Can You Tune My Guitar?

Dateline: Thursday, June 4

I was just reminiscing about my days growing up down in south Texas.

Bruce and Chuck

Bruce and Chuck

Overall, I think my parents did a good job in raising me and giving me standards of how to live and act on this earth. Our local church, First Baptist Church of Ingleside, TX, was instrumental also.

And then I think about school. You know, this is where you are with your friends, and others, for about 8 hours every day, five days a week for 9 months of the year. Sounds like a prison sentence. Well, sort of.

But, during the school hours, plus any extra-curricular activity you might be involved in like band, track, football, baseball, basketball, tennis, debate, drama, home economics, photography club, Spanish club, is where you really got to know people. You found out by spending time with them [even forced time at school] whether you like them, did not like them, wanted to hang out with them, wanted to avoid them,
wanted to date them, had a crush on them, or just
wanted to be an acquaintance.

Today I’ll share about some of my closest friends who I still cherish
to this day, even though we may not see each other for a space of
several years. Time and distance may separate us, but I still feel
close to them in my mind and my heart.

Now, hopefully, if I don’t talk about you in this list you are not
offended.  I’ll have more blogs and podcasts to explore the rest of
my high school friends and tell more stories.

The folk group H.I.S.

The folk group H.I.S.

First, I have to tell you a story.

I had taken piano lessons since I was about age 6 or 7. When I became a young teen my grandpa in Shreveport, LA gave me an acoustic guitar. It was an old Sears & Roebucks Spanish style guitar with
steel strings. No case. Just some guitar books and maybe some picks.

It stood in my room or in my closet. I didn’t know anything about a
guitar. Nothing. I wanted to. I loved The Beatles, Beach Boys, and
The Ventures, to name a few bands that had guitars. But, I still didn’t
learn the guitar.

One night I had this dream. In the dream I approached my friend
Doris George and asked her if she could tune my guitar. That was the
dream.

You see, Doris went to my school. She was a year younger than I.
And she also attended our church. I knew she played the guitar and
sang. Here is a pic of me and Doris at the Padre Staples Mall in
Corpus Christi.

Doris George and Chuck

Doris George and Chuck

So, following this dream, I woke up
the next morning and happened to be
sick. I mean I had the flu or a bad cold.
I was always getting colds and sinus
infections and missing a lot of school.

Well, being sick I stayed home from
school. I was probably 9th or 10th
grade when this occurred.

Probably after watching some TV I remembered
the dream that I had. I went and found my
guitar and the Mel Bay guitar book that my
grandpa had given me.

I opened up the book and in the first section it
showed me how to tune my guitar to a piano!

Fortunately, we had a piano that we had bought used from Dean Burleigh and family.
And, I knew enough about the piano after having taken lessons for 8 years or so that
I could understand what notes I needed to press to be able to tune this six string guitar.

Well, folks, I did it. And then I proceeded to learn the first Major chord called C.
The Mel Bay books had old black and white photographs to show you how to position
your fingers and form a chord. And they would show you how to strum to make
the chord sound.

That was the day I started learning to play the guitar. And it started because I
had a dream in the middle of the night.

If you are a spiritual person you would describe that as a spiritual dream. An “act
of God.”  If you are not spiritual you might say that it was just fate or a coincidence
that I had that dream about my friend, Doris.

Whatever you believe or don’t believe here is the bottom line:
I have been playing 556907_10150838903016400_346705580_n(1)guitar ever since that day. I have played it in bands, in church, in country clubs, all
around the United States from Lodi, California to Charlotte, NC.

Now, that’s a pretty cool story.
Thanks for being part of my journey.
Chuck Whetstone


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