“You couldn’t not like someone who liked the guitar.” – Stephen King

It is the strange the way two worlds can intersect in a small but pleasant way. I had just such an experience the other day when I bought an acoustic/electric guitar for my sons from a musician whose world would likely never otherwise have intersected with mine.

On the surface we don’t appear to have much in common. He lives in a rural town and I live near the city. He drives a Chevy S10 pick-up truck with “God Bless America” and “Support our Troops” bumper stickers on the tailgate, and I drive a Honda Odyssey Minivan with a “Honk if you have Poor Impulse Control” bumper sticker (actually Pam wouldn’t let me put it on the van so it is on my ski helmet instead, but it is there in spirit). He is 70 and I aspire to be 70 some day.

But a few days ago we found some common ground when he sold me his Yamaha Compass Acoustic/Electric Guitar. I first saw his advertisement on Craigslist on Tuesday night, and knew that the guitar would sell quickly as it was a nice guitar that was reasonably priced. So I sent him a quick e-mail saying I would like to purchase his guitar for my two sons, and told him a little bit about their musical interests and activities. I got an e-mail back from him a short while later saying he had multiple inquiries/offers but that he would like to sell his guitar to me for my sons use and could I call him in the morning.

I called him and we had a nice talk about music and his professional playing days (a highlight of which was being the opening act for George Strait a number of years ago), and we arranged for me to come and pick up the guitar a short while later.  We also talked about Jake & Tucker’s band and the style of music they played.

I was really enjoying talking with him, and was grateful that he picked us to sell his guitar to, so I wrote him a brief thank you note and brought a copy of my kids recent CD with me. When I got there he took me into his music room to play a bit on the instrument to show me that it was in working order, and he also showed me a few of his many other guitars. He told me he would keep my e-mail address and let me know if he has any other guitars for sale in the future. I think he has a sneaky suspicion that this won’t be the last guitar my boys purchase and he is probably right.

He sent me a nice e-mail after I got back home saying that he enjoyed our meeting and that he was happy to pass his guitar on to our two boys.

In some ways selling a guitar is like passing a baton on to others. Instruments are like that. There is a lot of life left in them after someone sets them down. That said this gentlemen wasn’t nearly done playing, he was just thinning his herd of instruments a bit at the urging of his wife who was probably a bit jealous of all of his “other women (aka guitars)” who were vying for his attention. Either that or she just had other ideas for how to use the space.

We have exchanged a few e-mails since, and I think we are both the better for it. That’s it. Not a big story, but a nice reminder that you never know what is around the next corner. It just might make your day.

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2 Responses to “You couldn’t not like someone who liked the guitar.” – Stephen King

  1. Don Lasee says:

    I must tell you! You HAVE the gift of writing! I totally enjoyed the way you told such a straight forward story with so much interest. Of course, this could partially be, because I was part of the story.
    I am looking forward to see your name on the cover of a novel. I will then say–I know this gentleman and feel proud!!!

  2. John Stampen says:

    Thanks Don,

    I greatly appreciate your kind words and will be sure to hand deliver the to be determined novel to you when (being optimistic here!) it is printed.