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55th annual - AMICA CONVENTION
BLACK HILLS - South Dakota
June 3 - 8, 2018

          Encyclopedia of Disc Music Boxes 1881 - 1920
       A History,
          Catalog Raisonné,
                and Appreciation.
                    By Q. David Bowers
       An AMICA-International Publication

Fresno, California  ~  May 14-18, 2014

Print your Registration Form
and mail in your check today!

Radisson Hotel and Convention Center

Free airport pick-up and hotel parking!
Call hotel directly for $99/night convention rate
(special rate expires April-15)
800 - 967 - 9033  or  559 - 441 - 2936

Any questions?
Call Frank at 818 - 884 – 6849

Convention Schedule
(subject to change)

NOTE: Attendees must arrive Wednesday even if they are not attending the board meeting.  Wednesday will be the time to pick up registration packets with tickets for the tours, name tags, etc. since tours start early Thursday morning. 

Wednesday, May 14

o       Board Meeting @ 8:30 A.M.; Those coming early can rent a car a half block away, and there will be suggestions in hospitality room or contact Frank ahead of time (818 - 884 - 6849). 

Thursday, May 15

o       Welcome breakfast and orientation….6:30 a.m. sharp (tours start early)

o       Collection tours and underground gardens; Bus leaves at 8:00 a.m.; lunch included

o       Yosemite tour: Bus leaves at 8:15 a.m., lunch included

o       Dinner on your own

o       Warnor’s theater tour and concert; bus leaves at 6:30 p.m.  

Friday, May 16

o        Breakfast on your own

o        Collection tours and underground gardens; Bus leaves at 8:00 a.m.; lunch included

o        Yosemite tour: Bus leaves at 8:15 a.m., lunch included

o        Dinner on your own

o        Pumper contest @  7:30 p.m.

o        Meeting after pumper contest 

Saturday, May 17

o       Breakfast and lunch on your own

o       Mart, Workshops

o       Banquet 

Sunday, May 18

o       Farewell breakfast

o       Optional open house tours



When my family went on camping vacations before WWII, Fresno was just another farming community on the way to Yosemite. It had probably a population of about 10,000 people, and maybe one stop light in town.  There were two gas stations with old time pumps with a glass container on top. Gas was pumped into this container which held 10 gallons to be released into your tank.  At that time, and for a long time after, you wouldn’t see a light in town after 9:00 p.m. Farmers went to bed early and got up early.

The San Juoaquin and Sacramento Valleys were considered the bread basket of America with all kinds of fruit and nut orchards, corn and cotton, truck crops, and dry land farming of oats, wheat, and barley extended across the Valleys from the Sierras to the coast Range. Cattle, hogs and sheep were raised in large numbers.  Fresno was the raisin capital of the world for many decades with massive vineyards.

When Shirley and I were married in 1954, I was finishing my BS Degree at Fresno State. We of course, moved to Fresno and figured we’d spend our lives there or somewhere similar. By this time the population was nearing 40,000. When the Federal Offices came to town Fresno went to over 500,000 population.

Fresno has a very interesting history of theaters (Vaudeville) and of sports (The West coast Relays were held there, a track event that attracted athletes from around the world.

One of the big things to come from Fresno was when Bank of America launched their Bankamericacard in 1958. This was the first successful credit card, and it eventually spun off to the Visa card.
Fresno isn’t the sleepy little town anymore. It has grown into a modern, up-to-date city, but still has a lot of Architectural wonders, which have been lovingly kept over the years. A walking tour of downtown will take you back in time to another era.

Getting back to the convention in 2014, we’ll see Yosemite, one of the most spectacular and beautiful National Parks in the world - Yosemite. We’ll have lunch at the famous Ahwanee Hotel and have time to explore the area with wonderful scenic views and many waterfalls, which should be running fast at this time of year. The foliage should be spectacular, too.

On another trip, we’ll be entertained by the wonderful collection of American and European instruments at the home of Mike Argain, many of which you just don’t see in most collections, and all are expertly restored. Mike has been restoring instruments for collectors all over the country for 40 plus years, and does a fantastic job The up and coming collection of Rick Shaw will be another treat. Rick is putting together a really nice collection, redoing his home to accommodate it. These collections are not easily accessible, and we are very fortunate to have them open for us.

Other events include a trip to the famous Forestiere Underground Gardens, and a tour of the 1928 Warnors Theater, (no, that’s not a misspelling, and you will hear why during the tour) with an organ concert. This was originally a Burlesque theater, and has its’ original Wurlitzer organ.  Of course, we’ll have a pumper contest, a mart, workshops, and a banquet.
We will be staying at the lovely Radisson Hotel for only $99. This includes FREE parking and airport shuttle from Fresno/Yosemite international Airport.  All this and more answers the question “Why Fresno?”.

Don’t miss this convention. We have never been in this area before, and it is lovely. You will be sorry if you miss it. Because of space and other considerations, registration will be limited to 160, so register early.

Sunday open houses and attractions include the home of Rick Shaw’s aunt and uncle in Visalia. Their collection includes a working carousel, cars, clothes, music, and a large home organ, with other treasures mixed in. It’s all for fun here.
Stephen Kent Goodman is opening his home and collection also. Stephen has done some great arranging for rolls for various machines. He is quite talented, and does restorations also.

There are also the Japanese Gardens, two mansions from the early Fresno era, and other attractions.  All this adds up to “Why Not Fresno?” Hope to see you there.


Websites of Interest …

Yosemite National Park

Tower District (arts and entertainment district)

The Chaffee Zoo

Fresno Art Museum

Forestiere Underground Gardens

Saroyan Theatre

Warnors Theater (silent films and Wurlitzer pipe organ)

Arte Americana

Fresno Shinzen Japanese Gardens


~ ~ ~


Examples of rare, beautifully restored instruments to be seen and heard, along with things to do in the Fresno area.


©2018 AMICA International
Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors' Association,
a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

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