I haven't gone anywhere. I've been looking at a lot of these discussions. Pretty interesting some of them. Thanks for the welcome though.
It would be hard to pinpoint where Ragtime began because it was before the days of recording. Scot Joplin may have been the first to publish ragtime sheet music though.
The washboard sure was used by Snuffy Jenkins, so I can't see why they'd be that upset. If they're REALLY traditional they might object, but if it's an open jam they could have been more polite. The musical saw? Don't know about that. I'd be open to hear what it sounded like.
I've known leaders to insist that their band members play Gibson and Martin instruments though. To them "the look" is important. I can see their point although I wouldn't go that far. My guitar's a Gallagher, and it holds up to any D28.