Last Friday Sharon and I made our semi-annual trek to Song Of The Wood in Black Mountain NC. The specific purpose of this visit was for me to purchase a McSpadden walnut dulcimer. I called a few weeks ago to get them to order a Walnut with the 1-1/2 fret, to get it to match Sharon's McSpadden with the spruce/cherry combo. But when we arrived on Friday, I had another little something in the back of my head. I went to the back of the store and there is was, still hanging there: a McSpadden hour glass with a sycamore top. I've been eyeing that sycamore dulcimer for I don't know how long. The sycamore top was a gorgeous white wood with black streaks running the length of the instrument. I played the walnut they had ordered for me and yep, I will make a nice compliment to Sharon's spruce top dulcimer. But the sycamore called out to me. I got it in my lap and tried it, and my what a sweet sound! It also had the 1-1/2 fret. Now I was in a dilemma. I went back and fourth and I just couldn't make up my mind. Hmmm, I could get both, but my wife Sharon would probably kill me if I walked out of there with TWO dulcimers, I thought! But then I spotted something else: a McSpadden ginger model also with a sycamore top! That gave me an idea.
For those of you who don't know, the ginger model is about 3/4 the size of the standard hour glass, but it's very close in sound and volume to it's bigger brother. Sharon is a rather petite little girl herself, so I took the ginger model down and handed it to her and asked her to try it out. She took to that smaller dulcimer like a fish takes to water. Do you like it? I said. Of course I do! she replied. I'll tell you what, I get you the ginger with the sycamore top and I'll get me the walnut one. Bingo! My plan worked. So we went home with BOTH dulcimers and I saved our marriage!