An Old Love Returns

Back in the day, I played guitar. Somewhere in my teens, I had told my parents that I wanted a guitar and I ended up with a 12-string. Pretty darn fancy. I had it through college and, truth be told, it might be somewhere in the basement along with my baseball cards and stamp collection. But I haven’t really played anything since back in college, when I’d wander into the stairway of the dorms which added a reverb sound to every strum. I was never really any good and just learned enough chords and songs to make people think I knew how to play.

Fast-forward a few decades and my wife’s cousin and her husband came out for a vacation. Among the places they wanted to see: the Experience Music Project. I’ve been before, but to take it in with someone as passionate as my cousin-in-law Donnie, was a whole new experience. Each of the various guitars inspired a story from him—“I used to have that one” or “I remember borrowing one like that from..” and so on. It made me remember how important my guitar was to me all those years ago.

But the lesson I learned from the 12-string—it gives you twice as many strings to try to keep in tune. So I asked Donnie about a good, basic 6-string guitar. Without missing a beat, he told me about a Gibson that he bought at Best Buy. Really? The guy who has played ‘em all, who was once the guitarist for Chicago and who has several extremely valuable guitars in his collection: YOU bought one from Best Buy?

For $89. Including shipping.

My new guitar arrived the other day and my adventure begins. It’s one more thing that I’d like to get good at, to be able to add to my arsenal of abilities, so we’ll see how this goes. So far, all I’ve been able to find time for is to tune it and stumble around some of the songs I used to know—“It don’t come easy”, “Proud Mary”, “I’d love to change the world.” But for less than the price of admission to Disneyland, why the heck not?

Tim Hunter

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