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Picture of the day - October 9, 2006

Mom Pickin' Dad's Guitar

Mom pickin' Dad's guitar.
Click photo to enlarge

I have many precious memories of my dad, and one of my favorites is watching and hearing him play his guitar. As a young boy I would sit at his feet and watch in awe as his fingers moved across the strings, creating sounds that were even sweeter than the finest honey. It made me want to get beginner guitar lessons from him or a tutor so I could emulate him.

As far back as I can remember, he always had at least one guitar lying around the house, and he would frequently pick one up and start pickin' and singin', and when he did he usually drew a crowd!

Our family and friends loved to hear him perform the songs of Eddy Arnold, Buck Owens, Hank Williams and other country music legends, but my personal favorite was the Maybelle Carter classic "Wildwood Flower", a song that virtually every guitar player to come along since the 1930's has played at one time or another. And in my mind, no one ever played Wildwood Flower better than my daddy - not even Mother Maybelle herself.

In his later years, dad mostly picked and sang gospel songs. "The Old Rugged Cross", "What A Friend We Have In Jesus", "Amazing Grace", "Will The Circle Be Unbroken"...I just loved to hear him play those beautiful old hymns as mom sat by his side singing along! Even though many years of living with arthritis had left his fingers stiff and in almost constant pain, he played his guitar from time to time right up until the very end. He could only play for a few minutes at a time, but the sounds he created were just as sweet to my ears as ever.

Dad owned several guitars over his 8+ decades, the last of which was a gift from my brother Glen. When dad went to spend eternity playing the music he loved in the Lord's band, mom returned that special instrument to Glen who keeps it prominently on display in his home. Yesterday, Cheria and I asked mom to go along with us as we paid Glen and Tonnie a visit, and before we left their home I asked Glen if I could take a picture of dad's guitar. What I ended up with was very special indeed - a picture of mom holding it and "pickin'" away!

No, mom can't play the guitar any better than I can, but watching her hold the last one that daddy ever played while grinning from ear to ear just made my day! That special guitar will probably never again ring out with the beautiful sounds of Wildwood Flower, but we are blessed to still be able to hear mom's sweet voice singing an old hymn on occasion. And I believe with all my heart that one day she'll be singing along while dad plays Amazing Grace with Jesus Himself enjoying every minute of it!

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