From: Terry Hochmuth, June 2006
We returned this morning (17/6/06) from Providence, RI where Wurlitzer Opus 2131 is safely in storage.
This is the Balaban 2 that was originally installed in the Oriental Theatre at Mattapan Square (south Boston)
in 1930 (with the one-of-a-kind Chinese Moderne Console).
I acquired it in 1983, made additions in counsel with Lyn Larsen, and installed it (as a 3/23) in our home in
New Lenox, Illinois until 1996 when we sold it to Ron Rhode in Phoenix.
Due to Ron's relocation to a vintage home in Central Phoenix, I once again purchased it and it will be
installed in a new custom home in North Truro, MA along with a 1930 Wurlitzer RJ11 player, both speaking
into the music studio.
Thanks to everyone installed in the safe and speedy removal, packing and loading in Phoenix and the off-loading
yesterday in Providence. Special thanks to Adrian Phillips, Jr in Phoenix for his expertise in
overseeing project at that end.
From: Terry Hochmuth, March 2007
Many of you recall when Dan Stankey and I had this wonderful instrument (originally a 3/14 Balaban 2 model)
installed in our home in New Lenox, Illinois from 1983 until 1995.
We had several great concerts and evenings of superb entertainment with the organ while it was there -
Ron Rhode, Walter Strony, Lyn Larsen, Bill Vlasak, Bill Bieble, Lowell Ayars, Jim Riggs, Kay Mc Abee -
the list is a lengthy one. It was superb installation and so many were instrumental in achieving that
end result - Lyn, Ron Mitchell, Carlton, Larry Mac Pherson, John Ferguson - etc, etc.
It was known as a 'sanitary installation' - one could eat off the floors (if so moved!).
It was with great reluctance that we made the decision to sell the instrument in the summer of 1995 - our
plans were to sell our business in Illinois and make the move to our home in Fort Lauderdale on a permanent
and full-time basis. Ron Rhode, after having played the instrument on several occasions, indicated that he
would be interested in purchasing it and a deal was made. Several weeks later, and prior to the removal, I
was involved in a horrific and near-fatal accident which resulted in my suffering third-degree burns
over 55% of my body. The organ was removed from our home in June, 2006 - it was such an emotional event for
me that I could not even venture into that end of our residence. In the ensuing years, Dan passed away
and I was alone.
Just a year ago, Ron called me to say that he and RT had bought a home in the historic district of Phoenix
and that there was no room for the Mattapan organ at the new house. After deliberation, I decide to
re-purchase the organ for my new home in Truro, MA. We removed the organ in June, 2006 where I was very
disappointed to find that most all of the original pipe stays and racking, supports and bearers, and
all of the intricate original Wurlitzer windtrunks and such had been removed and discarded - this at the
urging and recommendation of an organ consultant and to facilitate the installation in their
home. (When I installed it in our home in Illinois, we used ALL of the original stays, bearers, trunks,
etc, etc - the chambers were 31'8" to the peak and allowed plenty of space for a correct installation).
The organ was relocated to my warehouse near Providence, RI where it was stored for several months.
As I, at that time, already owned 3 other Wurlitzer organs, of a smaller size than the Mattapan.
In seeing the organ layed out in storage, facing a total rebuilding and releathering of everything, and
knowing that I am now 30 years older and alone - reality hit me and I opted to sell the organ.
My decision to do so was greatly influenced by the statement by the purchaser that the console was one
of the paramount factors that made that particular instrument "the" one that needed to be acquired.
When I learned that the console was to be parted off of the instrument, my heart sank and I have had
so many feelings that I betrayed that wonderful instrument. I must truthfully say that had I known
what fate held for the organ, I would have most likely just kept it just to keep it together.
My decision to sell it was not based upon any financial need.
I have to realize that I no longer own it, and that Mark, of course, has every right to do with it what
he chooses - he actually offered the console back to me several months ago - after I had already
purchased another 3-manual Wurlitzer console.