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 Post subject: Is Freeman okay?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:58 pm 
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Is Jerry Freeman okay with all this mess going on right now? I'd ordered a Mellow Dog from his listing on eBay back on March 3rd, and sent him a message on March 26, but never heard back. With everything going on I hope he's safe. Anyone know?

If this is a faux pas to ask, mods feel free to delete.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Freeman okay?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:29 pm 
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Location: Bischberg/Bavaria/Germany
He is active on Facebook (last activity 11 hrs ago). You could try contacting him through his FB-page.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Freeman okay?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:04 pm 
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I ordered and paid for a whistle that he had advertised as in stock earlier this year; no word and no whistle from him, after a month or two I inquired about it via eBay messaging (where I bought it) and the only response was he refunded my money.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Freeman okay?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:27 am 
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AFAIK he keeps no stock. It's all made to order. And I guess he has a long waiting list and, like many makers/tweakers is notoriously bad with communication. (honestly, I like what he does but it's not for me. I never saw the point of this whole tweaking thing)


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 Post subject: Re: Is Freeman okay?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:38 am 
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Thanks for posting this. I am also waiting for a Mellow Dog that I ordered on March 11 and haven't heard back from a PM I sent. I suppose I'll keep waiting.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Freeman okay?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:15 pm 
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Sedi wrote:
AFAIK he keeps no stock. It's all made to order.


Well, I may be guilty of putting words in his mouth. His exact words were that the whistle(s) I wanted "are available again", which I took to mean (incorrectly?) that they were in hand, i.e. in stock.

http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=109889

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 Post subject: Re: Is Freeman okay?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:24 pm 
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I thought it was the Bluebird whistles that became available again. So I ordered and received then made second order which I'm still waiting.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=109873


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 Post subject: Re: Is Freeman okay?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:34 pm 
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He wrote on Facebook once that he doesn't really "keep a stock" of whistles. But I guess sometimes he has one ready and no buyer. But most of the time he tweaks them once somebody orders one. It seems that many makers/tweakers these days have a huge backlog of orders. Chris Wall for example had to even stop taking orders altogether AFAIK at the end of last year. And some have waited about a half year for a whistle from Chris Wall.
I still hope that one day Jerry will make a whistle of his own like he is planning for years. I'd be all over that one.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Freeman okay?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:13 am 
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I thought for Jerry "available again" meant he had figured out a way to make that "model" whistle again using the mass-produced whistles available to him to work with.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Freeman okay?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:19 am 
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I'll go ahead and confirm that he is a terrible communicator as well. Nice guy and good whistles but bad with customer service. He blamed the Canadian postal service for two whistles I purchased from him showing up with dents in the tubes from clattering against each others fipple. That was just bad packaging. When I tried several times to contact him about the fipple of another whistle I purchased from him sheering in half; just to let him know what happened, he never responded.

I wouldn't take it personally if he doesn't get back to you, it's just his way.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Freeman okay?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:17 pm 
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colomon wrote:
I thought for Jerry "available again" meant he had figured out a way to make that "model" whistle again using the mass-produced whistles available to him to work with.


Yes, he had some models he wasn't making because the stock whistles he used were in such poor shape that it was getting really hard to work with them. I guess he found better stock, so he's offering them again, made to order.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Freeman okay?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 9:13 pm 
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He also has some health issues that interfere with his production, so he often doesn't have a lot of completed whistles on hand. I have similar health issues so we've discussed treatment options and suchlike.

He's also now involved with people pursuing COVID-19 treatment options (his wife is a doctor) which is taking up a lot of his time. So he's OK, just juggling a lot of stuff right now given all that's going on.

And he's much easier to communicate with via facebook if you're on there.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Freeman okay?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:14 pm 
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squidgirl wrote:
He also has some health issues that interfere with his production, so he often doesn't have a lot of completed whistles on hand.

He mentioned to me that his health issues pretty much shut him down last summer, but that they've been resolved, at least to the point that he's back in action. As one might imagine, he's had a lot to keep himself busy with since on the whistle-tweaking front alone, never mind his COVID-19 work.

In any event, I just got an e-mail from him a few days ago saying that he'd finished tweaking a couple of whistles for me, so yes, he is definitely still around and tweaking.

Sedi wrote:
And I guess he has a long waiting list and, like many makers/tweakers is notoriously bad with communication.

Yes: I've corresponded with quite a few people on the "getting an instrument and making it work" side of the whistle world, and with the majority of them, it's taken numerous attempts to get any reply, sometimes even if it's a reply to them asking me a question. I'm not sure why this is difficulty is so widespread, but it does seem to be a general thing. On the other hand, without exception, all have been quite pleasant to deal with when they do eventually get back to me.

And this isn't life-or-death for me, these are individuals that I'm corresponding with (rather than company staffers), and I respect them and don't want to be a pest. So I've just accepted that I'll need to nudge them every two weeks or so (longer for Jerry, knowing the above), and as long as they don't take that personally, I won't take their slow responses personally. It's inconvenient, and I'd rather it were otherwise, but as far as I can tell, this just seems to be the way of things.

That said, the existence of this thread suggests that it would be appreciated by many in the whistling community if people did respond faster, if for no other reason than that we wouldn't worry about them as much!!


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 Post subject: Re: Is Freeman okay?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:20 pm 
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There's a legendary and reclusive maker of guitar amps, Howard Alexander Dumble. A Dumble amp can go for tens of thousands of dollars.

Supposedly you have to sort of apply to Mr. Dumble. You send him emails humbly expressing your desire for an amp, and if he approves he agrees to make one, but the agreement stipulates:

"Never ask about the progress of your amplifier. If you do, I will stop building it.
If you piss me off, I may keep your deposit and never build your amplifier.
You cannot come to my shop and watch your amplifier being built. Come by my shop unannounced and I will:

a) Stop building it
b) Keep your deposit."

I have a flute on order and it has been strongly suggested that I not inquire about the progress. I can certainly understand why inquiries like that would be a huge PITA


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 Post subject: Re: Is Freeman okay?
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 5:02 pm 
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This thread didn’t get my attention until I happened to exchange email with a fellow whose order is apparently about seven weeks past due. As of this afternoon, Freeman has 15 active listings on eBay. What he is doing is collecting money for product that does not exist. Stating “more than 10 available” in the listings is misleading because in reality there are zero available. Sickness or other problems are understandable, but maybe harvesting new sales should be tempered until he can deliver what has already been sold. To each their own, but there are other choices. Granted those options will cost more, but they also tend to be more.


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