A Perfectly Good Guitar

Occupy Calling

This was an interesting thing that happened today. I went downtown to check my mailbox at the Post Office. There before me was a pile of carnage that consisted of what remained of an old Ovation guitar. The sidewalk vendor selling jewelry who had witnessed the event filled me in on the details. Apparently the homeless guy who owned the guitar kept breaking strings. When you’re homeless and when your guitar is the only way you make a living, this becomes problematic.

Maybe this guy had reached the end of his rope. Maybe he was high. Maybe he was desperate. Maybe he was as frustrated as the rest of us at the state of the economy. But those of us in the middle class who are frustrated often have a fall-back position whereas I suspect he didn’t. At any rate, he smashed his guitar on the pavement. I realize rock stars do this all the time for theatrical effect. Pete Townshend of The Who started it all back in 1964 somewhat accidentally when he butted his guitar into the ceiling of the stage during a somewhat raucous performance. To juice the audience he continued to destroy the guitar.

I pulled the neck of the guitar out of the trash. It was in decent shape with pretty good tuners and a torsion bar. Becoming a luthier has always been on my list of things to do before I die so maybe I should salvage this guitar neck for a guitar project of my own. Maybe I should make a guitar and write a song about the plight of the ‘Less than %99’. Those people maligned so deeply as to compete for space in front of the Post Office for attention or money,  just to eat for another day. Those who have to live in indignity and just accept it. I’d be angry, too.

Don’t know who this guy is but tonight, he is without shelter and now he is without his guitar. He also appears to be without solutions. I can sympathize, though not at his level. The least I can do is try to make something of the remnants of his guitar and play it forward.


About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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