Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Music and Memories

Two weeks ago my friend BB called and suggested a fun new Christmas activity - the Music House Museum's Open House with a pre-tour tailgate. Armed with lawn chairs, hot coffee, and cookies, we arrived 30 minutes early for our inaugural event. With temps in the mid-30s, it was a beautiful day to tailgate.

Aunt Linda with her Rice Krispie treat.

I swear he's not really a Robertson, but he sure is cute.
You'll notice the tailgate only consisted of three people. BB showed up a little late, but he and his son did arrive early enough to enjoy a cookie before we went inside. If you've never been to the Music House Museum, I highly recommend it. There are some amazing instruments in there, and it's so fun to hear how people enjoyed music before the iPod.

Watching a silent clip of Laurel and Hardy with organ accompaniment. Linda wasn't all that impressed, "I saw this when I was a kid," but she did enjoy it.

My husband, Yooper Stewart, with BB and his son, Little D. Little D enjoyed his first silent movie.

The nickelodeon.
Our tour guide showed us so many things: a working nickelodeon, a reproduction of a portable organ that an organ grinder would have used (that is currently used for parades and festivals throughout the summer), and other German and American versions of self-playing pianos and organs. All but two of the instruments were cued up to play Christmas music, which was an extra treat.

Linda the organ grinder.
Check out the scroll at the top - it's an unending, never wrinkling, never creasing piano roll that lets this piano play itself nonstop!

This was the second largest organ we saw. The largest is below...
The crown jewel of the Music House is the Mortier Dance Organ. Not only is it majestic to look at, it's one of only 24 working Mortier organs in the world. It's also the only one played on a regular basis, as it gives daily demonstrations for museum guests.

A little history, if you can read it.

The organ sits on a platform in an old bar - you can tell how big it is by seeing it in relation to the barn beams.
Not only does the organ look amazing, it sounds pretty cool too.

We had so much fun tailgating and touring that we're thinking about doing it again next year. If you live nearby, you're welcome to join us!

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