Monday, January 28, 2013

In Memory Of A Bluesman

As I posted last month, I lost my brother, Jeff. His daughter, Jill, had him cremated and is going to keep his ashes at home. In September of 2010, I posted a story of how I had built a cigar box guitar for him. It did not play, but it taught me a few things. Last year, I built another one and it played very nicely. He had it with him, in his truck, the morning that Jill found him. When we cleaned out his house, we found 15 guitars, including several Dobros and some other, rather expensive, instruments. Yet, on the day that he died, he had a simple, homemade, guitar on the seat next to him. Jill decided that his ashes should go inside of the cigar box guitar, I have been given the privilege of designing and building something suitable to display it. After some thinking and some internet browsing, I decided to mount the guitar using a burl as the base. Not wanting to trust someone's idea of what I want, I decided to drive 180 miles to Borrego Springs to choose the right piece for my project. It was, especially bittersweet since we used to camp there, at Thanksgiving, with my cousin, who I also lost last year. After rummaging through a huge pile of manzanita burls, this one almost spoke to me. My initial plan was to face off an area below the guitar to inscribe his name and so forth, but I was afraid that there would be too many fissures and other divots to leave a nice large flat area, so I decided to mount the burl on a walnut base instead and have the base laser engraved. I think it is a nice tribute to a simple bluesman. Rest in peace, my Brother. I will miss you and cherish your memory for the rest of my life

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