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Re: time travel

Postby Three Valves » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:46 pm

My Grandmother had a Rambler American (pre AMC) but despite that, my parents still got an AMC Pacer X. (At least it was the “nice” one)

I remember our first home was a three bedroom row house with no AC.

They didn’t wait to have kids until they could afford us. :roll:
Who needs four valves??

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Re: time travel

Postby Jesse Brook » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:48 pm

I had the tuba I needed at the time, a Yamaha YEB-321. I was very pleased to have 4 valves to work with after the school's ancient E-flat proved to me 3 valves on an E-flat tuba aren't quite enough. I bought it with a bit of parental help and it has served as my main do-anything tuba for a long time. As for cars, I couldn't afford any then (1999), and can barely keep one now, but all my cars have to have "tuba room".
Any time at all is tuba time. Watch for the signs.
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Re: time travel

Postby vespa50sp » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:04 pm

I started on Tuba on a fiberglass Conn Sousa, because I was the biggest kid to try out (farm kid) and I didn't know what I wanted to play. It was a plus that my parents didn't have to purchase an instrument. In Jr. High and High School I think I played a BBb Cousenon (there are several of them for sale on craigslist around here yet). There was a Reynolds available but that went to the Senior and the cute girl who took up tuba. In college I started on a Yamaha 321 at State College, then a variety of second hand horns at the UofM (I remember a 3-valve compensating Besson that I liked). Wasn't a music major, instead an Agriculture major, but took lessons from the Tuba player at the MN Orchestra. He pushed St Petersburg horns. Then I played a variety of community band horns.

My first real tuba purchase was a Besson BBb. I drove to Milwaukee on my 40th birthday to pick it up. I've been picking up a variety of weird stuff over the last few years, a Eb Ditson Helicon and Eb West German Stencil and now the Conn 12J. Still looking for the perfect horn (or the best my wife will approve of). Almost retired after 32 years in criminal justice and considering apprenticing in a instrument repair shop. Instruments don't require cognitive behavior therapy, but still occasionally use of force. Still playing community gigs.
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Re: time travel

Postby Alex C » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:53 pm

I never realized the disadvantage of being from a small town, with only the high school band as your guide. A good tuba would have made a world of difference. It is beyond calculating at this point so I don't think about it, except for now.
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Re: time travel

Postby MN_TimTuba » Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:03 pm

The summer before my Sr year in HS I bought a 10 yr old 1965 Plymouth Barracuda fastback,273 V8, bright red. Rusty here and there, but a fun car, and that huge rear window with fold down back seat made for some special 'star gazing' episodes, for sure.
I didn't think that the tuba itself mattered all that much back then, and always played whatever the school had, which were actually fine band horns - a herd of Conn 20j's, and one shiny new Besson 4 valve BBb that was kept only for first chair, and I enjoyed playing them all. Went to a small college near Chicago, and they had a rack of old, beat up, Couesnon BBb 3 valvers. I played those for a bit, then bought my first tuba, a used Yamaha YBB-321 for $800. It worked fine for me for about 20 years until I came upon the Holton I have now. In retrospect I was pretty stupid and/or naïve in those college years, did not take advantage of all that Chicago had to offer. One of my tuba teachers was in the Lyric Opera Orchestra, and gave me the name and number of a pro tubist who was selling a 4 valve rotor CC tuba for $1000 right in Chicago, and he recommended that I go play it and make him an offer. I called the man, and he was very kind, offered to let me borrow it for a while to see how I liked the horn and the CC fingerings, and offered to reduce the price and let me pay whatever I could by the month from my security guard job. In one of my many stupid moments of those years, I declined. He even called me back later to see if I had changed my mind. I wish I had taken him up on his generosity. I think it would have been a game-changer for me; not because of the instrument, really, but because I would have had a different mindset, a better mental focus, probably some maturity.
I also wish I still had that Barracuda!

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Re: time travel

Postby dmmorris » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:35 am

I was playing a school owned King 4-valve in HS and a Besson 3-valve-comp in college.

If I coulda, I woulda like to have owned the Hirsbrunner BBb, can't remember the model. But I remember the T.U.B.A journals and would spend a stupid amount of time pouring over the advertising for all of the makes/models. The HBs were just beautiful to me......usually the back-cover was devoted to new HBs......so lovely,......and I never met anyone that owned one, so it had even greater mystique.

I drove a rust-bucket 1973 Toyota Corona, that my dad eventually just gave to me when I graduated from college. I had kept it running, well past 100K miles, rebuilt the motor when the timing chain took a dump, and pop-riveted diamond plate into the floorboards when they rusted through. It had a Panasonic multi-component stereo system that I installed after some significant dash reconstruction and some custom made speaker enclosures. Fun car.....I wish I had it now. But I really wanted a Hemi 'Cuda.

Dream-on white boy!

I'm now quite grateful to have had the opportunity to start-out on both the tuba and auto platforms that I did. I learned alot and the only thing that held me back was and still is me. I've considered picking up a Besson 3-valve-comp quite a few times in the past 20-years. They weren't very sexy, but they are damn sure good players.
beta 14??..........OK!

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Re: time travel

Postby misterlandis2341 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:45 pm

I'll bite, I like this topic. First vehicle was a 1990 Suburban my parents gave me when they moved on to something newer and better. Still have that truck, and I'll die with that truck. First car I bought with my own money was a '97 Camry, and it was a piece of junk. My $600 Saturn has been a far better car and I've now owned it twice as long as the Camry. I also have an '82 Oldsmobile with the dreaded 5.7 diesel waiting for me to finish hooking the motor back up. That was a great car when it was running, and got significantly better mileage than my truck does (8mpg is not the best :lol: )

My first tuba was a King 1241, a parent assisted purchase. I loved that horn, and to this day I regret selling it (did keep the upright bell though). My first horn that was all my money was an early Holton Eb that leaked like crazy and was basically beat to death, but that started my foray into the world of Eb, and now I have some half dozen Eb's in various states of functionality. My main horn, however, is a Besson 995 CC that my teacher left me in his will, and that, too, I plan on owning until the day I die. I don't think I'd change anything about my first tuba purchase (mine or the one my parents bought). I learned a great deal about myself as a musician from both horns, and learned that equipment really doesn't matter (to an extent) if you're willing to put in the work.

I thought I'd be a professional tuba player when I started college and have ended up only playing for fun (though regularly employed), and I think it's worked out much better in the long run. So to make a short story very long: I'd change nothing about my first tuba or car.
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Re: time travel

Postby tofu » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:39 pm


I actually still have the first & second & third cars I ever bought. Bought the red 1931 Model A Ford Steel Top Pickup above at the age of 12 in 1970. Bought it at a dairy farm in Door County WI for $250. It literally was all apart & in apple crates. Nothing beats serious paint stripper in 95 degree summer heat to scrape off decades of cow manure from the frame in my folks back yard! I fainted at least 5 times. Turned out to be a rare car - the 1st steel top vehicle Ford produced - only made 245 of them. This a late '31 having been produced in early 1932. Unlike most A's this one had some unique to itself parts making restoration a challenge. Bought the 2nd car -a late 1931 Model A Ford Town Sedan (built in Jan. of 1932) with a Murray body - in 1978 as a college junior. This came off a corn farm down in Decatur, IL. The most expensive Ford made in 1931 (outside a handful of Town Cars). Due to the depression the people who still could buy a new car had moved way down from the much more expensive brands -but both Ford & Chevy still saw huge declines. I bought the 3rd car -a 1932 Chevrolet in 1979 - came off a farm in Warrenville IL & originally sold new in 1932 a mere 2 miles away from the still standing Chevrolet dealer in the same town. I was fortunate after doing another frame off ground up restoration to get a picture of the car under the really cool huge original neon Chevy sign outside the service entrance before the building was redone and somebody got that great sign. In 1929 Chevy made 1.9 million cars - by 1932 it dropped to only 332,000 cars (and they did better than anybody else) - that's how horrible the Great Depression was. But in terms of design 1932 was a high point for virtually all makes. My 4th car - a 1980 Honda (long gone) but I still have the 5th car - the red 1953 MG TD partially shown above - bought in 1986 in Winnetka, IL at a mansion on the shores of Lake Michigan. Car only had 7700 miles on it, but had been in a bad wreck -so another frame off ground up restoration.

Started playing tuba in middle school on a Conn 20J - didn't really become aware of different tubas until HS where we had Conn 20J's and Rudy Meinls. A school of 5300 students with a super music program. Jazz band director was a professional jazz tuba player & orchestra director was also a tuba player - hence the Rudy's. At the start of my junior year a large wooden crate arrived with a brand new Rudy which they handed to me. I have to laugh though as the year before we had done a playing tour of Southern California & when we played in Whittier, CA I stayed at a house that the father had something to do with Mira(f)one. There were 20-25 Mirafones in that house all standing on their bells & they all had a silver krantz -our Rudy's didn't - I thought that krantz was so cool and lusted after those Mirafones. I (wrongly) assumed that they had to cost even more than Rudy's - (and I knew the Rudy's were uber expensive - as that had been repeatedly drilled into our heads ;-). It wasn't until years later that I discovered they were actually way more affordable. The rich kid next to me in band parents bought him a new Rudy @ the Midwest band Clinic -so he would have a practice horn at home. I worked through HS -so buying a tuba (with the cost of restoring old cars & parents with limited finances) was not happening. I don't regret working through HS & College & grad school - it taught me a lot you don't necessarily learn in school. Didn't buy my first tuba until a few years out of college - a 12 year old 1970 Besson New Standard - and yes I still have it - and yeah - it got totally restored. Gotta love old stuff made new again!
Last edited by tofu on Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: time travel

Postby bloke » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:39 am

easier view:

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Re: time travel

Postby jperry1466 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:59 am

bloke wrote:In 1974 - just after 12th grade, I bought myself (with money I had earned and saved) a new 4-valve Miraphone 186 C tuba.
In 1977, I bought myself (with money I had earned and saved) a three-year-old 4-speed standard-shift air-conditioned Toyota station wagon.
My Dad really didn't buy very much stuff for me. He never volunteered to, and I never asked him to.

HAD you (older folks) had the opportunity to purchase a really nice tuba to use in junior high and high school, which make/model would it have been? Further, how make/model-aware (no internet/no nuthin') were you (me: not very much at all) at that age?

In 1969, I bought a 1965 Dodge Coronet 4-door, 3 on the column, under dash a/c. My dad loaned me the money through the bank. You can bet I made every payment on time. It was our only car when my wife and I married in 1971, and I drove it until I got hit by a train in 1976 (wasn't hurt, but long story). Also in 1971, I bought a Meinl-Weston 4v Model 30 CC which I wish I still had. My scholarship meant my dad didn't have to use much of the money he saved for my college, so I used some of that. That was the horn I took to Kentucky and I wish I still had it, but a teaching career, children, etc. came along and I sold it.

In my high school days (1965-69), I played a Reynolds fiberglass Sousaphone and a Besson 3v compensating tuba, the one with the ball on the bottom. I had to sit on a pillow to reach the mouthpiece. I was aware of York, Conn, and King tuba brands but thought that Besson was an "elite" horn.
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Re: time travel

Postby Snake Charmer » Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:04 am

Wow! tofu, congratulations to your nice garage! Since being a small boy I am dreaming of a T-model Ford (I know, the A is better for every day...). Still have to convince my wife...
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