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My Big Red Couch

Saturday, January 07, 2006

4 Strings


4 Strings
Originally uploaded by Bearded Jon.

Some called him clumsy. Others inept. He was musically inclined and desperate to make music but no instrument ever took to him, not that he hadn't tried. He started, like many of us, with a recorder in 4th grade then progressed to last chair trumpet in the band. But he wanted to rock.

The guitar had too many strings and his hands just couldn't make sense of all the places his fingers needed to be. The bass had fewer strings yet remained illusive with his desire to strum to keep the rhythm going. Drums? He could have but he couldn't bring himself to buy a set.

He had resigned himself to appreciating and collecting music. He spent hours at the local CD store, keeping up with the new arrivals and pouring over the magazines as soon as they arrived in his mailbox. His collection of CDs and records was voluminous. He had become a dedicated audiophile.

On Saturdays he would pick a thrift store, rotating through a different one each Saturday of the month, cruising the vinyl bin for forgotten treasures.

What passed for listenable to some boggled his mind. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the Temple on the Mount. Seals & Croft. Boz Scaggs. Somewhere between Liberace and Debbie Boone something caught his eye.

A ukulele hung on a hook on the wall and swayed gently in the breeze from a section of used fans blowing fresh air in to keep the used clothing from making the room uninhabitable.

He walked over and pulled it down. He held it. He turned it over and over again. It looked ok although he didn't know what he was looking at. He tucked it between his belly and forearm and strummed.

"Twang!"

It sounded ok although he didn't really know what it was to sound like.

"I'll take it," he said to himself.

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