From: H Cecil Rigby, Aug 2002

My uncle, Robert Harrol Rigby, bought this particular organ from, as your website presents it, a "Baptist Church" in Greenville, SC in 1969. It was, notably, the Pendleton Street Baptist Church, that originally bought the organ. And the deacon board knew what they had bought, but didn't want the membership to know. The old ladies in the church might have had strokes! Think of it, a bawdy theatre organ in a Southern Baptist church! I was born and raised here, and I can assure you, the ensuing chaos easily could have led to a church burning. I attended this church off and on with friends growing up and heard the organ many times. I once asked to see it, but was shooshoo'd on my way.

When the church was ready to replace the organ, the church custodian, an elderly black man who'd been there for years, was asked to clean out from behind it prior to the move. He found the WurliTzer name plate taped to the back of the console where it could not be seen. *Someone* had removed it for obvious reasons. I'm afraid I *don't* know the details surrounding how my uncle came to purchase the organ, but I will say that he was very active in electronics (having worked for Hughes Aviation and the radio industry for many years), and that he was looking for a lifetime hobby. He may've had connection to the church through his wife's sister, now that I think back a little.......

So, for posterity's sake (and maybe to ruffle a few old feathers!) you might want to append "Pendleton Street" to the original installation information you already have.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, is how that church came to purchase the organ. It *IS* listed as the original installation, but may *not* have been. My uncle told me, numerous times, how the organ was first bought by a Catholic church in New York. The organ and pipes were in their proper place, but all the other hardware was located across the street in a small one-story building. He vividly described the "miles" of wiring that accomplished this feat. I don't recall any other information about how the organ found its way to South Carolina.

Some of this information is certainly open to debate since I have no proof, only what I heard from my uncle, *but* that the organ was in Pendleton Street Baptist is a known fact.

All that aside, I will recount a short personal story: when I was 12 I saw her for the first time in my uncle's warehouse, in storage. She was not yet playable. She was beautiful to me. I'd been taking piano lessons for a few years already, but was so surprised to see all those keys and stops! It made me want to play organ instead of piano. Uncle Bob invited me over one Saturday many years later and we fired her up. It was stupendously loud, but I was thrilled out of my skin! I played a little Sousa and then a Bach prelude. We were both crying like babies over it all. I've always wondered what happened to the dear bess and had promise after promise she'd be mine one day. But my uncle developed Alzheimer Disease and I'm sure the family needed the money for his care. It was sold, and you have all that pertinent info already.

H Cecil Rigby
Greenville, SC

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