paulie and the woodman

Vintage Peavey Power Mixer

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Peavey XR400C

In garages across the land, adolescent dreams of rock and roll continue.  Bluegrass jams, gospel groups, punky papas play.  One thing tying them together is the staple of amplification in America, Peavey.  Most everyone paul kearsley 2009 by jim sergovicwho plays has had a Peavey at one point. I started on one.  Our group used their power mixer for the big speakers.  Even now, barely able to call myself a performing musician, I turn to Peavey when the call comes.

PAUL KEARSLEY,  farmer and musician, sounded the alarm!  His power mixer blew up a few months back when a cocktail tumbled into the heat vent.  Paul is limping through four solo gigs a week, and here comes his Summer Three with The Woodman.  

Peavey Series 400BJ labelThere are few buying opportunities in his Eastern Shore community, but right up the street I found Paul this near-vintage gem for under a day’s pay.  Mid-1990s production, a few models up from the basic version I used in high school.  Still consistently durable, still a winner.

Another sunset starts another gig.  Reggae & ska powering over the calming waters of Chincoteague Bay, bringing our souls back to Mother Earth.  Thanks, Peavey!

paul kearsley on chincoteague island 2002 by jim sergovic

Mid-Century Revere Ware 10″ skillet

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Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 8.46.45 AMAHH, THE CRACKLE OF BACON.  Butter, hitting the right temperature to snap and foam!   Then in go the eggs!   The basics of an American Breakfast.

As a three-year old, sitting on the floor for hours in a kitchen identical to Julia Child’s The French Chef set, these were the sounds I heard.  And revisiting her shows years later, I began to appreciate the nuances of temperature, time, and cooking surface.

When my best teflon pan gave up the ghost, I researched All-Clad selections, convinced technology had trumped tradition.  Investigations cast doubt, however, upon my preconceptions!  The buying decision was even more tempered with caution and eventually placed on hiatus.

paul toungeAlong came a fortunate Dumpster® find, as a friend’s childhood abode was being cleared out for the next owner.  I had scored a nice stack of 1950’s-era Revere Ware, as detailed here in a previous blog entry.

The pile was stored in an apple crate.  A piece found use as a water bowl for our cat, some smaller pots went to neighbors, but the skillet?  The skillet I retained, beheld by the rich history of its patina and a promise of potential magic.  I saw value, but was unsure how to harness its powers.

Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 8.46.31 AMOnly after repeated frustrations with our remaining daily-use skillet did I retrieve the old 10″ Revere Ware skillet from the crate, wash it thoroughly, and give it a try.  Wow, first use with a grilled cheese, and the butter burned.  O.K., it heats up really fast, but it was even. All of the stove’s potential made it to the cook surface.  Then I tried eggs, and again burned the butter.  Third time’s the charm.  I’ve found a perfect pan.  Nothing sticks to the decade’s old stainless interior, and the copper bottom spreads heat as well as it did in 1955, when purchased.

This pan should be a basic tool of anyone learning to cook, as well as a must-have for the experienced chef. About $5 at a garage sale near you, or $25 through online auctions.