Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What's That Racket in the Basement?

I have a new love in my life, in addition to my wonderful wife, Suzanne, a great family, and far more friends than I deserve, a new love that has captured a part of me that I never really knew I had. I have fallen for the guitar and specifically my 1996 Ovation Standard Balladeer. Turning 50 last year, I determined to stop putting off the things I have always wanted to do, and high on my own "bucket list" was to pick up the guitar once more. You see, some twenty-five years ago, I bought a starter guitar and took a few lessons here in Sedalia while I was living just down the road in Lincoln. But I never practiced or made any real effort, so after about six months my teacher began to feel guilty about taking my money and gave up on me. I don't blame him a bit, but I always planned to pick up the guitar again "someday."

So, last March I bought some "easy guitar" books of my favorite vintage singer/guitar players from the 70's and 80's, and went down to the basement to practice on our son's long forgotten, severely neglected guitar. It was love at first "twang." Then, in April I found my Ovation on ebay and brought it home. Sweet. I love it.

Well, after six months or so of practicing almost every night, I decided to risk it and bring my guitar upstairs and play a song for Suz and Rebecca, having previously only played for our cat who never sticks around for very long. It went like this.

"Hey, can I play you guys a song?"
"Really? You're going to play for us?"
"Yeah, if that's okay."
"Are you going to sing too, Dad?"
"Well, I thought I would. It's just an old Gordon Lightfoot love song."
"Okay, I guess so. Sure, go ahead."

So I began, not real smooth, plenty nervous, and I had to start over once. Then, as I began the second verse, Suz, who had been working on her laptop said, "Do you mind if I go ahead and print this report?" I said, "No, I don't mind. That's fine, and now I'm going back down in the basement for another six months."

She didn't mean to hurt my feelings, I know, and she's asked me to try again once or twice, but for me, I'm just fine with a one cat audience for now. I have no interest or ambition to play for people or for church or anywhere else. But after a long day, I must say a little guitar time in the basement is a wonderful way to unwind and de-stress.

And, in case you are wondering why my blogging has dropped off significantly in the past few months, blame it on my Balladeer. Hopefully, I can find time for a good bit of both.

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