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Mike Black, a Lawrence custom builder of mandolins, poses in his shop with an A-style mandolin similar to ones made by the famous Gibson mandolin builder Lloyd Loar. The staged photo is similar to one of famous Gibson mandolin maker Lloyd Loar taken between 1919-1924 in the R&D department at Gibson.

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Mandolin mecca: Tracing Lawrence's decades-long love affair with an old-fashioned instrument

Mike Black, 42, was in mid-twenties when he packed up and left his hometown of Salina to follow his then-girlfriend to Lawrence. The relationship didn’t last — they broke up shortly after the move, Black says — but his love affair with Lawrence and its music scene has held steady. By Joanna Hlavacek


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