RWC /Wicks Touring Organ Diary 3 - 3/13/10 to 9/8/10

Bob Patterson finally has taken the organ a bit apart, pulled out some pipes and toe boards, and is checking valves, etc.
He will return Wed March 17th to continue. Finally, some real progress. Again, Bob claims to be shooting for Easter for the organ to function.
That would be GREAT.

Bob is to return tomorrow. I am looking forward to this. I will also hand him a little money as well.

Bob was here again today, testing more valves on the toe boards of the right side chests. He wants to hook up the blower right on the floor once he has everything checked, hook some wind directly to the chests, and drop the pipes in one at a time. THEN, he wants to put the blower up in the attic over the laundry where it was originally intended. He has done some snooping about how the edges of the toe boards interface (there had been modifications done not noticed by me), and we have agreed on THE plan. We went out today and bought about 26 LF of Poplar hardwood to make some fronts, sealing strips, etc. John Jarnagin will do the milling and cutting of these pieces this coming Monday.
While not a lot has changed in the house and on the instruments, Bob has done some mighty research and mailed down some of the issues pertinent to actually making this work again. He is confident in the wiring and plugs and the general layout. We’re still planning on moving the Celeste rank out of the organ and the lower 10 notes of the 16’ Faggott into the main left chest. Bob still thinks we will be making music by Easter. That would be some resurrection!

Bob has been flaky about his time here. He is a wonderful and talented guy, but like so any artists he is just not strong in the punctual department. I’ve been waiting 23 years for someone to show up consistently on this organ, and he is the best I’ve gotten in over two decades, hence the thing is still not done. He is coming now, and we’re going to attempt to shove some blower output into the reservoirs for a look. The blower may get mounted under the organ along with the power supply.
He better get on the stick, as the money for this is just about gone.

Now over two weeks later, the blower has been rebuilt ($485) with new thrust bearings, the armature turned, and the unit operating flawlessly. Bob is determined to put it under the right side chest, so we are abandoning the attic mounting and ducting. Fine by me.
Bob has continued testing all the valves, replacing a mighty load of valve pads which were oddly damaged by a weevil and or rats. He has sanded and clear-coated some of the 4’ toe boards, and is getting ready to set them back on the wind chests. He is clearly knowledgeable, driven, interested, and sincere. He is also chronically late, or a no-show. His time frame is really a month of Sundays. I’m not complaining, as he is the ONLY person in 23 years to have shown up to do the work. Total cost to date is around $3000, with a cap at $5000.
I spoke with Frankie Norbert at the Widor Festival on Sunday (Bob joined me) at St. Cyril’s, and she is excited about coming to play the organ after all these years.

Bob has oddly vanished for about a week after receiving a thousand bucks. Why it is things work this way? I am SO bad at making people work to the money. Although I think he has earned what has been paid. He wants to go $3K over budget. I said this cannot happen, at least not on my dime. If he’s willing to wait a long time to get the balance, then OK.

In an odd twist, Bob finally called after about 10 days, and once he showed up, bitingly noted that my negative comments (prior to 3/20/10) on my website had caused him to lose two jobs. I guess he had referred people to my site as a reference, or was just hinting that I should delete my negatives in this diary.
As an aside, I had prepaid private detective fail to perform during this same time on a case I won against a robber from Missouri, and he, the failing detective, chided me about being “hard to please.”
I am NOT hard to please AT ALL.
All someone needs to do to get raves from me is do what they say, when they say, for how much they say. That is the triangular standard to which I am held as a contractor, let alone with any dealings in my life. You know, being a man of your word and all that. I try to be VERY understanding of others’ difficulties in pursuit of service to me, a paying customer.
I like Bob at lot, really. He is rabidly interested, knowledgeable, certainly way capable, but now has thrown a $3000 additional charge at me for more work, and has not been here on the nearly daily basis which was intimated at the outset more than half a year ago, for work which was estimated to be a half dozen weeks, not 9 months (to the day as of this writing).

I am attempting to sell more of everything around this property to raise money to continue this organ work and other projects of importance. But Bob will definitely have to adjust his thoughts of exceeding the budget in a drastic way.
Love him, love the work, hate the delays.

Bob spent a few hours here the other day, claiming some stress and headaches, and has not returned. I put a draw knob top in a mailing envelope to send to Wicks, and rather than mail it he set it on the organ. This was over a week ago.
No large items have been sold recently, and I am now officially OUT of money, again.
I can switch out the Celeste and the Faggotts, a carpentry job, but I am pretty much out of it regarding the rest of the “repair”. Bob has set up a system, and I have no clue where he is in that paradigm, and have no interest in digging into it now that he has gone this far. But if it must be, then I will again do what I always seem to have to do: DO IT MYSELF. I’ll get Gary in here to help, and we’ll just figure it out. This was not built by people any smarter than I or Gary.

Bob finally showed up today, and did a few hours on the 4’ chests. He glued in the 4 replacement blocks, well one replacement, 3 loose ones. He’ll return tomorrow morning after my HVAC guy starts his 5-ton home AC job.

Bob has done nothing on the organ since the last update. He DID come by and crimp some CAT 5 cable ends to shorten two cables for me.