The Trentonian's Strange But True Page

Monday, November 26, 2007

Forget bullet proof vests - the troops need harmonicas!

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The sons of a late harmonica player want to pass along hundreds of his signature, pocket-size instruments to troops overseas.
Herb Shriner's 53-year-old twin sons, actors Wil and Kin, found about 400 vintage harmonicas in their father's warehouse near Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. They considered donating the instruments to schools or to youth groups, but now want to send them to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"It beats sending them tubas," Wil Shriner said. "They're pretty easy to pick up and play."
Herb Shriner and his wife died in a car crash in 1970. Shriner hosted a radio show, TV variety show and a game show.
The harmonicas were made by the Hohner Co. in Germany in 1949. Made of wood and brass, the blues harps are about 5 inches long and feature Herb Shriner's nickname, "Hoosier Boy."
"It's a gift to maybe lighten up a tough day. It just slips into the pocket," said Wil Shriner's wife, Rebecca Baughman.


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