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Diane's Blog

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Ninth Anniversary




His house was hidden from the street. I drove past and into the apartment complex where my GPS seemed to be pointing me. My young guitar tutor of six years moved here in East Asheville last year. When I started fingerstyle lessons with him, he was a college sophomore. Jonathan was already a gifted musician and teacher, and our age difference led our conversations into delightful side trips about the sixties and seventies.

He graduated and remained in Delaware for a few years to sort out his goals. Meanwhile he coaxed me through the basics of classical guitar. We were nearing the finish line of Pachibel’s Canon when the pandemic struck. During those alarming early weeks, he made my grocery runs. He needed income; I needed to avoid crowds.

Eventually he decided to move to Asheville. He loaded his Ford Focus with all his worldly possessions and came to say goodbye. When I met him at the door, he had a gig bag on his shoulder. He handed it to me.

“What’s this?” I asked.

“I want you to have it. It’s my first guitar”

I opened the bag. Inside was a Squier Strat, plastered with stickers, a popped string dangling free. “Jon, you shouldn’t. You should keep this to embarrass your kids one day.”

“There’s no room in the car with my other three.” I could only shake my head, as a plan took shape.

The apartment complex was clearly a detour, so I stopped and called him. He came out to the street and led me to his driveway. “How was your guitar camp?” he asked.

“Amazing, as usual. I’m saturated with guitar. Ready for lunch?”

“Sure, I know a good place.”

“Oh, before I forget, I have something for you.” I reached in the car. “It’s the latest from Joe Robinson.” I gave him the CD.

“Oh, wow, thanks.”

He showed me around the house he shares with a roommate, as I flashed back to my first apartment and setting out on my own. I recalled the excitement of my mid-twenties and the anxieties of what might lie ahead. We drove into town for sandwiches al fresco at a cafe. He had to be at work that afternoon, so there was no time to play guitar. Back at the house we said goodbye.

“Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. There’s one more thing.” I reached in the back seat, took out the gig bag and gave it to him. “I think this is yours. Have a look.” His eyes widened. “I took it to my guy, Chuck. He replaced the broken tuner. The jack was bad, so he did that too. I tried it. Sounds like new. He cleaned off the old glue. But we thought we should leave the stickers. All the better to show your kids.”

His expression told me that he couldn’t quite imagine the scene, but I could. This progression was meant to resolve.

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