Recently Iwatched the musician, Garnet Rogers. As he performed, i was amazed at his incredible array of guitars. during the performance, Garnet brought out a guitar that had quite a story. it once belonged to his brother Stan, a well known Canadian musician who tragically died in a plane crash in 1983. a Gibson guitar that was made during ww11, it is now a real collector’s item as, not only because so few were made, but they were all made by women. between 1942-1945, Gibson employed women to manufacture guitars, although it is said, they denied this, saying the company was committed to using wood and metal for the war effort. they were called, “Kalamazoo girls”, where the factory was situated in Michigan.
I’ve thought about those women, their hands with carpentry plane, smoothing the curve of a guitar, like their own bodies. they could have been working in an ammunition factory, but really in many ways they were helping the war effort, because they kept this famous music company alive and created things of beauty that everyone could enjoy post ww11. i wonder did they have a choice, making guns or guitars? Guitars or guns? For me it’s a no brainer.