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Help me help a dying man

dontfeartheringo

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My wife is an actress and acting teacher. She's run her own theater company for nine years. She has a mentor- a really thoughtful and gentle man who has, for 18 years, run one of the best theaters in the country. Her mentor announced his retirement last summer, then went to the doctor for a stomach ache and found out he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Sucks.

I've been watching my wife and her peers go through all sorts of emotional turmoil about it and I've been completely unable to help. Then, the other day there was an article in the paper where he said that one of his only regrets was that he had never gotten his Great Uncle Charlie's old snare drum put back together. Uncle Charlie lived to be over 100 years old and was a working drummer most of his life. When he passed, he willed the drum to my wife's mentor. It's been sitting in pieces for years.

I just left his house. I put a Remo Renaissance on the batter side, Hazy Ambassador on the reso, gonna get some Pureounds for it and give him some good brushes. I want him to play it as much as he can in the time he has left. All the parts are there. The strainer works like it was made yesterday. Drum sounds WAY cool.

I want to tell him everything there is to know about the drum. He's knows it's old and he knows it's a Ludwig and Ludwig. It's NOB, 6.5x14, six lug. Beyond that, I don't know years and that sort of thing. What can you guys tell me?

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tommykat1

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That's VERY kind what you're doing! Awesome that you are doing it now, and not waiting.

I say this because my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after a week of stomach aches, and she died only a few days later. Happened two days after her 86th birthday, last January.

Spend as much time with this gentleman as you can. you're a good man, DFTR.
 
S

skinsman

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I wish I could help with this but there are some members here that know this era like a book (Currotto comes to mind).
What I can say is, what a kind gesture this is. This will surely be a small light in an otherwise dark place he is in. My grandfather died of pancreatic cancer and it just withers you away until nothing is left but your soul.
Good luck on this journey and please give my regards to this man.
 

equipmentdork

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Lost a friend to pancreatic cancer this past January. Let us know how he likes it.

That is a truly great thing you have done.



Dan
 

retrosonic

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Ringo....thats a very kind thing youre doing. Good Karma.
 

CSR

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Late 1920's, I'd say. I have a similar 5x 14 Ludwig & Ludwig that's quite similar. You're doing a really great thing here that you will never regret.
 

AaronLatos

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You're doing a really kind thing here. Intense stuff... a friend of a couple of my bandmates had the same experience with cancer. Had a stomach ache after thanksgiving, went to the doctor, and was gone within days. We never know. Good on you to help him realize a dream.

I've got the exact same drum, and it's probably my favorite out of the dozens I've owned so far.

I did some research ages ago and from what I remember, read/heard that combination (NOB, 6.5, heavy 2 piece, straight hoops with that stamp, 6 lugger, no "Ludwig" stamp or engraving on the shell) was relatively short lived and I don't think made it far into the 20s? Those with better stores of catalogs (and Curotto) will surely know more, but my probably flawed recollection on limited research was that the most likely timeframe for my drum was 1918-1920.
 

mlayton

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so sorry to hear the news about his health. my hats off to you for helping him. that's great.

I think I have the identical drum. its my understanding as well, that its most likely a very late teens/early 20's model. these are seriously great sounding drums. heavy shell brass model. should have steel hoops and clips on it most likely. I love the mojo and the history on his!

if I can send you some old brushes, let me know.

mike
 

dontfeartheringo

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I've gotten some very generous offers from you guys about some nice brushes- I'm just going to grab some of those Vader brushes from the local music store. Speed and timeliness are key here, since I don't know how long we have with Ron. After looking at Mike's drum, I may head down there with my can of Cape Cod cloths this weekend. I want to put better snare string on it- I have a Ludwig concert stand for him to use.

He tells this amazing story of how his Uncle Charlie ended up being a drummer- Uncle Charlie told him the story every time the family would get together. Charlie used the same gestures each time he told it- it's a very compelling bit of storytelling. Even after Charlie lost his ability to speak, he'd tell the story using the gestures. Ron is going to re-tell the story in a public before he dies and use this drum in the performance. I hope to capture it on film.

If there's one lesson I've learned this week- between girls tweeting about how sexy my drum set is and now this: This thing we do matters. Each of these drums is a story and has an emotional power of its own.

Thanks, guys.
 

atomicmorganic

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I have the same drum in similar condition. Gigged it for years and years. Mike is correct. 1920 or just before. Absolutely wonderful drum. Also F**K pancreatic cancer. Took two of my friends
 

mlayton

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like I mentioned before, I like the look of his drum. nothing wrong with having a drum in nice condition. but mine looks like it was never used. I like the older ones with some character! just be careful with the cape cod. they do work great. but if the nickel finish is thin, you may hit some underneath plating.

mike
 

strumdrum

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This thread is one of the best I have read. Great thing to do and wonderful responses from you folks. Choked me up reading it.
 

cruddyeye

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I'm sorry for your friend, sounds like a really great guy. I'm sure you're grateful for the chance to help and he is too. From the heart, my gratitude too. Looks like a cool beast of a drum.
 

curotto

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I'm in agreement with everyone...1918-mid 1920s...I've noticed that the early drums had big beads...

Mike Curotto
 

CSR

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A wonderful story. What a positive, great attitude this gentleman has. You should be proud (and gratefull) to be part of his life and legacy.
 

dontfeartheringo

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Honestly, I've been kind of flummoxed at how I can change my life in ways that honor our friendship. Ron Anderson is a Great Man. Anyone who reads that interview can see that.
 


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