Two For The Road

Last week I wrote about a guitar that I left down in Haiti. If you didn’t read that story you want to start with it first. You can read it here: https://gregarnett.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/how-many/

Even after leaving one guitar in Haiti, I still wanted to come up with another guitar to take to the village of Lestage, where our mission church is located. Right now they don’t have any instrumentalist, although they do have about four in their rhythm section. Although they don’t have a guitar player yet, they have several young men that have shown interest in playing my guitar when I’m there in the village. I believe if they had a guitar they would quickly learn how to play and could then help out in the worship services.

When I got back home from Haiti I still had two electric guitars (which had been given to me) up for sale on craigslist. One guy had expressed interest in one of them before I went to Haiti but we didn’t have time to connect, so in January I gave him a call. He said he was still interested in the one guitar and that he thought he would have an acoustic guitar that he would trade for the electric.

One Monday afternoon I drove up to his home in Caseville. My GPS led me to a long winding dirt two-track driveway. It was muddy and I just had the Prius. Believe me, I wasn’t slowing down for anything for fear I would get stuck in the mud. After about a ¼ mile of driveway I came to a ranch home back in the woods with at guitar hung in the tree outside his house. Upon looking closer at the guitar I realized that he had turned it into a birdhouse. I must be in the right spot!

He heard me drive in and stepped out on the front porch. As I shook his hand I saw that he was wearing a “Jesus Saves” t-shirt. But not exactly like you might expect, because Jesus was wearing hockey goalie gear!

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We stepped into his front door and I immediately noticed the full drum set that was set up in his living room and about fifteen guitars hung from the walls. He had electric guitars, basses, but I was most interested in the acoustic guitars.

He was interested in the flame burst electric that I had listed on craigslist. I pulled it out of the case and upon inspection the first thing he noted was that it had a cracked pocket. Now I’m not an electric guitar player so I didn’t even know that it had anything wrong with it. When he showed me what to look for, sure enough it was cracked. He said it’s the first thing to look for on electric guitars. I guess people drop their guitar, crack the pocket and don’t even realize they’ve broken their guitar. Now I was thinking in my head that I have a worthless guitar. However he did show me how he turns “worthless” guitars into lamps using a drum body as the lampshade. He would use the volume knob as the on/off switch and would even add a phone charger.

We switched to looking at the acoustic guitar that he was thinking about trading for an electric. He pulled two acoustics down from the wall. The first was completely covered in bumper stickers. I asked if he had anything else, so he pulled down a Skaggs guitar that would cost $100. I wasn’t looking to pay $100 so it was back to playing the bumper sticker guitar. It actually didn’t sound that bad.

Still undecided about the acoustic I offered to pull out the second electric guitar that I had with me. It wasn’t much to speak of, kind of a cheap brand, more of a beginner guitar. He pulled it out of the case and wouldn’t you know it, it had a cracked pocket as well. Now in my head I was thinking, “I’ve got absolutely nothing to bargain with.” We spent some time talking about what I was hoping to do with these guitars and I’ll darned if he didn’t pull down another acoustic guitar that needed some work and give that to me as well! I walked out of his house with two acoustic guitars, leaving behind two broken guitars. I drove down his driveway fast. Not just to make it through the mud, but I also didn’t want him to change his mind!

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When I got home I made everyone close their eyes while I played them some music on the bumper sticker guitar. They said that it sounded pretty good. Then I let them see what it looked like. There’s nothing quite like it! After some time in the shop I was able to get the second guitar fixed up and able to be played. It holds a tuning and has a full-size fret board, but my wife summarized the sound the best by saying, “that’s a smasher.”

Smasher or not, I firmly believe that God has provided two more guitars for Haiti. I can’t wait to get back down there and begin guitar class!

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About gregarnett

"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." (1 Peter 4:10) I've been told that the above verse comes to mind when people think of me. I strive to use all of my gifts to God's glory in all the ways He's given me to serve. I serve him in my day job as a Director of Christian Education. I currently serve St. Paul Lutheran Church in Caro, Michigan. At St. Paul I am responsible for the ministry to and with youth, grades sixth-college, and the educational ministries of the congregation. I also lead the contemporary band, organize mission trips and Servant Events. Besides my day job I also am an entrepreneur that runs an Etsy online shop. Basically I make unique items out of wood and broken hockey sticks. You can find my Etsy shop here: www.etsy.com/shop/manland I have been married to Cathy since 1987. My grandpa joked on his 50th wedding anniversary: "that's a long time to be married to one woman!" They made it to 64 years, so Cathy and I are just starting! Together we have three children: Nathan, Ben and Emily. I like to play guitar, bass guitar, cigar box guitar and the djembe. I also enjoy woodworking, hunting, gardening, backpacking and participating in sports. Racing triathlons is my current sporting passion and mid-life crisis buster.
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