When I was 15, my folks bought me a guitar, despite my complete lack of musicality. I painted a sunshine smiley face and my name in bubble letters on the case. I spent many evenings in their living room with Craig and Kathy, and Jeff Jackson’s dad, Jim, playing Cat Stevens, Carole King, James Taylor and Simon and Garfunkel. I wasn’t very good, but we did it anyway. I was/am tone deaf, which I covered up by singing really loud. I still have the songbooks packed away in a trunk. Just in case you want to hear me.
Jeff and I went away to school in Chico, and then I met Steve, who played my guitar in my dorm room. He was much better than I was, and it was the beginning of my lifelong swoon for him.
We got married, and I joined a very talented guitar-playing family. There were/are guitars at every gathering. Just not mine. Jeff and his dad left this earth. Craig still plays (I think). I don’t know what Kathy did with hers. So my guitar was put away. For thirty years. My girls weren’t interested, as they received my share of the non-musical gene pool. Kate did buy a guitar in Vancouver, which puzzled and delighted me.
The guitar moved to the garage. I fantasized about being Bonnie Raitt, but knew better. I love girl guitar players, and if I can’t be them, I will listen to them. All the time. Forever. ‘Cause I am one in my heart.
Last weekend Steve suggested my guitar could have a good home at the SPCA Thrift store, where a kid could purchase it for $10 and we could help the lost puppies. I agreed, but wanted to take pictures before we gave it away. We had a moment on the front lawn and I posted a pre-mourning note on Facebook. Lots of peeps hit their “like” button and left sweet and sympathetic notes.
I was sadder than I expected. I knew he was right, but I really didn’t want to see my guitar in front of the SPCA store, with the beat up luggage and rusted bird cages and stained baby car seats.
Then Nancy popped up on Facebook and asked if she could have it for her granddaughters. I knew Nancy from Freedom from Hunger, though she retired before I went to work there. Not to delve too much into her personal life, but Nancy is a survivor of Stage 3 Melanoma, and an inspiration to everyone she knows (oops, that was pretty personal, wasn’t it?). She’s also funny as heck. Her granddaughters live in Chico.
She came by the studio to pick it up today. Her husband, Vern, will teach them to play.
I hope they have the music gene. If not, I hope, like me, they don’t care and sing and play their hearts out anyway.
See, wasn’t that nice?