• Father, son travel around the US repairing handbells

    QUINCY, Ill. (AP) - A father and son from Texas who travel around the United States repairing handbells recently went to Illinois with their mobile shop.

    Mark and Aaron Bond take four trips annually with their shop, The Bellman, which takes them to 46 states, the Herald-Whig reported. Their most recent trip took them to New Hampshire, Connecticut, upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. The shop services all brands of American and European handbells.

    The father and son arrived in Quincy, Illinois, on Nov. 14 and worked on five octaves of Schulmerich handbells at Salem Evangelical United Church of Christ.

    "The first thing we do is disassemble the bells. We inspect all of the components on the interior of the bells, repair or replace parts as necessary," Mark Bond said. "Depending on the brand, there's 25 to 30 separate components in every bell, many of which are friction-bearing parts which are subject to wear and tear each time the bell rings."

    Salem bell choir director Jeannie Kanauss said the Bonds' work improves the look of the bells, and also their sound quality.

    "It gets rid of a lot of squeaks, squawks and just wear and tear from over the years because bells have a lot of moving parts in them that need to be updated, replaced and just taken care of," Kanauss said.

    Mark Bond started repairing instruments while teaching junior high band in Michigan. He left teaching to work in Texas in sales, then a new job opportunity in sales put him to work for a handbell manufacturer. He began his own handbell business after recognizing the demand.

    His son, Aaron, who had a corporate career, recently joined his father to work full time for the family business.


    Information from: The Quincy Herald-Whig, http://www.whig.com

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