Updated: Dec 23, 2021
Well, there it is: the Pluck e-Book is now live on Amazon. Print book coming very soon. It's a very strange feeling to see it on the website. Good, but strange--a journey that felt very private to me is now very public.
I began with two simple questions two years ago: Who was David Schnaufer, and what made him tick? Over the last two years, the project grew much grander and more meaningful than just one person's life. His is an extraordinary story, no doubt. However, thanks to the many, many generous souls who contributed in ways large and small to the research, I'm left with a sense of wonder about fate, connections across time and space, how we become who we are, how we are the beneficiaries of endless people who came before us, and how the work we do and the choices we make today could benefit people we will never know in the future.
I never anticipated that writing about another's life would help me think about the choices I make. I see David as a worthy role model, the kind of person we desperately need now in these trying times. Not perfect, certainly, as in none of us are, but a role model nevertheless. He has inspired me in so many ways, some of them with respect to music and others with respect to just being. I'm beyond sorrowful he passed away.
The good news that we rarely see in the media these days: there are many, many worthy role models still here, artists, artisans and musicians who are still making the world a better place for all of us, often at great personal sacrifice and in their own quiet way. I think often of David's brother, who dedicated his entire life to being of service to his church and community to make the world a better place. I treasure the time David's family and many friends granted me time and again.
In the end, I learned a great deal about a great many things, and I've had the privilege to have multiple conversations with some of the most interesting people whom you would ever want to meet: those who appear in Pluck. If you choose to read the book, I hope you enjoy it. (I must warn you: it's 673 pp. long! A significant chunk of that includes pages and pages of source citations at the end, but, even so, it has padding for those unfamiliar with either David or the dulcimer: some historical context and dulcimer information for those new to the instrument.)