You can't help but get a tear in your eye when you look at the remodeling of the old Roper Music building on 5th Street in Grand Junction. Chances are you bought your first or your child's first instrument there. Here's a look back at some of the pieces I purchased out of this building over the last four decades.

Roper Music vacated the building at 5th and Rood earlier this year, relocating to North Avenue just West of Colorado Mesa University.

Roper's has always been known as Western Colorado's premier establishment for band and orchestra instrument sales, rental, and service. I first set foot in this building somewhere around 1979 to buy my first instrument.

To be more accurate, I should say my parents went to Roper's to buy my first instrument. I wanted to play viola, but there wasn't a viola to be found for sale or rental anywhere in the valley. Given that situation, it seemed violin would be the next logical step.

Behold my first instrument... a 1979(ish) student model replica of a Stradivarius. How much? This particular instrument was financed to the tune of $15 a month.

As time went by, my musical direction changed; guitars and basses were the next items on my agenda. The semi-hollow body guitar, a Yamaha SA800, was a remarkable axe, and they cut me a great deal. The black bass, captured here in a scan from a blurry photo print from the late 1980s, was an entry-level instrument, but it performed its job well.

Not pictured are:

  • the baton I bought at Roper's. Yes, I used to conduct orchestras... try not to laugh.
  • The flute purchased about ten years ago. After decades of lugging big basses and amps around, it seemed a more "practical" instrument might be in order.

Not long ago, I saw a post on Roper's Facebook page claiming they have sold over 100,000 instruments during their 60-plus years in business. I apologize, but I can no longer find that exact post on their page.

How many instrument did you buy for yourself or for your children? Chances are you were in the old store a dozen times or more. Countless wonderful things came from this building. Take a look around your home and see how many fond memories came from this location.

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