The Prodigal Guitar

It’s been around for a very long time. It’s really more like a friend than a possession. It’s sort of weird how it came to be mine:

I was in a local music store about 20 years ago. One of the guitars hanging on the wall caught my eye right away; a small-bodied arch-top acoustic from Takamine. I took it down and played it. It was pretty much love at first chord. But the price was another thing – $1200. It was at a time when that seemed like a ridiculous amount to spend on a guitar. Plus, I already had an acoustic guitar. I reluctantly put it back on the wall.

I’m not sure exactly how much later, perhaps a year, I came into the store to find that wonderful instrument hanging on the wall – with a “used” sticker and an $800 price tag. I (again) took it down from the wall, played it, and found my initial impression hadn’t been just the fleeting guitar junkie’s infatuation. But, the price was still a roadblock. I was going through some lean times. Back on the wall it went.

You can probably guess that I saw that guitar at least one more time – same store; same wall. This time, the price was $400. It was a little more “used” looking, but I didn’t need to play it to decide it was coming home with me. And so it did. It’s been a willing confidante, dance partner and much more for the better part of two decades. I own a couple of much more expensive acoustics, but this one is the one I always end up with when I’m serious.

There are two mysteries about this guitar: The first is how its basic goodness could have been overlooked by two prior owners. The second is a little more esoteric; it has no model number located where Takamine normally puts it. A search of as many resources as I could find fails to yield any information, other than the date of manufacture (1983). I suppose that just adds to the delicious mystery of just how she and I got together.

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