BY DR. STEPHEN STUEMPFLE, HISTORICAL MUSEUM OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA
In a field of sawgrass behind a warehouse complex on the edge of Miami's suburban Tamiami Airport, Michael Kernahan creates high-precision musical instruments, known as pans, from discarded oil and chemical barrels. He works in a small clearing under a tree that provides some limited shade. Assorted barrels are stacked around the space-some are full size, while others have been cut. A briefcase filled with metalworking tools rests on one barrel. From the edge of the clearing, a narrow path extends to another space, where pans are heated over a wood fire. In the distance is a third clearing, in which Kernahan's apprentice, Michael Phillip, sometimes works. This outdoor workshop is a peaceful place. Breezes blow across the acres of sawgrass, while occasional helicopters and small planes take off from the airport. The surrounding neighborhood consists of import/export, aviation and other businesses. It is a good location for metal artisans. No one complains about the constant banging of hammers against metal barrels. Moreover, discarded barrels can sometimes be found at shops in the district.
Good work Jami.
Cecil: Yuh is ah real TONG MAN!!! You grow up with Boogsie and Jami and all dem big contributors to the PAN. I read that article somewhere, sometime.
DR. STEPHEN STUEMPFLE -- Where is JJJ?
MICHEAL KEEP THE FLAG OF T&T AND THE STEELPAN FLYING HIGH IN FLORIDA USA AND BEYOND, I WILL DO THE SAME IN MONTREAL CANADA AND BEYOND WITH THE QUEBEC STEELPAN MUSIC ASSOCIATION!!! ................"SWEET ESSO TRIPOLI MEMORIES"!!! .......TAKE CARE CUZ.
Big-Up "Big-Mike" Kernahan-Congratulations on all your achievements in Life! More-so, on your amazing journey through your continuing "A Life in PAN" This article that I have just read is amazing, the article was well written and a detailed description on the making, tuning, arranging and playing of the "PAN" was very articulate, Dr. Stephen Stuempfle did a masterful piece of descriptive and creative writing on the coverage of "Big-Mike" Kernahan's "A Life in Pan" and I say a special thank-you "Doc" for enlightening us on one of the most deserving contributors to our T&T Heritage and Unique Culture..As we continue to Boast to the World..."Pan Is Wee Ting!" Thanks again "Big-Mike" and keep on doing what You Do Best for many more years to come! You will be hearing much more from me, via "PANOLOGY" with Paintings & Poems!