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  1. #1

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    Let's all raise a glass and say 'Salud' to perhaps the dumbest MF on the face of the earth---but also the luckiest: ME!:

    Gentle reader: It was a nice enough day to busk downtown, which I'd stopped doing b/c the heat. My new job starts tomorrow and I'm going to be busy with 2 jobs---mentoring and teaching---6 days a week. So I said 'What the hell'. Played and sang for 1 1/2 hours. Packed my gear, walked to the car. Filled the trunk 1st, as is my wont. The (only electric I play, a Godin 5th Ave. Kingpin) guitar was leaning near the front passenger door, just like always.

    I went about 3/4 of a mile, towards the highway. My water had turned hot so I pulled over by a bodega to get a cold one. Got back to an empty seat where the guitar should have been. S^^T!!

    Unless you're Madeleine Murray O'Hare (but not in her current condition) many atheists like myself are crumbling cowards when in trouble, and beg for help from a God they never prayed to or believed in. So it was 'Please, God. PLEASE God!!!' All the way back to the spot.

    It could have gone the other way. I was 10 minutes away total, and anyone could have walked with it. But I DO believe in angels---I swear I do. The SECOND I got there a guy was walking with my case near 13th and Bainbridge.

    JUMPED out of the car.

    'You FOUND it!!'

    'Sure it's yours?' (Why should he believe me?)

    I only knew that he had it.

    'BLESS you! Anyone could have walked away with it'.

    'I was starting to'.

    A bit of conversation ensued. He knew it had to be mine. I took it, and had to believe he was also honest and would have called---my tear-off and sign inside the case has my #. He said he was a bass player, so he knew what an instrument means. Some more luck.

    It wouldn't have just been my guitar and cord gone---I keep a Seymour Duncan roundhole pickup in the outer sleeve for when I put the acoustic in the same case.

    You really DO have to think. I am---now that the self-flagellation has receded. WHY didn't my axe get run over; picked up and sold for crack or Thunderbird? Or whatever else would've befallen it.

    Angels on earth? Why not? I've had so many already in my life despite messing up so much in the past.

    We have to think deep at times like these, decipher the real message b/c life is short but rife with clues.

    I do hope I run into the guy again and can do something for him. I was too in the lucky and relieved moment to think of it just then...

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2
    There IS luck in the world. But what ELSE? Could the existentialists have been right about the randomness of life? Do we meet people for specific reasons in life? (I believe we do---and my life is proof. It's happened way too often to be coincidence). So w/o a head theist God that leaves humans and PERHAPS a spirit world. I LEAN toward the latter, b/c emotions seem low on the consciousness scale. I do believe some thing or things are connecting us. I don't profess to know what---but always have felt the Buddhists and Hindus---even the 'heathens'---Native Americans who sensibly pray to their god of plentiful crop growth are into something. I never could get with the Christian born-in-sin-must-be-saved salvation module. Too much to lay on an innocent child and makes zero sense to me. Buddhists believe every good act (even a thought) can engender salvation for all. I buy at least the intent of that...

  4. #3

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  5. #4

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    Joel, congratulations and delighted to hear that you got a lucky break- met somebody honest enough to give it back to you.

  6. #5
    I know: root beer, right?...

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    Joel, congratulations and delighted to hear that you got a lucky break- met somebody honest enough to give it back to you.
    Wow, WAS I lucky. I think the fact that I'd parked on a quiet side street as opposed to busy Broad St.---where I had played, and anything goes, especially north of where I was---was key...

  8. #7

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    I know that feeling!
    When I lived in an apartment I came home after playing someplace late one night, pulled my amp out of the trunk, set it down in the parking lot, grabbed my guitar and went inside.
    Next morning the phone rang and someone asked, "Are you the guy that plays guitar?"
    I thought this was going to be a noise complaint from a neighbor and glanced over where my amp sits in the corner thinking how to handle it. It wasn't there (!) and what he heard was me gasp, "My amp!"
    Said he saw it sitting out there as he was going out that morning, had it in his apartment, come up and get it.
    A guitar amp is one of those things that packs a lot of obvious recognizable value into an easy to sell package; I still shudder when I recall it spent the night sitting out there and didn't just disappear.

  9. #8

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    Glad you got your guitar back. You had an angel looking out for you.

    The angel just happened to be a bass player.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    I know that feeling!
    When I lived in an apartment I came home after playing someplace late one night, pulled my amp out of the trunk, set it down in the parking lot, grabbed my guitar and went inside.
    Next morning the phone rang and someone asked, "Are you the guy that plays guitar?"
    I thought this was going to be a noise complaint from a neighbor and glanced over where my amp sits in the corner thinking how to handle it. It wasn't there (!) and what he heard was me gasp, "My amp!"
    Said he saw it sitting out there as he was going out that morning, had it in his apartment, come up and get it.
    A guitar amp is one of those things that packs a lot of obvious recognizable value into an easy to sell package; I still shudder when I recall it spent the night sitting out there and didn't just disappear.
    The only other close call was a little different---but jerkoff me STILL left sans guitar:

    I had a double-header for the Jazz Foundation around '08. They were giving me lots of work til the then-CEO stuck her nose in and ended it, 'nother story for 'nother day. The early gig was in Brooklyn---children's psych ward at Brookdale Hospital. I think I was there solo. The kids were rough that day and I had to do a 'tap dance' to get them involved. They'd been great the 1st time and I felt very bad for these kids from Brownsville stuck in a psych ward, no school, no nothin'.

    Must've been anxious to make the 2nd gig on time. I had left my guitar at a security desk in the lobby, asking the guard to please watch it while I got my car. Pulled in to the circular and loaded my amp. Then took off---no guitar and, AGAIN, didn't notice til I was well on the way to Manhattan. Called security and told them what had happened. It was risky that time too. These guys have a lot more on their minds and plates---and it def is not a safe neighborhood. The axe was grabable---not safe in an office.

    Jimmy Norman was on the 2nd gig. The plan was for me to pick him up or we were gonna get a car service. AGAIN luck I had no right to have being so f'ing birdbrained---Jimmy had a guitar (like a solid-body SG standard or something). I joked that I was thinking of becoming the Jewish Jimi Hendrix.

    Made the gig (that I was LEADER on, no less!) on that funky guitar with the spider's web strings. We were at the Atrium, a senior residence. Played with Jimmy; Steve Ash, piano; Sean Smith, bass---and Billy Kaye, who THOUGHT he had a gig there and showed up with his group too played with us. Everyone got paid and Jimmy, known more as an R & B singer/songwriter, did a nice job singing standards for them. He was scrawny; had COPD, but was transformed by performing. People adored and would do things for him.

    Said goodbye, made it back to Brownsville from the Upper Left Side---again lucky the guitar was at that security desk. That one could've went the other way too.

    Damn. Today was strike 2, and I'd damn well better stop spacing out or just cool those nuts down...

  11. #10

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    I’ve never gone off without an instrument. An iPhone or my wallet—yes.

    Fortunately, they were still there when I went back.

    At my age I seriously wonder about leaving the house without pants, so this hits close to home.

  12. #11

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    There was a news story a while back about a violinist who got off the train and left a priceless Stradivarius behind (how do you do that!)

    I think they eventually got it back, if I recall correctly.

  13. #12

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    As if I don't have enough nightmares about losing my gear!

  14. #13

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    Lynn Harrell left his $4 million Stradivarius cello in a taxi cab, as did Yo Yo Ma with the Davidoff cello (which is considered relatively priceless).

    You’re in good company.


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  15. #14

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    I once fell with my classical guitar (in a bag) and it got some damage. I heard a loud bang.. that hurt. But it was was so lucky - the back came clean off. All it needed was some good glue and it sounded the same after.

    But a much weirder coincidence happened with me once.
    A deer jumped on the road, got badly injured by my car but jumped away in the snow. The car behind me stopped, a man came out and said: "I saw everything, I'll go after it". He took the hunting rifle and killed the poor thing after 5 minutes following it.
    I wonder how many hunters with rifles in their car are driving out there..

  16. #15

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    As person who was always a perpetual loser of things, I feel like a majority of people don't want your stuff and will leave it alone. And then, there are those who will take it, and depending what it is, make an effort to locate you, especially if it is a place that you both regularly frequent.

    I am glad you had a good outcome, and for your new endeavors. They should keep you busy and out of trouble for awhile , heh, heh!

  17. #16

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    When I was in college, one night we packed up the car after an opera rehearsal, and headed several miles to downtown Buffalo to drop off the 1st chair violinist. When we got to her place her violin ($$$$$) was gone and she realized she had left it on top of the car. So we slowly trekked our way back up Main St, everyone hanging out the windows looking, and finally found it several miles away sitting in the middle of Main St unharmed and untouched.

  18. #17

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    Good Karma! Spread it around!

  19. #18

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    Nice to see all the good fortune here, several years ago i lent a lester to a good friend, a few weeks later his house was broken into and the guitar was stolen, he didnt tell me, a few days later a stolen car was found out in the desert in the middle of nowhere, near Gila Bend if you know Az, and my guitar was in the trunk with some of his other property, he brought it back to me as soon as the police released it, had his head down with embarrassment, we are still good friends.
    Another guitar , Epi emperor II, pre Joe Pas, was stolen from our house right after my dad died. The cop wouldnt file a report because he thought it was a normal inheritance argument. A couple of months later i find the guitar in a pawnshop, the same one i bought the guitar from, they said show us the police report....sigh....i went to the Peoria Az police station and they said i would need proof that i had owned the guitar. Since the guitar had been in another pawnshop a couple of times, i was able to get a copy of an old pawnticket showing the serial # with me as the owner. I took the pawnticket to the cops, a detective wrote up the report while chastising the original officer for being lazy, i took the report to the pawnshop and the owner handed me the guitar with a smile.