The Old-Time Herald Volume 13, Number 9

George Orthey and His Autoharps
Edited by Nancy and Brian Lockman
Photo by Brian Lockman

Soon after his eightieth birthday in 2012, Orthey spoke with us and reflected on his career as an instrument builder, the techniques and materials he uses, the people he has met, and the prospect of retirement. –Nancy and Brian Lockman

I was very handy when I was young. During World War II, when I was eight years old, my father was called away by the New York National Guard. I learned to do everything around the house. My sister was useless. My mother was useless. So I learned how to do everything. Later it used to drive my father crazy. He was an engineer. But when he would try to fix something, he’d take it all apart, and then not only did he not know how to fix it, he didn’t know how to put it back together again. So when he was out I would look it over. Somehow I would know how to fix it and put it back together again. Then I’d just leave it there. He would never say a word about it. I was handy.



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