I have written over 4,000 poems and 1,000 songs and yet I am still searching for that perfect poem or song which eludes me.
Some of my many lucky finds.
Many precious historic items wind up in landfills weekly, that could fill your pockets with cash, If you pause & take a look for such marvelous finds
I grew up in a Veteran's Housing project that was fifty blocks long and sixteen houses wide. Poverty was kind of my middle name. I was the second oldest of five siblings with an often ailing Mother and a father who worked two to three jobs just to feed us. but I would not trade my upbringing for anything better. There were thirty kids per block and we never wanted for games to play or friends.
Even though I was always drawn to the houses outside the projects that were lovely, expensive dwellings but not because I wanted to live there. I found myself rising early on those houses trash collection days so that I could peruse all of the finery that they threw away. Some of my best toys and books and curiosities were what I discovered lying in seemingly endess, stainless steel containers curbside.
This sometimes stinky and sometimes rewarding habit of my childhood stayed with me even to this day.My wife groans whenever I slow down my car and gaze with affection at a huge heap of castoffs. but oh, the wonderful things I end up dragging home much to her dismay. She grew up well-to-do and she never had the need for salvaging other people's junk. Of course she loves garage sales which are just items that haven't been thrown away yet. I still don't understand the difference except that I have to pay for those not yet cast away Items.
But one of my most amazing, one of a kind, lucky finds occurred as we were driving by a garage sale that was about to close for the day. I parked my car quickly, hoping to curb my enthusiam with what I had spied sitting propped up under a tree by the street. I walked even faster to that precious discovery while my wife strolled casually behind me to buy some one dollar paperbacks, unopened plastic tablecloths and other less precious items to me.
I knelt down before this marvelous masterpiece for sale, like an altar boy praying that it was not yet sold. It was a beautiful guitar in perfect condition with no makers mark on it or in it. It was the color of soft vanilla, with two handcut F-holes, that's not a dirty word by the way, and an arch top and it had all six strings. I picked it up and strummed it and it was so perfectly in tune even in that hot sun. I played a few of my favorite chords while other shoppers glanced my way and smiled. I could not believe that such a quality guitar sat there like a discarded Christmas tree does in early January.
A lovely young girl who was part of the garge sale approached me and I asked her to tell me about that guitar.She then proceeded to explain to me it's amazing story. Her father had been a master German Guitar crafter who was extremely skilled in his workmanship. Then she told me that on a stormy day in 1949 the high winds that kicked up, knocked down seven trees in his backyard.
He being a lover of fine wood and a crafter of even finer instruments decided to make seven guitars out of each fallen tree. He skillfully over a period of time handcrafted seven guitar models that were the most popular in 1949. He created exact copies of a Gibson, a Martin, a Hoffner, an S.S. Stewart, a Gretsch, an Epiphome and A Kay Guitar. Six of them had been already sold much to my despair before i had arrived there. "BUT!!" The one I was cradling like a newborn son was his perfect copy of the Kay Guitar. He had kept them stored in a climate controlled room and each one was flawless after 70 years sitting covered on guitar stands.
Why he never sold them when he was alive is a mystery to me. But I was so much more then alive when I bought this one. The price was a ridiculous $!5.00 and my jaw hurt from trying to keep my mouth from dropping open. I handed her a ten and a five and I got Fort Knox in return. There is only one of this master crafted guitar in the whole world, and the sound that came out of it was so melodic as it echoed through the aged wood and flowed into my satisfied ears.
The Pegs for tuning have a unique feature, each peg makes a clicking noise when the string and the gears are at the spot where it is perfectly tuned. If I can figure out how he designed that tuning trick I could patent it and make a fortune.
But I am cointent to play it and enjoy its classic sounds that enhance my lyrics and vocals so well. It is like that old saying: "If a tree falls and there is no one around to hear it fall, does it make a noise? Well, this particular tree fell and became a Kay and the noise it makes is fabulous. A combination of God, mother nature and a master guitar maker has blessed me with a one of a kind,.lucky find which I will cherish and pass on to my son, who also plays. Not long after I too fall like a tree and go to meet my maker, hoping that he is as pleased with me as I was with what came from one of seven fallen trees.
So do not poo-poo garage sales, the family that sold me this guitar had no idea of how wonderful and valuable it is to me.There is a photo of it posted here in the photos above this article. Perhaps I will write a song about its story, and play it and record it on this my favorite guitar, and post it here at a later date. Thanks for reading this far which obviously means you either have an interest in trash collection days or music. Either way you are a lot like me and I wish you Godspeed on finding your perfect treasure sitting curbside at the whims of someone else grown weary of it. Happy Hunting.
© 2022 Matthew Frederick Blowers III