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Old 07-15-2007, 03:23 PM
David Tschiggfrie David Tschiggfrie is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Dubuque, Iowa
Posts: 269


Travis' reply provides much more info than I could. He's this board's main "calliope man." I'm hoping to tape an interview with Capt. Trone sometime this year, and will ask him for specifics about the JBS calliope. As for Travis' comment about the delayed action on that instrument in her early days, I can attest to that fact. I played the thing back in the 70s and was completely defeated by the lag time between depressing the key and hearing the whistle sound. As someone who literally "plays by ear," unless I can hear the notes immediately, I get screwed up big time and very embarrassing sounds issued from the instrument at my hand. I never attempted to play the thing after that first fiasco until the boat was sold to Kalhagen in La Crosse. In 1995 I reluctantly tried my hand again, and to my surprise and delight, the problem was fixed. According to Travis, that was because of the changes made with the solenoids. How Libby Trone managed to play the thing, and very well, too, is beyond me. She deserves some sort of Calliope Certificate of Merit for her amazing facility on that thing all those years she ran at Peoria and Chattanooga. In my audio files, I have a recording of her calliope being played by Libby on the day of her very first public trips at Peoria in 1971. No offense (or blame) to the calliopist, but it really is a rather painful thing to listen to! Played a departure concert on the TWILIGHT's air calliophone last week when the DQ was in port here in town, and the middle C is inoperable. In those chords, there is distinct vacant wheezing where the C should be! They have no one aboard who can play it any longer, and Kevin Stier offered me the job anytime I care to show up. If they also threw in duties as a popcorn popper, I might consider it! : - )
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