…and I didn’t even get to slap anybody.
Seriously, though… Thanksgiving was awesome.
Per usual, we went to Cape Girardeau to see the (mostly) Southern half of the family. Despite being in Limbaugh-land, it was a good trip. Lots of good food and most everyone that was physically able showed up this year. (Of course, there are a few who are just getting up in years and can’t make it anymore—and they were missed.) Particularly good to see my cousin Terry, who hasn’t made it out for a few years. Meant to talk to him a little longer than I did, but he had to split a little bit before I did and while he was on his way out the door, I was sitting with Uncle Eddie’s old, old, old, beautiful Martin guitar on my lap.
…and that was really cool. A new cousin (by marriage) named Matt brought a guitar, and Eddie brought a guitar too. I’d seen Eddie’s case sitting there all morning, and when Matt took out his guitar, I asked Eddie, “Hey, is that other guitar over there yours?” “Yep. I brought my Martin.” The case opened, my eyes were filled with a vision made by the Heavens, and Eddie didn’t even strum one note before he put the strap around my neck and handed me a pick. I was nervous even HOLDING the thing, but my fingers found their places sooner or later, and at that point Matt and I sat and played a few. (For the record, it’s a beautiful instrument and sounds like a guitar SHOULD sound. My hands were actually jealous of themselves as I strummed.)
Matt and I played passably, but forgetfully—apparently, neither of us is very good at remembering lyrics. I let Matt choose what we were playing because he hasn’t been playing as long and I can fake-it pretty quickly, so I figured we’d stick to his song-set. After a while, I was a little tired of playing and I turned to face Eddie, who’d been standing by, enjoying hearing the two of us play. Following is a brief approximation of the conversation that took place…
Me: Eddie, I’d love to hear you play this guitar.
Eddie: (smiles) Well, I only know about three chords.
Me: Well, as long as you play them in the right order, it’ll be fine.
***Eddie plays an old country song flawlessly.***
Me: Well those were the RIGHT three chords!
Matt: I saw you play FOUR chords! You’re just hustling us!
Me: Next thing you know, we’ll be playing for money!
***Eddie plays a good five or six more songs, wonderfully. Including “On the Road Again” and “Lost Highway.” Also including a few guitar solos. I compliment him and tell him I love hearing him play…”***
Eddie: Well, I only ever learned the one style. All the others came along after my time.
Me: To tell you the truth, right now I’m not sure why I even LISTEN to anything else, much less play it.
***We end with a handshake and go home.***
Now…I know country isn’t for everybody. But when it’s played as purely and humbly as Eddie plays it, it really should be. If I thought I could talk him into it, I’d take my recording gear down to Arkansas and set it up in his living room. But I doubt that he’d let me…so I guess I’ve just got to soak up the sound at Thanksgiving.
Anyway…like most years, there was speculation that “this might be the last time we do this…” But I’ve heard that noise before, and I can’t imagine this family voluntarily choosing not to see one another, even if someone else in the family becomes the host of the day. So I’m just going to go ahead and look forward to next year.
…hope your Thanksgiving was great too.
Coming up next: My Christmas List.
Comic Books Purchased This Week: (Sorry I forgot to mention them earlier…they’ll be reviewed on “Empty Checking” sometime this weekend.)
- The Traveler – Issue #1
- Uncanny X-Men – Issue #530
- Captain America #612
- Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet – Issue #4 of 4
- Batman Beyond: Issue # 6 of 6
- Batman Detective Comics – Issue #871
- Justice League: Generation Lost – Issue #14
- Superman: Earth One. (Which is more of a “graphic novel” thing…but whatever…)