mother told me I had to take it to the principal's office to the lost and found, which I did reluctantly. The procedure was if nobody claimed the $2 in THREE weeks, then I got to keep it. Well, after the longest three weeks in history -- nobody claimed it -- and the money was mine.

    (I feel like I should add to each of my postings, "this has been a report from bygone small-town America!")

    Anyway, it is hard to believe the police keep a "lost and found" these days. People just don't think that way anymore, and it is sad, IMHO. I often see LOST DOG flyers posted with $1000 rewards -- I guess it takes that much these days to keep people "honest!"

  18. #14
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    San Diego CA

    Default Re: Tragedy

    Really sorry to hear. Unfortunately if it fell out of a scooter traveling at high speed, it likely would have sustained considerable damage. Regardless, you should definitely post the info in the classifieds as well as any other local forums you can think of (Cragslist, Nextdoor, Facebook etc). You never know where or how it might turn up, but the info needs to be out there for you to have any chance of recovering it. If you have trouble posting pictures, feel free to PM me or anyone of us and we can do it for you if needed. Best of luck.

  19. #15
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    Default Re: Tragedy

    1000% a terrible loss, but even a Loar era Snakehead isn’t a 20-30 thousand dollar mandolin. I certainly hope you recover it and that it wasn’t damaged in the fall, but Gibson A styles are available and generally reasonably affordable (understanding that everyone’s financial status is different and also that your mandolin may have been an exceptionally good sounding one). There are players grade A-Jr mandos out there for a grand or less. Or, at least there used to be…I admittedly haven’t looked too recently…

  20. #16

    Default Re: Tragedy

    As we so often see, no followup from the OP.

    He must have collected on his $30,000 insurance policy.......

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