About Us

Jim is from Des Plaines, Illinois and Joyce is from Virden, Illinois. Joyce is the sister of Jim's college roommate, Bill Knapp. We got married on August 24, 1974 at Topeekeegee Yugnee  Park in Hollywood, Florida.. Back then, Joyce worked as a maid and Jim as a maintenance worker at a mobile home park. We returned to Illinois where Joyce became a factory worker running a solder-wave machine and Jim became a Holiday Rambler RV salesman and manager. Jim began to work as a self-employed woodcrafter after the RV dealership went out of business. In 1979 he built his first hammered dulcimer. Jim learned many of his old time and Irish tunes from playing music with Bill Rintz and the Allen Street String Band of Springfield, Illinois. The string band played at Silver Dollar City's Music Festival for several years. Joyce began playing autoharp in 1983 as a way of participating in the music and continued working until the summer of 1985 when she finally quit her "real job" and joined the band full time.  After successfuly auditioning for the old King Richard's Faire in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as "Pick 'N Hammer", a duet with Diane Ippel, Jim became a part of the faire. Ray St. Louis and Rio Blue invited Jim into being a member of  "Sticks and Stones", a touring stilt dancing troupe performing mainly at renaissance festivals. The Gypsy Guerrilla Band evolved from that tour. With Joyce joining in 1985 the family was whole again.

Joyce and I think of our fans every time we take a soak in our Snorkel Hot Tub. Thank you!

We had a house built in 2002 in north central Florida with just the rough sub-floor, drywall, and utilities. Joyce and I painted the exterior, caulked, varnished the ceiling, and got the great wall painted. We've since finished the house including a tongue and groove pine flooring, painted, had cabinets installed, added furniture, and artwork. Yahoo!

This year we cleared the property of 2 oaks and red bays that are dying from laurel wilt caused by the invasive ambrosia beetle, Joyce hung all of Jim's Mom's plate collection and the job of organizing our collection is ongoing.

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