Wednesday, April 11, 2012

12 String

It’s time again for a post and I have several topics on my mind. So, I’m not really sure where this one will go. But I will start with this: When I was a child my father had a 12-string guitar. Over time, the neck pulled away from the block because of design flaw, although we blamed it on storage at the time. Over the years, the guitar was brought to a few shops to fix. Each saying it would take more to fix than it was worth and there was no guarantee of the sound, and each doing more damage in their examination.

Eventually it was a collection of parts. And, for the last 25 years it has lain in a closet in that condition. Yesterday, I was in a blue mood. So, I knocked off work early. I gathered the pieces and a donor guitar - another dead12 string - and I began to reassemble it. I carved a new bridge, rebored the neck, added new pegs added an acoustic pick-up and equalizer, etc. I have some work still to do. But after 25 years – it is finally a guitar again.

This has me thinking about the people I have known and how differently they react to this sort of thing. For example, I had some guests over awhile back and one of them saw this beautiful antique brass swing arm lamp. She fawned over it. Asked me where I got it, even speculated on the cost. But, when I said, I found it in the alley and restored it, without missing a beat she said wrinkled her nose and said something like “well, maybe your business will pick up and you’ll be able to afford nicer things.”

On the flip side, I’ve also been accused of being overly wasteful because I bought a new flat screen when I had working TVs. (And even once for throwing out a molded peach rather than cutting out the bad part!)

Some people think I just like to tinker and fix things. But the sink in my kitchen - which I will repair or replace as soon as I get the parts - would suggest otherwise. And most recently, I was told how cool I was for being ecological and rehabilitating of old broken things.

But, the truth is I have nothing against buying new and have no grand motive for fixing old. It’s just something I do. Nice is nice even if it takes a little work. And as for the guitar, it’s sentimental. The sound may never be great, certainly not up to the sound of my Guild. But it was my father’s and working on it reminded me of him.


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