"From 2006-2008 I was serving a mission for the LDS church in Oregon. I wasn't a very 'good' missionary -meaning I wasn’t very focused on converting or teaching people about the Mormon Church and was more focused on getting to know and just help people and I also did whatever I could to stay sane, because looking back now... being a missionary for your church is fucking insane.
ANYWAY! In July 2007 I was serving in the small town of Estacada, OR. (Population at the time was just over 2,000 in a 60 square mile area.) And there were a lot of really cool/weird people that I got to know and help during my 6 month stay in that town. One of which is this guy named Walter Bartholomew (who I referred to as Walt Bart in my missionary planner and letters home)
Walt Bart was a retired truck driver in his 70s and had a huge hump on his back. He wore a cowboy hat and odd fitting black t-shirts that usually said something pro America or pro-guns. We bonded over a mutual love of live music and outsider art, He would pick things out of his CD+tape collection and we would go back and forth "have you heard of _____?" "Oh well they are like ______ and _____ and the singer is a ________ and grew up _____"....etc.
Since I was a missionary I wasn’t supposed to be listening to music that didn't invite "the spirit" which is a very LDS way of giving guidance that can provoke your own personal guilt to decide if something is 'good' or 'bad'.... its honestly really fucked up the more I think about it....
BUT something from Walt Bart's collection that I always felt good about listening to and enjoying despite this personal mindfuck of a rule was this cassette that he let me convert to a CD by a family polka band he saw play at a bar in Canada.
THE HAPPY WOODCHOPPERS, Walt Bart couldn’t tell me anything about them except that they were a family band that wore matching lederhosen and he saw them play at a bar in the 80s and bought their cassette tape. The tape was a hand cut piece of paper with their booking info and a wallet sized photo taped awkward on the cover. On the opposite side of the J-Card was the track list and list of musicians (thankfully I scanned both sides to give album credits.
It's all instrumental but these accordion players can really rip. And I love the fact that I can’t find anything about any of these people online now. If you happen to know more please let me know. And if Walt Bart is still alive and finds this, I hope you're doing alright, I cherished our few weeks together, talking about music and doing yard work for you."-Ryan Avery
Heirloom Records is a means of saving and preserving music from the lost CDR generation of music.
Heirloom Records is a Related Records sub-label