Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Greatest Christmas Present Ever

What a dizzy person looks like who sleeps poorly
This photo shows me with my Alvarez acoustic guitar, which my parents gave to me as a Christmas present in 1975; thus I have had it for nearly 36 years.  My mother bought it for $120 (along with a second Alvarez for my sister) at a small music store on Eubank Blvd., north of Constitution Ave., called "Mr. Music," which went out of business shortly thereafter.  

I haven't played the Alvarez much in recent years due to my fascination with the electric guitar -- which resulted primarily from the fact that extremely versatile, relatively inexpensive guitar amplifiers (like my Line 6 "Spider" amplifiers) are on the market now.  However, last week I put a new set of strings on it and sort of "re-discovered" it, finger-picking old tunes like Roberto Carlos's "La paz de tu sonrisa," Christopher Cross's "Think of Laura," Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide," and Bread's "Diary."  At times I've considered buying a new, more-expensive acoustic guitar, but there simply is no need; the Alvarez has taken a beating through the years (including the extremely poor job I did years ago of replacing the tuners), but it still plays and sounds nice.  It was an "entry level" guitar -- note the adjustable bridge -- but it was always much, much more.

When I think about how long I've had the Alvarez, it occurs to me that it is the greatest Christmas present I've ever received.  How many people ever receive a gift that still brings them joy, and has practical utility, three or four decades after the fact?  I bless my mother for her kindness and generosity in buying it for me.