I had so much fun doing this the first time I am doing it again.
This is my Grampop, his Gibson guitar, and me. He was a musician and an artist disguised as a machinist. In his younger days he had fronted a couple of different bands. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents and he spent a lot of time singing to me. 'You Are My Sunshine' was one I remember being sung almost every time. Other times he'd make up some silly little ditty right on the spot and maybe I'd do some crazy dance to go with it. It always put the biggest smile on my face and we always wound up laughing.
He had quite a collection of guitars, all Gibson. He would not consider any other maker. He had this hollow body electric, a double neck slide guitar, a dobro. I don't even know what others he had. My grandmother sold most of them when he died, but this one got stashed away because my uncle had learned to play on it and demanded it be kept. Around the time Grampop died, Dan Fogelberg came out with 'Leader of the Band.' I cried like a baby the first time I heard that song.
The leader of the band is tired
and his eyes are growing old.
but his blood runs through my instrument
and his song is in my soul.
My life has been a poor attempt
to imitate the man.
I'm just a living legacy
of the leader fo the band.
When Nana died my uncle didn't really have any interest in the guitar anymore and it passed to me. I had always wanted to learn to play. I took lessons for a year until my teacher moved away. I feel close to my grandfather when I make my feeble attempts at music but here I am practicing shortly after I started lessons. I don't cry anymore when I hear "Leader of the Band' but I smile instead thinking back over so many happy memories.