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Below I have listed a few items which I have been carrying about with me for the last fifty years or so. I am trying to sell them in order to pay off some enormous medical bills incurred last year; a heart bypass and two eye operations, the latter necessitated by the inexcusable bumblings of two eye surgeons back in 2001, one in Kingston, New York, and the other in Poughkeepsie, New York, leaving me blind in my right eye."
   

New Orleans, 1953

This is a picture of me playing my banjo with an unnamed guitar player who happened to be passing through New Orleans, where I lived at 912 Toulouse Street in l953. 
 
   
Big Bill--News from Europe  

This is a hand-written letter from Big Bill Broonzy to my wife trying to get her to leave me and come live with him in Europe. It did not succeed." 

ONE AFTERNOON IN WOODSTOCK

I took these pictures of Bob Dylan playing chess with Victor Maymudes, his sidekick at the time, at the Cafe Expresso in l963. I forget who won the game. The original black and white photos do not have the horizontal bands. 

AND...A LITTLE REMINDER OF THE DEEP HISTORY OF OUR MUSIC.

"In the fifties I was writing a book that was to be called HOOTNANNY HIT PARADE. It was an ill-conceived project that never got off the ground. But in the process I was connected with Frank Proffitt who was Frank Warner's informant for the song, TOM DOOLY. This song was the Kingston Trio's first big hit. It gave rise to an incredibly complex legal situation because none of the megabucks that were being made from the song were going to Frank Proffitt, the original informant.This is not the place to tell this story. Suffice it to say that Frank Proffitt was more disturbed by the way the Kingston Trio sang TOM DOOLY than by the money issue. The song was a very important part of Proffitt's early memories and I have letters from him which describe in detail how he felt about the story and what it meant to him. But the money issue was important too. Frank started making fretless banjos to make ends meet. He learned to do this from his father-in-law, Nathan Hicks, who was well known in the mountains for his string instruments. At Frank Warner's suggestion I bought one from Proffitt and paid him sixty dollars for it. I was glad to do so, even though I never played it. Well both Franks are gone now. Frank and Anne Warner were good friends of mine and even though I never met Frank Proffitt in person I felt he was a good friend through our phone talks and letters. So I don't think that they would mind me selling the banjo for a good price in order to help get my ends together too. The banjo still has the original skin head. All the wooden friction pegs are original except for the fifth peg. There are a couple of minor cracks in the wood. There never was a bridge."