Ok, I’ll admit it, there are some exciting places that ARE NOT in New Jersey. Granted, there aren’t many. And they are never as cool as what we have here, and…ok, I’m joking. It has been my experience, limited as it is, that there are some spectacular places to visit across this great country of ours, as there are all across the world. Again, I have seen a scintilla of them, but in traveling, yes, even beyond New Jersey, you can see, learn, and enjoy so much.
Not far from my Jersey environs, in the great city of Nazareth, PA (yes, the same Nazareth where little baby Jesus was born), is the C.F. Martin Guitar Factory (see here if you want to visit it yourself). With its 1833 Shop where you can purchase Martin swag, the Martin Museum (see picture above), their “Pickin’ Parlor” where visitors can as much play a Martin, and the great 45-minute tour of the actual working factory floor, one can have a grand old time at Martin, and even, have one the big bucks, buy a guitar right from the factory.
With a guide hooked up with a wireless microphone and headset (it gets loud on the factory floor), one walks through with their own wireless headphones and is taken through each stage of guitar making. Being a guitar player myself and a Martin owner, in fact, I was pretty much amazed to learn exactly what goes into making these singular instruments. And even though lots of Martin went through the update of automation (robot guitar painters, laser cutters, etc.), there is still so much of this process that is down to the hands of the men and women working hard on their individual jobs down the line, each piece, but by bit, to create a Martin guitar.
Martin is backed up on orders, their instruments as popular as ever, assuring their history for pro players and amateurs both. This factory tour really was terrific and, again, convinced me that sometimes it pays to travel out of New Jersey.