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It fell from the sky into my arms . . .

I am humbled beyond understanding, and thankful for my friendship with Grapevine Guitar Works guitar store. I've done some work of various sorts for Sean these past 5 years. I've pretty much displayed most every guitar in the store at some point for the past two years. We laugh a lot that I am the "unofficial" Display Manager. Hey, I enjoy coming in on my day off and helping Sean and Bill out. It's fun, good exercise, and I get to borrow and play all sorts of new guitars that come in. I am currently in the process of painting the GGW showroom a section at a time as Sean continues to develop his vision for the future.

I spent this past Friday with Sean at his booth at the Dallas International Guitar Festival. On Sunday afternoon, I went back to the Guitar Festival to help Sean and Bill pack up to come home. That's when Sean gifted me with a once-in-a-lifetime guitar, a Guild F-512, the 12-string of all 12-strings. I truly cannot recall the last time I have seen one in a guitar store, but Fuller Vintage Guitars from Houston had brought one up to the Guitar Festival.

Mercy! It sounded like an organ. Plugged into an acoustic amp, it sounded like a BIG organ. This is a song leading guitar in the tradition of Pete Seeger and Johann Anderson. Just freaking awesome.

It was one of those moments when, at the time, you don't know what to say because you are pretty much speechless. . . . Finally a soft "Thank You" comes out of your mouth as you gaze in wonderment and awe.

I cannot remember the last time I was as humbled by, and appreciative of, my friendship with someone. Well, yes I can . . . it was when my friends Joe and Floyd both helped me get my first Martin back in 2005.

Before leaving Dallas, I got to visit with Mike Fuller himself, owner of Fuller Vintage Guitars. What a gracious gentleman! He wished me luck, and even offered me and the guitar a blessing. He had personally picked this guitar out to bring to the Festival. Getting to visit with Mike was an additional blessing.

That evening, I played the F-512 at home for my wife. I played and sang for over 30 minutes. She says, "Congratulations!" I guess I looked at her funny, the sort of look on one's face that asks for an explanation. She says, "you have been searching your entire adult life for "THE" guitar. Congratulations, because "THE" guitar just fell from the sky into your lap. Whether you know it yet or not . . . this is "THE" guitar for you."

(Insert picture here of me with my mouth open, jaw bouncing off the floor . . . .)

I hope and pray that she is right.

As fickle as I have been known to be about guitars (I can hear Sean, Joe and Floyd all laughing right now . . . and I do admit that I have made more bad decisions about guitars than good ones) . . . I don't know yet if this is "THE" guitar. We will see. But I always trust my wife's intuition. And I trust Sean's advice and friendship.

A long time ago, I quit trying to speak for God, and trying to figure out everything related to the stuff in my life . . . at times wondering if / how God was involved or had planned where I found myself along my faith journey. As I have grown older, and hopefully more mentally, emotionally and spiritually mature, I have become more OK with the idea that some things in life just can't be explained. Better to accept some them on faith alone which, as I have grown older, has become what I usually do. I figure a lot of things you experience on a journey, especially a faith journey, are better explained and understood somewhere down the road.

Yet . . . I have to acknowledge that the entire experience surrounding this particular guitar has been a "Divine" moment for me. What else can I say, other than I treasure my friendship with Sean, as I do with my friends Floyd and Joe. What else can I say, except that I truly feel blessed and thankful as a result.

Gifts of grace, whether from God or people, are just that . . . gifts! All one can do . . . all I can do . . . is to again say, "thank you!"

God's grace, music, and my good friends still amaze me . . . ><>


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Would you life to share share about your favorite musical instrument?

What is your favorite guitar or other musical instrument?  Please let me know.  I'd like to interview you about your relationship with your favorite instrument.

I am interested in talking with, and getting to know, everyday people who make music.  That's the kind of person I am.  I'm an everyday kind of guy, and I love to sing and play guitar for everyday people. 

Although I have too many guitars, several ukes, a couple of old banjo's, a bunch of harmonicas and several Native American flutes, I am interested in stories about other instruments as well.  I have it in my mind that this blog will probably feature more stories about guitars and singer-songwriters.  However, I am open to stories about people and their love for other instruments.  So, if you play the accordion, piano, pennywhistle, drums . . . or can crack your knuckles in time to music . . . I want to hear your story.

All inquiries from interested, or from the curious as well, can be sent to revrickmang@gm…