Free talk to focus on famed guitar company

On Thursday, April 5, 2018, area residents can get an insider view of one of America’s most renowned guitar companies, courtesy of the Hadley Fund.

Dick Boak is coming to Kennett Square.

Dick Boak, who retired recently from the C. F. Martin Guitar Company after more than 41 years, will discuss his background, which included stints as a bohemian illustrator, musician, luthier woodworker, dumpster-diving art teacher, historian, and archivist, according to a Hadley press release.

The presentation, which starts at 7 p.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m., will be held at Kennett Friends Meeting, 125 W. Sickle St., Kennett Square, Pa., 19348.

When he arrived at the Martin Guitar Company, Boak received encouragement from Chris Martin and his grandfather C. F. Martin III, to exercise creativity in his job duties. As a result, he transitioned from design draftsman to prototype maker to founder of the Company Store to heading up Martin’s Sawmill. He also ran the advertising department and published the company’s long-running Sounding Board magazine, the release said.

In the mid-1990s, Boak’s collaboration with Eric Clapton catalyzed Martin’s Artist Relations Department, yielding more than 100 significant Signature Model artist collaborations. After authoring five books and managing Martin’s Museum, Boak settled into the vast organization of the Martin Archives. With a vibrant visual presentation and his trademark humorous delivery, Boak will touch upon all of these fascinating life-transitions and more, the release said.

All Hadley Fund events are free and open to the public, but tickets are required. For more information, call 610-444-1855 or visit

The Hadley Memorial Fund was established by Charles C. Hadley in his 1916 will, and then augmented by his sister, Irene Hadley Baird, to honor their parents, Theodore D. and Elizabeth A. Hadley. In addition to providing free admission, the programs aim to further the civic betterment, social welfare and education of the people of Kennett Square and the surrounding area.

Under the terms of Hadley’s will, the Kennett Friends Meeting and the Philadelphia Ethical Society select the offerings, which have run the gamut from entertainment to politics. For the first program in 1962, Hal Holbrook presented “A Night with Mark Twain” at Kennett High School.

Hadley has also hosted performers such as Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn and speakers that have included the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Linus Pauling. Musical offerings have ranged from Marian Anderson to Andres Segovia, and among the politicians and authors who have taken the stage are Edmund Muskie, Shirley Chisholm, Norman Cousins, Art Buchwald and Ogden Nash.

More recently, Hadley seasons have included lectures by Jerrold Post on terrorism, Linda Ales on photography, Donald L. Bartlett and James B. Steele on health policies, Douglas Tallamy on gardens and insects, and Paul Waldau on law and animals. Musical programs have included Hanchien Lee, Melomanie, and A Capella Pops, and performances have showcased Mum Puppettheatre, the DK BMX Bike Stunt Show, and storyteller Willy Claflin.



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