I started out playing at the age of 15, much to my parents distaste. It was a time waster to them and I should be doing more productive like studying. That progressed along through high school and upon graduation I started playing with friends in a series of garage bands in Southern California. In need of a good guitar, a friend had a Les Paul for sale at $250. It turned out to be a '57 Goldtop in original condition and upon buying it (I still have it by the way)launched my interest in vintage instruments and repair. While playing professionally from 1967-1975 (hey, I was getting paid, I didn't say it was good!) I played, bought, sold, and started doing doing repair work on a small scale. That developed into a side business, and upon my marriage in 1975 I quit playing professionally, got a real job and continued my side business of buying/selling/repair. By this time I realized that I was never going to be a good player and was more interested in the instruments anyway! We moved to Oklahoma City in 1977 after beating our heads against the Southern California wall and decided there was way more America east of there. I set up shop in a two car garage in the house we had just bought. I had cards made, hit the music stores and here I am today - still working on guitars.
Along the way, I've steadily expanded (for better or worse) mostly in the world of tools and supplies. Due to evil forces in Oklahoma City, I wound up with a retail store full of guitars, dust and dog hair starting in 1985 that I'm still in and will probably be there for years to come (if the termites don't eat it anytime soon). I expanded my workshop facility by 1200 square feet in 1985 with the completion of another building that I quickly filled with enormous woodworking equipment to help build guitars. Then I bought another building in 1989 and filled in with lumber and tools. Meanwhile, repairing guitars, buying and selling and building all at the same time.
life style changes came about in the mid '90's, (no, still married!)
We moved out of Oklahoma City to live in a more relaxed quite lifestyle
in the country. One of the stipulations was having a nice workshop/building/storage
area for all of my stuff, so in 1998 I had a 5,000 square foot building
built and set it up to do all my repair stuff. So from Summer of '98
to Labor Day 2002, I moved tools, set up tools up, built rooms in my
building and generally worked like a dog (figure of speech, my dogs
have never worked a day in their lives). Now I'm set up with a great
work space for my small tools, complete with spray booth, drying room,
and aircraft carrier sized work benches, and plenty of storage space.
The "big" part of the building houses racks of lumber, tons
of enormous cast-iron wood working equipment