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ITEM: Its not often the term ‘end of an era’ can be used. In this case it’s a perfect Fort Schuylerville Music on East Tremont Avenue is closing its doors after 39 years!

If you’re a musician in the Throggs Neck/Pelham Bay area, than most likely you have bought a string, pick, guitar strap, keyboard stand, drum stick, song book, tuner, microphone stand or any number of musical items stocked top to bottom at the store owned and operated by Joe Cuscianna aka “Joe Schuylervi­lle.”

Maybe you took guitar, piano or drum lessons at one time? (I did.) Maybe you went in with a broken piece on your electric guitar and Joe did his thing to get it working again?

Maybe you were happily surprised when he only charged you 5 bucks for the work? Maybe you walked out glad that you didn’t have to trudge your axe down to Manhattan to get impersonal service and a scorched earth bill? There was even a time way back in the day when you could buy LPs there. I have foggy memories of seeing Led Zeppelin’s last on the shelves next to a Cheech and Chong Album!

Joe has decided to retire after 39 years and the store is having a major final sale.

Everything must go including a ton of great memories. Schuylerville music became a hang out, a networking place for local musicians before there was such a word.

I asked Joe what his fondest memories are and he just quietly shook his head and said “There’s just too many to choose from.”

The last day will be Thursday December 31st 2009. At that point Joe will concentrate on his busy live performance schedule. (He is a multi instrumentalist but very popular for his accordion playing). What will 2010 be like without Schuylerville on East Tremont?

As far as anyone knows there are no plans for a music store to open in its place.

I’ve heard that the music lessons will continue in a nearby location. Since the music teachers are all friends and they work independently of the store they’ll be setting up shop somewhere in Throggs Neck.

This column will keep you updated when that happens. In the meantime I will head on over to visit Joe and hang out at Schuylerville Music one last time.

End of an era indeed.

Rock on. Rock out.

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CNG: Community Newspaper Group