Folk Music Store Closing

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Peter Smakula's fingers glide across the strings of a banjo he built himself.

Peter Smakula: This is exactly the same banjo like what Doc Watson has.

The famous folk musician had Smakula make him an instrument, as have many other acoustic music enthusiasts from as far away as Europe and Asia. Trained as a physicist at Boston University, Peter Smakula was swept-up by the folk music boom of the late '50s and became a banjo picker. Displeased with the quality of the instruments he found on the market, Smakula learned to make them himself, and has been doing that since 1977.

Peter Smakula: I don't own this business - it owns me.

He admits that closing the store comes at a price.

Peter Smakula: Tearing 30 years out of your life isn't the easiest thing to do.

But, at 70, he's decided to simplify his remaining life. Peter Smakula's new home is out in rural Mantua - 45 minutes and a world away from the cramped confines of his little shop on Cornell Road. The doors to that shop close for the last time, this Saturday night at 6:00. David C. Barnett, 90.3.

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