A Site Dedicated to all enthusiasts of Classic Style Banjo
Joel, perhaps you might have a different impression of the man than I do!
LOL knowing Stewart's easy going, tolerant, layed back and relaxed, non-judgmental, non-money grubbing approach to life, no doubt his family mourned the lost of a warm and friendly person who was a pleasure to be around because he was so giving, tolerant, and generous.
I am sure he was just as kind, non judgmental, and humble in his family life as he was in business and the banjo world, ever eager to yield to better opinions offered by others, always a smile and acceptance for his kin as he had for competition and contrary opinions among banjoists.
I am sure tears were shed by other banjoists who missed Stewart's kindness and generosity particularly when they decided to use banjos from makers other than Stewart, something Stewart cared so little about because he loved the banjo's best interests not his own
You mean Stewart wasn't as kind, soft hearted, easy going and tolerant to you as he was to me. LOL
??? I never met the guy. So I can't say I know anything about his personalty or demeanor.
Facts are-- He was 24 when he started his music store (just a kid). Just married around the same time, he soon had two sons and was a devoted father (at least Fred seemed to be very fond of him from his later version of the Journal). He had a adopted daughter (I don't know the situation surrounding this).
He manufactured and sold quality products and provided good services for appropriate prices.
He was creative and talented. He was a banjo enthusiast and music lover.
He was at the head of a popular culture movement who employed many workers and provided creative people with a musical outlet.
His writings, products and publications provided many hours of happiness and entertainment (and still do if you include me).
His successes are a testament to his business practices and I will not hold making a living against anyone.
Often taken out of appropriate context and completely misinterpreted -- his publications were largely written tongue in cheek and filled with sarcasm-- Remember, these were kids having fun! They were popular with self made money. Most of what was written is no different than modern day hipster nonsense from start up companies.
Taken literally it could be interpreted as nasty. Correctly understood it is kids having fun in a time when being fancy was in style. It was cool to be smart and wear nice suits.
Too much has been put into this "elevating the banjo" notion. This has been an obsession to banjo historians-- it was just kids making noise. No different then if twenty year old engineers today were writing about how much better their smart phones are compared to landlines and dial up.