Wow, somebody out there likes me. Several somebodies, in fact.
A week ago, someone alerted me to a Knutsen harp mandolin for sale at the shopgoodwill.com auction site (which I don’t keep up with).
The next day, someone else – not one of my “regulars” – did the same.
Then another. And another.
Within days, during the course of the auction, well over a dozen different individuals had written me (with a couple more calling the biz phone), each assuming (rightly so) that it was a rare, important instrument that I might be interested in. I was, but in this case more for the Archives than my own collection.
Mind you, all but 1 or 2 were complete strangers. These people didn’t have first-hand knowledge of Knutsen or harp guitars, etc (one was a trombonist), but had all taken the time to do some basic research on the unusual listing, found the Knutsen Archives, then me, determined who I was (some learning of my own museum collection), and then took the time to unselfishly email me about it. From a simple heads up to lengthy letters of encouragement and excitement, all of which I dutifully answered with thanks. One even planned (as it turned out) to bid against me, yet still wanted to me to be aware of its existence for the Archives (it went way past his limit as well).
A staffer at the auction company was similarly excited and helpful, providing additional photos.
Most of my “constituents” seem to know that I catch most eBay HG listings – or it’s just a different crowd; I’m rarely notified of such appearances by a friendly fellow eBayer (perhaps a blessing in disguise, or I’d have another couple hundred emails a month!). So I found it interesting, and rather inspiring, that so many strangers with nothing to gain, nor direct beneficiaries of any outcome, would take the time to try to ensure a good home for the instrument, or see it preserved on the site or my own collection. As if each person, imagining that they might be the only one to have discovered it, were obligated to “protect” it – but then also trust that I would be the right person to know what to do with it. Happily, in this case, I am able – no matter who wins it, and what they do with it (odds are even that it’ll disappear into the ether), this will get its own unique specimen inventory number, and live in infamy, adding to the slowly-increasing count (yes, I know I’m a couple of years behind) in the Knutsen Archives.
I’m ashamed to admit that I sort of took all this for granted. I was certainly grateful for the first note. I was appreciative of the second, then the third. After the next few, I had to stop myself from thinking “yeah, yeah, I know…” But after ten, the indebtedness began to sink in, and I decided to blog about it. I just now got yet another new email, saying “Good luck!”, as window shoppers (“window bidders”?) continue to discover it.
By the end of the week, I would regret that I didn’t save every one of those emails and thank each of these “mysterious benefactors” by name.
Funny, I continually find that this eccentric little harp guitar “hobby” seems to attract such experiences and good karma.
Prices on Knutsens seem to be on the rise. Did you see that convertible Hawaiian that went for over $2K last week? That one had some curious labels in it too.
Thanks, Paul. Got 1 more notice during the night…2 hours to go until close, but they wanted me to get it! (I didn’t bid)
Not bad – a hair over 2 grand is right where I probably would have put it in this condition. I bet it wouldn’t have gotten that much on eBay…
Now to see if the winner/new owner contacts me down the road…that’s where the “HG karma” often breaks down, I’m sad to say…
Good, compassion, honor, purpose, responsibility? You mean you’re saying these things exist in the world? Great story. I mean, if a trombone player recognizes the Pope, you really must be the MAN. It’s great to know that your research and vast knowledge is so accessible and used. I’ve been doing several art festivals in Florida selling cd’s and playing the HG, and in the process of telling hundreds of people about the instrument, I tell them about your site. Edgar Cruz is staying at my house this weekend–trying to talk him into going to HGG10. May we all continue to reap the virtues that you, Stephen, Andy, Scott, Muriel, Mike, Stacy–you get the idea–have created with this endeavor, and may all that’s good in the world–I’ve run out of big words–you go dude!