Inspired by Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge. The prompt: Twisted
All it takes is a simple twist. Or two. Or three. Of wire, silk and nylon.
Six strings stretched tight. But not too tight. The ends threaded into post holes. Then twisted…little by little…with the turn of a peg. Carefully. Adjusting the tension.
Until each one – when plucked – sounds…just right.
On a simple guitar made of wood.
My first – and only – no-name guitar shows its age. As do I.
Bought with saved up allowance for $28 on September 29, 1967.
I headed to guitar lessons taught by a local folk singer. For weekly group lessons with other aspiring young guitarists…struggling together to strum chords…
G and D7…to play through Ain’t Gonna Study War No More.
C, F, Am and G7…for Blowin’ in the Wind.
Added Em and B7…and we managed to make it through Cruel War.
By that point the fingertips on my left hand were sore and complaining. From pressing down on those strings…especially strings 4, 5 & 6…the thickest ones.
Those twisted strings were replaced many times. As I sang and played through a thick looseleaf binder of mimeographed folk songs assigned by my teacher. To which I added my carefully typed copies of Homeward Bound, Hey Jude, It Was a Very Good Year, Leaving on a Jet Plane…among many others. Guitar chords written or typed in red above the words.
I did not sing or strum with much finesse, but it was the 60’s after all – and it was fun.
It never occurred to me to take it more seriously. I never saw any female guitarists on Ed Sullivan or American Bandstand, heard any on AM radio or in my stack of 45s.
This guitar went to camps and college with me. It was then retired to a closet…until my son tried it out after his college days. It traveled up and down the east coast with him for a few years…until he had a guitar of his own. Like his dad…and his sister.
And now it is back here with me.
Ready for its next chapter.