Thank you, Jerry Fretwell

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wineaux
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Thank you, Jerry Fretwell

Post by wineaux » Sat May 06, 2017 10:37 am

Jerry Fretwell, a friend of this forum and a participant in past workshops, has retired after a long career as the proprietor of Fretwell Bass Shop in Staunton, Va. The shop has been sold to employees and will continue to operate.

I'll miss Jerry's advice, his great prices and his first-rate setups. But I'm glad he'll get a chance to play more music and enjoy a life off the clock.

Thanks, Jerry!
'47 Kay S-9
1960s carved German factory bass
1860s German flatback
Paul Beard bass Dobro
Kala U-bass

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JohnBP
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Re: Thank you, Jerry Fretwell

Post by JohnBP » Sun May 07, 2017 1:24 pm

In a way, I'm sorry to hear that. Glad for Jerry but, like you, will miss being able to call and get good advice. Sure hope to run into he and Mary Jane somewhere down the road. Happy retirement Jerry!
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flip18436572
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Re: Thank you, Jerry Fretwell

Post by flip18436572 » Mon May 08, 2017 9:55 am

best of luck to Jerry and hope the staff continue to run a great business and people keep coming back to support them. Many times people quit coming because of the one person.

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Dinsdale
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Re: Thank you, Jerry Fretwell

Post by Dinsdale » Mon May 08, 2017 3:16 pm

Really enjoyed the long day I spent in his shop some years back.

Just checked out their site - have they always carried Shens?

RicInRichmond
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Re: Thank you, Jerry Fretwell

Post by RicInRichmond » Tue May 16, 2017 7:12 am

Since I am new to upright bass I really have only dealt with the new owners.

He is a great luthier and I think the shop is in great hands.

Thanks for all Jerry built. Long Live Fretwells!

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cathead77
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Re: Thank you, Jerry Fretwell

Post by cathead77 » Tue May 30, 2017 3:38 am

I bought my Engelhardt from Jerry.

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Kojack
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Re: Thank you, Jerry Fretwell

Post by Kojack » Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:26 am

Thanks for the heads-up, Wineaux.
When I lived in Virginia, I'd take the 3-hour drive to Fretwell's ostensibly to buy Innovation strings. In fact I was there to drool on the amazing collection of basses they had available there. I enjoyed visiting with Jerry and his wife, Mary Jane. Great folks.
Cheers,
Chuck

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Dinsdale
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Re: Thank you, Jerry Fretwell

Post by Dinsdale » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:27 pm

Kojack wrote: In fact I was there to drool on the amazing collection of basses they had available there.
I'm almost pissed at the guy!

Like I said before, I spent a few hours in his shop several years ago. I was in DC for extended training, and one weekend I rented a car and drove out. At the time I was new to the upright - really didn't know anything about them, or even much how to play it. Jerry just turned me loose to do whatever I wanted with all those beautiful basses. At one point he said I was plucking the string like a bass guitarist, and needed to use the side of my finger to get a good "THUMP!" That stupid little comment is a good deal of the reason why I have (IMO) such a decent tone now, and coered for various other deficiencies in my playing.

He also turned me on to buying my Englehardt from the factory 10 miles from my home, instead of having one shipped from his shop. Not exactly what you'd call a hard sell...

So what I'm pissed about is that he spoiled me, early on, before I realized what I was experiencing. I figured EVERY shop would have a collection of wonderfully set up basses, with a knowledgeable and kind staff. What followed have been many years of frustration, going to shops to try basses that were essentially unplayable, staffed by folk who knew nothing about their products... :roll:

I had always had it on my list to drive out for the local BG fest, and stop by his shop. (One thing that stopped me was that the fest does not allow dogs, and I prefer to travel w/ my pooch when I can.) I guess I can still make the trip - just will be making the acquaintance of the new owners!

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Re: Thank you, Jerry Fretwell

Post by Bassectomy » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:15 pm

Sorry to hear that Jerry hung it up but happy for him, as I know how much I'm enjoying my retirement. Only problem is, I was hoping he might be interested in purchasing a few of my 9 upright basses, whenever I get around to advertising them. After I sold my house and downsized to the apartment I'd rented for several years because I didn't like the long drive to work from my house, I ended up having to pay for 4 storage units, one a climate controlled unit for my numerous guitars and to provide space for my basses. I decided to take the rental costs for the apartment and the storage units and I went and bought a nice, solid old ranch style house and I now have a great retirement home with a great room for a mancave/ music room and I'm extremely happy with it, although I've been working so much around the house that I haven't had (or haven't taken) the time to put my instruments up for sale. Oh well, I'll eventually get to it. Anyway, I digress; this is about Jerry. I've had the pleasure of both meeting with and doing business with Jerry and he's a great guy and I wish him nothing but the best in his retirement. He was always a great supporter of our previous bass forum, as well, especially when we had the bluegrass bass instructional workshops. I still use his "wife saver" bass buggy that he gave as one of numerous door prizes he donated for our workshops.

I agree, long live Jerry Fretwell and Fretwell Bass.
"I'd rather have a bottle in fronta me than a frontal lobotomy"...Grandad Baker-circa 1967

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