Day 56: Interstate Tour 2018

 The finishing area at Folkcraft Instruments - Woodburn, Indiana.

The finishing area at Folkcraft Instruments - Woodburn, Indiana.

The temperatures elevated a bit today as I ran errands and the gennie, working in parking lots to print out postage for orders and update social media, all the while, managing data between my laptop and external drive to keep the Macbook Pro from painting itself into a storage corner.  

I don't want to get into a new Macbook if I don't have to.  Like my father, I'll use a thing until it ceases to be a thing, then get something new to replace it. Though the new Macbooks come with better internal storage and (always) faster memory cards, the price tag is three times that which I paid for my current mid-2015 model.  Screw that.  First adopters often have deeper pockets than I.

There was a brief moment, okay, maybe a good long period, of frustration as I couldn't get my printer to see the personal hotspot.  The usual trick of deleting the offending printer and then having it automatically be seen by the laptop didn't work, which prompted another downloading of the drivers for the Epson WF-2750.  When it finally did "see" the network, it then asked for some cyan ink, which I installed, and it thought about that for a while before finally allowing me to print out postage.

 My mobile workstation inside Imua's coach.

My mobile workstation inside Imua's coach.

I began staging bits of footage to encode for Dulcimerica episode 400 with intentions to stake out a claim on some WiFi, get it edited and uploaded before heading off to Cincinnati.

After finishing everything, I drove over to Woodburn to pick up some books from Folkcraft Instruments, visit with The Ash Family and catch dinner with Richard.

Timing was good and I was able to see Ellen and Jim, Richard's parents, before we set out.  It's been ten years since I first met these folks when Richard bought Folkcraft from David Marks and contacted me about becoming an endorsing artist.  Since I was already playing Folkcraft mountain dulcimers from my brief time working for them at Walt Disney World in 1994, this was a no-brainer deal and it's been a wonderful partnership, as well as friendship, that brings me to central Indiana quite often. Jae was born in Fort Wayne and she jokes that I visit it more than she does.

The two-year anniversary of Steve Ash's passing was earlier this month and Richard is steadily coming back from the immense shock and challenge of losing his younger brother, boosting production at the shop, gaining new ground in quality design and planning for the return of The Indiana Dulcimer Festival in 2019. With the 50th anniversary of Folkcraft in full swing this year, his thoughts are with improving the production process, fine-tuning development and expanding the current line of instruments.

 Aly and Richard Ash.

Aly and Richard Ash.

These days, his thoughts are also with Aly, his newlywed wife and a longtime friend as well.  They actually met at the 1st Annual Key West Dulcimer Fest that I organized some years back and anyone who knows these two are delighted that they've found each other and are now happily wed.  Aly wasn't there tonight, but her cookies were, so she was definitely there in sweet spirit.

It's been intriguing to watch how things have evolved over the past decade and I feel very privileged to have seen it close-up and in action. My head would explode if tasked with running a company like Folkcraft Instruments.  The sheer amount of minutia involved makes my daily routine seem like playing checkers at the park on a hot Saturday afternoon.  

Camped in my normal spot, in front of the roll-up doors in the Folkcraft parking lot, I plugged in and set to work on a day of editing and getting Dulcimerica ready to go.  I love these days when there is no definitive schedule, no agenda except for what's on the to-do list.  There are plenty of options and I'm considering them all, but none of them need to be concrete until Imua's wheels are turning and I'm southbound.  

Day 57

Bing FutchComment