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Cathy Currier, 60, grew up in her family's music store in Richmond. "I wasn't a normal kid. I wanted to take everything apart to understand its inner workings," says Cathy. Her curiosity led Cathy to learn more and more about complicated instrument repairs. Now Cathy manages Currier's Music World and made Currier's one of only five C.F. Martin and Co.-authorized guitar-repair centers in Kentucky. Here, Cathy checks the neck of a guitar awaiting repair.

Unending melodies

story by Sarah Shaw

When Cathy Currier was 12 years old, she hurried to her parents’ music store every day after school, armed with a Coke and a candy bar. Now, almost 48 years later, Cathy still hurries around the business in its current location at 136 West Main St. in Richmond.

While dashing from a guitar repair to the register, Cathy remarks, “It never ends.”

Angela and Clifford Currier opened Currier’s Music World in 1967 in Richmond after being frustrated by having to travel to Lexington to buy musical instruments for their three children. Spending afternoons with her father in the shop, Cathy became fascinated with how instruments were put together and made.

“I’m just one of those people who has always liked to fixed things.”

After graduating high school, Cathy’s fascination with fixing things led her to Western Iowa Tech where she studied band instrument repair. “You should never stop learning,” she says. Not being satisfied with just knowing band instruments, Cathy convinced Taylor Guitars to accept her as its first intern. She spent a year in California learning the ins and outs of how high-end guitars are made.

She returned home to her family roots and now manages Currier’s Music World for her aging parents and handles all instrument repairs.

In the shop, Cathy works alongside Mary Lue Roberts, a musician who left Ohio to return to Richmond to care for her mother. “The music I left behind comes to me sometimes,” said Mary Lue. Music and laughter can be found in abundance at Currier’s. Musicians regularly come in and stay for an hour trying out a new guitar before buying. Those musicians quickly become friends and family to the fiery, Italian Cathy. When she laughs, her laughter can be heard from across the room.

The shop may still be owned by Angela and Clifford, but it’s Cathy’s place. Her passion for music and people make Currier’s Music World the place it is.

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Cathy (center) laughs with (from left) her boyfriend, John Hamlett , coworker Erik Davig and musican Craig Langford. Craig is traveling to Nashville from Dallas and stopped in Richmond to visit with his old friend Cathy.

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Cathy files a bone to be used in a ukulele repair. She is an expert in all kinds of instrument repairs, from simple to very complicated.

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Cathy instructs Makenzi Carpenter, 11, (center) how to properly take care of her saxophone, while Makenzi's mother, Erica White, (left) and cousin, Honey Ray Abrams, 9, listen.

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Cathy dances with her old friend Bill Roberts while her 9-year-old boxer, Haley, jealously tries to interrupt. Several musicans often gather in the store. This day they gave an impromptu concert.

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Cathy listens while Danny Markovitch plays the crooked soprano saxaphone during an impromptu jam session in the store. Danny, a musician orginally from Israel, is traveling throughout Kentucky with his band, Marbin. They stopped in the shop to look at instruments and ended up staying nearly two hours to play with local musicans.

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Cathy fits a new bone for an old, damaged guitar. Cathy carefully sanded the bone in order to get a perfect fit. Guitar strings rest on the bone, so it must be fitted properly.

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Cathy cuddles Haley while taking a short break during a hectic day. "Life is too short to be a workaholic," says Cathy. She tries to take at least a short rest every day.

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"It never stops," says Cathy, while yawning at the end of another long day, "but I can't image doing anything else with my life."