The World Accordion to Buchmeyer
Last year in the paper version of Unfair Park, we ran a piece about the nuttiest dispute--over the control of the local accordion market. No, seriously. Accordion teacher and performer Natasha Geddie accused Texas Accordion Association (and, later, National Accordion Association) founder Norman Seaton of essentially trying to monopolize the local squeezebox market; hell, far as I know that includes the members of Brave Combo, Little Jack Melody and some polka dudes from East Texas, but I could be off by a few. The upshot of our original piece was that Geddie said everybody thought she was nuts for pursuing a federal case against Seaton and a few other accordion folk; she's bipolar too, which didn't help her claim. Seaton didn't say much about the case, which was pending in U.S. District Court for the Northern District at the time, save to say Geddie is "very irritating."
And now she's no longer an issue: Last Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer tossed the whole case--and seemed none too happy about its existence in the first place. "Confusion and mayhem have plagued this case from its inception," he writes; you can almost hear the sneer in his prose. The judge recounts the whole sordid history of this case, which bounced around courtrooms for two years before landing in his in January, and includes Geddie's allegations that the NAA was involved in a massive "conspiracy" to control the sale and repair of accordions (which, ya know, violates the Sherman Antitrust Act). Geddie also contended that the Vikon Village flea market violated her First Amendment rights by kicking her off the property for protesting; turns out they gave her the boot because she didn't pay her rent on a space in the joint. So Buchmeyer dismissed the case, saying Geddie "has not come close" to proving her case. Meanwhile, I am going to corner the recorder and triangle market. Try to stop me. --Robert Wilonsky
Little Jack Melody and His Young Turks, "America" from West Side Story (from the 1994 album World of Fireworks)