Did God Whisper "Willie"?
We remember the years past for various reasons; some good, some bad. For example, in the year 2000 I went through a divorce, lost a job and buried my father. But in the year 2017 I met and married the love of my life! 2019 provided me one of the most radical changes of all my days on this Earth. Now, it may not seem like much to you, but to me it is life changing. I bought a guitar.
All my life I have envied the guy who could pick up a guitar and play. Not so much the rock stars with their fame and fortune; I was more in awe of the guy at the campfire that strummed little tunes while folks talked and laughed. I remember youth camp in the snow-covered Rockies, where we sat in a circle while one of the locals played the Beetles song, Rocky Raccoon. I was so jealous.
When I was in my 20s, I came into possession of a guitar. A friend at church tried to teach me how to play, but with one 30-minute session once a week, frustration led to despair as I determined I just “didn’t have it”. And 40 years passed.
So how did this life-changing event come to be? Here’s the funny part of the story. My company holds a costume contest every Halloween, and I join in the competition. Around mid-September I started thinking about what to “be” and Willie Nelson came to mind. I don’t know why, but I have my suspicions. The costume was easy. Just buy a red bandana and make a couple of braids out of a wig I had around from previous years. The whole thing cost a buck. But as you probably realize, the props make the costume. A Roman soldier needs his sword, a gangster must tote a plastic tommy-gun, and I needed a guitar.
I came across what turned out to be a really sweet classical in a nice hard case for 30 bucks and won 2nd place in the contest. But the guitar was missing a string, so I got it restrung and that’s when I learned my first chord, and my first song. That’s also when I learned enough to know my left-handedness would be an issue. So, I gave that guitar to a friend and bought a “lefty”!
Six weeks later I had 8 chords mastered (well, learned anyway), and a couple dozen songs I could strum out. This may be as good as I get. If so, that’s great. I’ll forgive myself for those 40 wasted years and strum out the rest of my days in bliss.
But frankly, I’m a pretty quick study. Who knows, this time next year I might be touring with Waylon and Willie!