Thursday, January 29, 2009

Vintage Music

Allow me to introduce you to my guitar.



It is approximately 36 years old.

Now here is the story:

When I was 9 we moved from Massachusetts to Missouri. The move was tough on all of us, and only became worse when I was placed in a classroom with a teacher who had no business teaching. She was a screamer, an insulter, a threatener, and to add to that, I now understand that she was dying. It was absolutely the worst year of school for me.

That year guitar lessons were being offered after school, and my parents signed me up. I was given the use of my aunt's guitar and that was a problem for me. The guitar was OLD. It didn't look like anyone else's in the class and I was completely embarrassed. My wonderful parents eventually saved and bought me a brand new guitar that I loved. It was beautiful. It smelled wonderful and I spent hours holding it.

But the guitar was just a little too big for me, my fine motor skills were a little too weak, and the lessons weren't taught by the most effective guitar teacher. I made very little playing progress and I was relieved when the lessons ended and the guitar was put away for good.

But I never sold that guitar and it moved with me to Kentucky and around and about until it came to live in my current house.

A couple of weeks ago, in a rare cleaning frenzy, I pulled the guitar out, determined to donate it to the Salvation Army. But I was overcome by guilt. I thought of that horrible year and how the teacher had proclaimed me a frustration, an embarrassment, and a failure. I thought of my parents working hard as a teacher and a pastor to save their small pay to buy a guitar I wouldn't be ashamed of. I thought of all I've managed to accomplish with the Lord's grace.

And I picked up a chord chart. I picked up that guitar. I tuned it. And I began to play.

Joe Satriani I'm not, but I do know a handful of songs now and there's no more looking back.

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for my guitar!

21 comments:

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

What a great post! I have some things that I have held onto for years too. Because..you just never know!

God is good!

Jan said...

Wonderful post!

Love your new look.

Smilingsal said...

As a retired teacher, I hate to hear about those who have no business in the classroom. The students suffer so much. Then your guitar teacher wasn't great! I hope you had at least one wonderful educator, and I'm glad you've picked up that guitar. Thanks for sharing. Happy VTT Day.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

here ya go!

http://aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf

Mental P Mama said...

That is a sweet post. And I am glad for your sense of heritage. Such sweet parents you had.

My Metabolic Rate is Stuck said...

I envy you that you can play...I always wanted to.
Those are special memories...kinda sad, yet very special now! They have made you who you are today...A SPECIAL PERSON!

Susan said...

What a touching story and isn't it great the lessons we learn (and not just the music ones). Thanks for sharing.

Coloradolady said...

Very touching story, I had a teacher like that in the 3rd grade. I could not stand her, and when I complained at home, my mom did not believe what I was saying.....it was the worse year ever. Love your guitar.

Kelly said...

You have touched me. Thank you. As a teacher, I always worry that I might utter a word, a phrase, an idea that will harm a student. In fact, I took a break from grading this afternoon to blog because there is a student I am worried about and can't get off me mind. I hope this is a sign of good teaching. Keep learning and keep making music. ~Kelly

unDeniably Domestic

Miri said...

You go girl! That's a wonderful story and the ending is the best.

Sandra said...

What a wonderful post.

I love it that you've taken up your guitar again. It reminds me of a quote I like:

Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something. Kurt Vonnegut

SueLovesCherries said...

Sweet story! Of course you realize that you are now accountable for progress reports to all of us in BlogLand!

Living on the Spit said...

Your post made me cry...that was the sweetest memory ever! I just love you so much!

Marlene

Jenners said...

That was a sweet story! Talk about a belated thank you though! But better late than never! :)

I was just stopping by to say thank you for visiting my blog yesterday via BATW!

Dawn said...

I love that story!

pam said...

You are freaking me out. When exactly did you pick up the guitar? Ya know how our lives have been sort of paralleling lately? Well... let's just say I am sporting a few blistered finger tips. Weird. Cool, but weird.

foxxy said...

I enjoyed your story. What a sad ending for your teacher. I think the guitar is doing the teaching.

marian said...

What a lovely story..so glad you kept your guitar and it's never too late to take lessons :)

Mrs4444 said...

Sweetest post ever. Really uplifting. Nice.

Teeny Tiny cabin said...

Enjoyed your post very much. I used to play the guitar when I was a teen too! I've been thinking about taking up where I left off--you have inspired me! Good for you--keep at it! Wonderful that you still have your guitar!
Have a wonderful weekend--and Blessings to You!
Claudia O.

Jeannelle said...

Quite a moving memory you have here, and wonderful that you are plunking the strings again. That's very impressive to one like me who knows absolutely nothing about guitars and stands in awe of those who can play. Good for you.....keep it up!