When an instrument was assembled (back and sides glued), Denny would bring it with him into the house for the evening. He’d sit in his chair and gently tap the instrument all over the body and carefully listen to the tone of the wood and bracing. He’d tap all evening with a slight smile on his face, as if he were blessing his new creation as well as it’s new owner.

I recently found a piece of paper in his neatly hand printing (he didn’t write) which stated his philosophy of his career in building instruments. It read, “Bring together sticks and stones, wires and bones and shape them with your hands, mind and heart. Work them ‘til they are fitted and shined and stringed and tuned. When you hear the first breaths of sound, then and only then, is it magic.”

For those who have a “D W Stevens” instrument, always know that you have been, and will always be, blessed by this incredible master craftsman and human being who lived his life with high standards, morals and integrity. He believed That “life is not something to get but something to express“.

Toward the very end of his life here, I asked him what his philosophy of life was and he responded: “If you live by the Golden Rule, you don’t need another philosophy.”

Submitted by his wife, Karen, February 2011

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DW Stevens Guitars
Salem • Oregon

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