Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Gibson Les Paul and Buddy Jewell

Click on the pictures to enlarge them

Have you ever taken a large family on an overnight trip and all stayed in one hotel room? It's not easy! Did you know that most hotels only allow four per room? Sometimes five. Never six. My husband does not lie when he makes the reservation, he simply tells them that we will be bringing sleeping bags.

So, Verne and I are in one bed, the girls share the other, and the boys are in sleeping bags on the floor. Let me tell you that we often wonder why we are paying so much money for what is guaranteed to be a lousy night's sleep. It's a three ring circus getting everyone in and settled. The night is always full of giggles, and fun, but not much sleep.

And have you ever noticed how hotel bathroom mirrors seem to stay foggy forever? Imagine after six showers in a row! Does anyone have any tips for me? I certainly am open to them. We don't want to get adjoining rooms.

Even with the fitful sleep in the hotel room, our trip was a huge success. I was in awe of the way my children showed love toward one another.

Verne's colleague picked him up at the hotel at 8:15. This left the children and I with the car. After everyone showered and ate, we headed out the door to the music store. It was just about a 20 minute drive, and Mac was fairly quiet as we travelled.I could tell that he was very nervous when we walked in the door. The store is also a warehouse that ships guitars, and so from the outside, it looked huge. When we entered the store, the showroom really didn't look very big. The guitars were beautiful though. Martin, Gretsch, Taylor, Gibson. They also had quite a few banjos, and mandolins, and a few violins. Mac looked a little disappointed. The guitar that he was after was nowhere in sight.

After just a few minutes, a man behind the counter asked if he could help us. When Mac told him that he was interested in the Gibson Classic Antique with the fireburst finish the man wanted to know how we had heard about them. Mac told him that he had been researching on the internet, and found this store. Mac had emailed them, and they had replied to him that they had the guitar that he was looking for.

The man smiled and said, "I'll let you talk to him." After Mac explained his story to the next guy, the man led us through the customer service into a back showroom. Mac thought that he died and went to guitar heaven.

There in a huge room of Les Pauls his eyes found the right guitar even before the man who worked there did. When the man handed the guitar to Mac, it was love. My eyes welled with tears as I saw my son finger the instrument that he had saved so long for.

For those of you who have any interest in guitars, Gibson is doing a Guitar of the Week this year. The guitar that Mac purchased was the Guitar of the Week for week 2. There were only 400 of them made! Most of them are already gone. Mac got the only one that he could find in the United States. There are still a few available in Great Britain.

To my surprise, and that of the salesman, Mac asked to play several other guitars. He wanted to compare the intonation and feel of the different instruments. No comparison.

I was so proud of Mac. He did all of the talking. And bargaining. He asked if they would give him a strap and strap locks. They agreed without blinking. He asked them to lower the action just a slight bit. Again, they agreed.

God is so good. The man who waited on us asked the children where they went to school. When they replied that they are homeschooled, he smiled big. His daughter is homeschooled as well. He talked the language and the curriculum, and I knew he was telling the truth. We were treated like royalty during our trip to this store.

While Mac played for awhile, I took pictures. Lots of them. They were so accommodating. They were bringing me $ 15, 000 banjos to photograph! They had a room with locked cases of guitars, banjos, etc. that are some of the rarest in the world. They led me in , asked if I wanted the lights dimmed, cases opened, etc. I told them that I would work with the current conditions, but thank you. (I didn't want to be responsible if the 80th edition BB King guitar with 24k gold fell over!)

The other children patiently listened to Mac play, and looked at the other instruments. When I suggested that we should go, and find something for the other children to do, they all said that they wanted Mac to take as much time as he wanted. They didn't mind. They were excited for him. After we got home, Autumn hung on his every note. She ooohed and aaaahed. I was very touched.

So, Mac bought his guitar. We told them that we would pick it up later in the afternoon, as we didn't want to leave it in the hot car while we shopped.

Verne ended up meeting us earlier than we thought and we did a little sightseeing. Being from a rural area, we enjoyed the city life for the afternoon. We visited the Hard Rock Cafe, and looked around. Outside the Cafe, they were setting up for a concert of some sort. As we were leaving, Autumn said, "Mom, I think that's Buddy Jewell!" (a country singer for those of you whom might not know) I looked, and he did look like Buddy Jewell, but I wasn't sure. Abigail said, "I'll go find out!" So, off she went to approach this man who by this time was climbing a small staircase to get to the stage. She yelled, "Hey, are you Buddy Jewell?" The man turned around and asked, "Who's asking?" I pointed to Abigail. He descended the stairs, extended his hand, and said, "Yes. I am. What's your name?" Well, the little girl who had been so brave just a minute before was suddenly star-struck!

Buddy was extremely friendly, and came around to meet the entire family, even letting us take pictures with him. I was very impressed by his gracious demeanor.

Yes, it was a wonderful day! Go here to read Mac's take on his new guitar.


Jennifer said...

Wow, what a wonderful day to remember! As you described Mac's experience with the guitars, I felt like I was right there. I'm sure all of you were so excited for him!

Penless Thoughts said...

Oh Tracy, this is the most wonderful story. How wonderful that you've captured it all here for us to delight in and share your joy with you. These are precious moments and life time memories that you are making :o) Tell your son one grandma in Oklahoma is proud of him just reading his story.

Trella said...

How exciting for your son. I am so glad that he got the guitar. I love all the pictures. You are a great mom and have a great son.

Patrick & Rachel said...

Wow, what an exciting day!!! I feel so excited too and I wasn't even there!!!

Becky said...

Wow! That is so cool. My 22 yr-old is a singer/songwriter/guitarist in north Florida. I KNOW he would love to go to that store, and to play Mac's guitar. What a great instrument.

That is neat you met a real live star too. What a great day! I am so glad for you guys.

Anonymous said...

I'm not the weepy type but gee wiz I have tears in my eyes reading this story. From the special time at that guitar shop, to Mac's siblings supporting him so lovingly, to time spent with family to meeting that country music singer. Goodness... beautiful story. beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I'm so glad Mac bought that guitar. How very special.

Momma Roar said...

I just loved your story and how you wrote it Tracy. Tears came to my eyes and I just loved all the pictures! What a wonderful experience for your children - waht a gracious business too.

Gotta say that the Cowboys are my hubby's favorite team!! What is it about me and football teams with your family pictures? ;-)

Tracy said...

Leigh Ann,

Did you notice that Collin had on his Steeler's hat in the picture? Verne said to Buddy, "You're not going to hold his hat against him are you?"

"No", Buddy replied. "It could have been worse. He could have liked the Redskins."

BTW, we HATE the Cowboys!

Autumn said...

I had so much fun!

Karen said...

Oh boy, what fun! You all do some of the most fun things!
Good for Mac. You've taught him well!
I love the look on Abigail's face, too! ;0)
No ideas on the hotel room. We do the same thing.

Stace said...

Mrs. K,
Hey I love the new colors on your blog! And it sounds like you guys had a lot of fun on your trip! The pics are awesome. Your right. God is great! I think it's so cool when you meet someone who homeschools too! I remember meeting Autumn and I was thrilled. :>) Oh, and Mac's guitar is really awesome. And it's really cool that you got to meet someone famous! That sounds like so much fun!Well, I am going to go get back to camp stuff.
In Christ,
ps. The photographs are awesome too!

Mike said...

Wow what a neat story Tracy. I really enjoyed every part of it. I love the pictures of all the guitars. You know I can't play a note or sing for that matter but I so admire those that do. Tell Mac to keep that passion. It is a wonderful God given gift.

Kelli said...

This is such a wonderful story, Tracy. I love how you descibed the details of your trip to the guitar store! What an exciting and blessed day!


Beck said...

What an amazing day! It sounds like everything was just perfect - and how funny that your daughter was brave enough to yell to Buddy Jewell but not brave enough to talk to him!

Barbara H. said...

What a wonderful story and fun trip!

Barbara H. @ Stray Thoughts

Sheri said...

Tracy, I am so thrilled for Mac!!! What a fantastic family story and I was especially touched by your other children's willingness to let their brother enjoy his time in the guitar store. That says volumes!

Anna S said...

I'm sure that a couple of years from now, you will fondly remember this day. So cool! I'm glad Mac bought the guitar eventually!

Mrs. C said...

What an exciting day! My hubby is shopping for a new Taylor, and I'm sure he'll enjoy reading about Mac's great find. :)
Mrs. C

LBP said...

I can't wait to show my son this! He too is a guitar player and has a Gibson "Black Beauty". He would be in heaven in this store!

Mrs. U said...

What a WONDERFUL day y'all had!!! An awesome guitar AND a celebrity all in one day!!!! WOW!!!

Mrs. U

Jodi said...

Congratulations to Mac on his new guitar! It sounds like a wonderful time was had by all. It's so refreshing to find like-minded people with which to do business; I'm so glad the Lord prepared yours (and Mac's) path in that way. :o)

I'm afraid I have no earth shattering tips for large families and small hotel rooms. Just know we suffer along with you! When we thought we were going to move to Sikeston, MO - none of the hotels in town would rent us one room for our family of 7. (Fire hazard, they say! - How? I have no idea!) On that occasion we lucked into finding a hotel with all suites that was priced the same as one room at all the other hotels.

Sometimes, we have used our pop-camper when traveling with JR on business or to see family. For business trips, JR just turns the cost of the campground rental in on his expense report instead of a hotel expense. They've never complained because it only costs about $20.00 per night - saving the company a bundle! (In fact, JR has even taken the camper when traveling alone if it's for an extended stay.)

We've even looked into (but not yet used) those "Kabins" or "Kottages" at KOA Campgrounds. They do seem to be located in or near most major cities.

Other than that, we've pretty much bitten the bullet and gone to two hotel rooms. Painful, I know!

Lana said...

Love this story! Thanks for letting us all have a peek inside your wonderful day!

Lana G!

Jen in MS said...

Wow, wow, wow! I so much enjoyed your story. I love reading of the love between siblings, the hospitality at the guitar store, the appreciation of your son buying his guitar, the kindest of the music star, and so on! What a great time!

Have a great weekend!

Ruth said...

What a neat day that you all will remember for a very long time. I love these stories because they are family memories that are so important and special!

JAM said...

Great story. I have an old, beat up Les Paul I bought from a friend who quit playing, but I sure love the feel and sound of that guitar. Your son will always remember this day, I'm sure. Plus, you should be proud. Not many young folks these days have the kind of self-sacrifice and maturity needed to save for something as expensive as a new Les Paul.

It's certainly a beauty!

Great pics too.

Tiany said...

Great post and it sounds like you had a great trip in spite of the lousy nights sleep! Thanks for sharing!

Emily said...

What a wonderful story, I so enjoyed reading that Tracy! You must be so proud of your son. You and Verne are doing a great job! Blessings to you all and I hope Mac enjoys his new guitar!

Barbara said...

Loved the story but also thought there would be pics of the cramped hotel room.

Momma Roar said...

LOL - now I remember why this post sticks in my head - it was the cowboys shirt. And I even commented about it being T's favorite team! Funny how things like that stick in your head!

And of course you made the slideshow!! Those trucks were amazing - so many different things inside, but the one with the rifle shifter was probably my most fav!