|So folk music was becoming popular. I heard the album, "The Weavers at Caregie Hall," and that was very special for me. After that there was the Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Odetta, and many others. I was taken away by it all. Boulder then was kind of a "hot spot" for making your own music. There were many artists coming through the area. But more importantly, there were lots of students who would get together and play. I joined in.
BNL: What got you interested in making banjos?
CO: A few years ago, I went to this wonderful psychic woman for a reading. She didn't know who I was, what I did, or anything about me. During the session, she mentined that she saw me building musical instruments. "How did you know that?" I asked. "Oh, you've been building instruments in several lives," she said. "The first time was in Egypt." Now this not only ran a chill through my entire body, but it got me to thinking. Did I really build instruments in Egypt? Were they banjo-type instruments? Were they for the rich, the poor? This was an interesting idea, and could explain lots of things.
Well, in this lifetime there were two things that inspired me to build banjos, besides playing. First, I grew up intrigued by building with metal and wood. My mother was in the antique business in Kentucky and I would go looking for treasures of the past with her. In the process, I became interested in antique firearms to the extent that by the time I turned 14, I was a professional gun trader. It was during those years in the trading business that I fell in love with the use of wood and metal as an art form and began learning vintage design techniques with those materials.