Some Say I’m Crazy

I’ve been told more than what I can count on one hand that I’m crazy for devoting the rest of my life to making a musical journey. I was furloughed from an IT career after 30 years in the industry, my dad was bedridden from a brainstem stroke, and my mom was worn out for being his caregiver at home for ten years. I’m an only child, and I decided to drop off the grid to take over caregiver duties back home. I didn’t have a family of my own so it was only a matter of cleaning up my affairs, selling my house, and packing up my stuff to put my relocation into play. That was 2006 and my dad passed away in 2011. I’m now raising my mom, which is another story in itself.

I always had a dream of playing guitar and making music rooted in my journeys through life. My dad was a real fan of Hank Williams, and I do mean the senior Hank, while my mom only had respect for classical music. When I was a youth playing violin, it wasn’t by choice, but the experience taught me how to read standard music notation and play music. When my mom would be out shopping my dad would put on a Hank LP and crank up the HiFi. I’d be holed up in my boy cave with the door cracked open so Hank’s voice could enter my room, tempting me to play country fiddle. That was a long time ago, but today some of those auditory memories are acoustically clear in my head.

After my dad had crossed over to the other side and my caregiver duties switched to raising my mom, I paid more attention to my dream of playing guitar and began my search for a music teacher. Several months later, I found a teacher, a practicing jazz guitarist who lived only a few miles from my house and was accepting new students. He wasn’t interested in teaching someone how to play Stairway to Heaven, but he would teach you what you needed to know in order to teach yourself how to learn to play it on your own. Guitar lessons riddled with music theory and hundreds and hundreds of hours of practicing scales—that’s the old school method I was looking for in a music teacher. My teacher is 18 years my junior, but he’s old school with a degree in music and was mentored by Ron Eshcete. I feel very fortunate to have discovered a music sensei that enjoys teaching and imparting his experience as a musician.

Three guitars later and acknowledging I have GAS (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome), I’m past the point of no return, and I have no regrets. Some think I’m nuts. They ask: What’s the purpose? What will you do? Aren’t you too old to learn to play guitar? Don’t you think you’re wasting precious years on something as silly as music? Well, heck. That’s a real bummer for them to ask me those kinds of questions. I paid my dues in life and now it’s my turn to do what I want. I’ll get a job at Home Depot or the grocery store down the road when the time comes, until then I’m getting in tune and searching for my tone.

Comments

  1. Kenny

    I’ve been catching up on all your posts here. The more I read of your stuff the more it seems to me that a calling in Music, Writing, Poetry, and Contemplative commentary should have been your calling in life.

    But then very few of us find a true calling in this insane culture. Most of us live “lives of quiet desperation” as someone once said. You never should have become a ‘Techy’ but then neither should I. You should have been a musician/poet. I should have been a horticulturist/truck farmer. Or maybe we both should have become contemplative monks.

    I was always inner driven and I think you were too. But that sort of attitude was never honored in this culture. And, alas, one has to eat.

    Keep your powder dry – Dude.

    P.S. Loved your Quartet of Haiku

    • I’m glad you liked the Haiku. I like the brevity of the poetic form.

      I’ve been so many things, an IT geek was my longest performance on the human stage. I was too much of a Bolshevik in my youth to answer any calling in life, but all that once was, what is, and what is going to be is becoming much clearer to me. Contemplative monks—I like that. It’s better to have wielded an axe late in life than to have never picked one up.

Comments are closed.