If your dominatrix is on summer vacation, you still have time to book a flight to the Washboard Music Festival on June 15 in Logan, Ohio. There you can subject yourself to the sounds of the Ramblin’ Riversiders, Big Mama Sue, and the Jumbo Squirrel Nuts, among other “musicians.”
Why Logan? Glad you asked. Logan is home the Columbus Washboard Co., proud sponsor of the festival. And proud to be the last washboard manufacturer in America.
It’s not a big operation. The vintage brick factory employs just four people. Its best recent year was 2000, when it sold 70,000 washboards. That’s down from the all-time high of 1.3 million, in 1941.
But the company still makes a profit–enough to keep it going under the ownership of Bevan and Jacqui Barnett, who recruited some investors and bought it from the founding family in 1999. Bevan went back to pounding nails and Jacqui took over management of the factory.
A washboard will run you $16 for the pail-size model, $24 for the family size. People use them for a lot of things: interior decor, magazine racks, coffee tables, “musical instruments.” Some people even use them for washing. Like the Amish.
And soldiers. One day a couple years ago the Columbus Co. got an e-mail from an Army captain in Kuwait who said his troops could really use some washboards. Since then the Barnetts have shipped several thousand washboards to servicepeople abroad, packed in a kit with a washtub, clothesline, clothespins and a bar of lye soap. If you feel like contributing, you can send a kit for $25. Just go to the Columbus Co. website.
We might even send a couple ourselves. We’re happy to see washboards put to good use overseas, at a safe distance from Big Mama Sue.