Dear Newsletter subscriber,
While we are aware that you probably aren't "waiting for rolls" - as some of our valued customers have been - the attached E-Mail letter might be of interest to you. This was sent out tonight, to the many valued customers in our 'backorder' box ... who were patiently waiting ... both as an Internet message and to the few not (yet) on-line, printed/mailed for the slower-paced PO system.
Our living room has been transformed into a 'warehouse' ... until the new rolls duplicated in California are catalogued by production run, and then taken to the storage building in Boothbay, Me. - about 11 miles from the Studio.
We have never had a two-month interruption in service before, but then we've never ordered a 5 year supply of rolls ALL AT ONCE, just in case something 'happens' again. (The West Coast factory burned down in early '97, but our estimated 3 year inventory kept ARTCRAFT "running" up to the present day ... with only a single Duo-Art roll selling out in February of this year.)
Getting all these rolls into the system - which only represent 1/3 of what was ordered! - is of primary importance now, so that our mail order activities can resume. This also means that Issue #4 of the ARTCRAFT Newsletter will probably be delayed for a couple of weeks as well.
Again, we thank you for your subscription and look forward to making the next Issue something of interest to the Pianola enthusiast.
Regards from Maine,
["working" the entire Labor Day weekend!] - (signed) Douglas
PS: You can access Issues #1, #2 and #3 - along with the linked photographic Web pages - from our Archives - http://www.wiscasset.net/artcraft/archives.htm
[Letter sent to ARTCRAFT customers tonight:]
Subject: Thank you for your patience!
Date: Sun, 03 Sep 2000 19:27:38 -0500
Organization: ARTCRAFT Music Rolls
To: L. Douglas Henderson - ARTCRAFT Music Rolls
Dear ARTCRAFT Music Roll customer,
A little over 2 months have slipped by before we filled one f the many, many roll orders sitting here in chronological sequence. I thought a brief explanation was in order, to explain WHY the queue stopped for this period of time.
Happily, all our NEW selections as well as those
which were out-of-stock or 'low' are here, now. The last of "Phase 1" of
our three-part perforating program arrived on the final day in August,
along with the Master Rolls which are essential for processing the copies.
[Our rolls are checked 1:1 against the original
arrangements, which travel back and forth to the plant. We use a motorized editing table in the Maine Studio for this purpose.]
We shipped our "10 year inventory" order to Play-Rite in Calif. at the end of November '99. We expected the copies to begin arriving during May-through-July ... and planned some camping trips for September and October.
As luck would have it, the copies began arriving in August, and the final cartons for "Phase 1" arrived only a few days ago.
The magnitude of getting these rolls all at the same time, being counted, checked and sorted by production run ... and finally being put in archive boxes for our roll storage building ... is something to see to be believed.
The 'Good Old Days' - for me - were the late 'Fifties through the mid-'Nineties, when I could have 20-40 rolls duplicated, in a leisurely fashion, and receive copies within 4-6 weeks' time, on the average.
Everything changed with the factory fire in Turlock, Calif. at the start of '97. My estimated "3 year inventory" held up for 4 years, fortunately (save one Bach arrangement for Duo-Art), so ARTCRAFT never closed down from '97 up to the present.
Now, just to be secure, we've ordered 100s and 100s of duplicate rolls - new and old - for an estimated "10 year inventory" ... and the logistics of this really tax a one-person enterprise, even with the help I'm getting from Lois Konvalinka with the record keeping and archive box labels.
"Phase 2" and "Phase 3" will include the less critical titles -- plus anything NEW which is cut this month or next.
Again, I wanted to thank you for your patience in waiting for uch a long time. (I waited 4 years for the production perforators to start again ... and then 9 months for my rolls to be duplicated.) BE ASSURED THAT THIS STUATION WILL NOT ARISE AGAIN, SO WE WILL BE RETURNING TO OUR FORMER 'PROMPT' HANDLING OF MUSIC ROLL ORDERS.
Finally, I might add that these Y2K rolls have the sharpest, cleanest and most precise perforating I've ever experienced from the Malones' machines in California, to date. They must have rebuilt or redesigned everything. When you receive the latest editions - especially if you are considering THE CARIOCA or AMERICAN BOLERO - you'll see what I mean about the noticeable upgrade in quality.
We should be shipping out the backordered Bach rolls next ... and then start on the remaining orders after that. By working during the ENTIRE Labor Day holiday weekend, this eliminated the first major task, which was the "handling of the new rolls".
Regards and thanks again for your understanding!
PS: I'm also sending some BCC copies to musical friends and those who are interested in our perforating activities, even if they aren't presently waiting for ARTCRAFT Music Rolls to be shipped.
ARTCRAFT Archives: Backissues of the ARTCRAFT Newsletters
ARTCRAFT Newsletters and ARTCRAFT Music Rolls
are published by L. Douglas Henderson
ARTCRAFT Music Rolls, PO Box 295, Wiscasset, ME 04578 USA
Telephone: (207) 882-7420
E-Mail - firstname.lastname@example.org