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Friday, December 23, 2011

Sharing Our Favorite Things

This evening, S and I were able to share some of our favorite things with the kids. I've blogged before of our deep fondness for the Stanford Theater. For some time now, we've been looking forward to the time when we could introduce BB and BJ to the Stanford Theater -- today, things finally lined up so that we could all go as a family. They were playing The Wizard of Oz, a movie that we've all seen and enjoyed, and it was being shown at a fairly family-friendly time. How sweet to share these two favorite things with our kids -- yummy slices of pizza at Pizza my Heart, our favorite pizza place, and a favorite movie at a favorite place.

Of course it didn't go entirely smoothly -- BB totally freaked out when the organ started playing after the movie (a combination of being up past bedtime and things being very loud, I think) and there were the usual hassles of going to the cinema with kids (spilled M&Ms, ending up with a kid in my lap for most of the movie). But all told it was a very nice time.

I was also pleased with the day because I was able to take my grandfather's guitar to the local luthier to see what they might be able to do to get it into a playable condition. It's a Gibson guitar from the 1930s, not one of the most highly decorative and collectible models, but huge on sentimental value and, as I'm learning, a very unique instrument. One of the Gryphon owners is an expert consultant for Antiques Roadshow -- and he'd never seen a guitar like this one. So that's saying something!

I'm definitely no expert at these things, but I took notes and listened closely as the guys at the shop looked over the guitar inside and out several times. They ultimately decided it was “mostly” an L37, a sort of hybrid between steel string features, a Kalamazoo model, and the acoustic arch top. This one has a carved arch top. They talked a lot about the varieties of inside bracing and the sunburst and other details -- Apparently the Gibson era arch top guitars would usually have different sound holes (like a violin on the side instead of a single round sound hole). Mine has a stamped number inside, 432, which is some help in identification but they are still puzzled. The combination of features on this one was something they’d never encountered before, and they consulted several expert books while I was standing there, and none of them had any info about this combo of features either. Fascinating! They are going to look further into some resources and see what they can find for me.

And when I got home, I did a little searching of my own and found this discussion, which includes a pic that looks almost identical to my grandfather's guitar. I'll be very interested to see if that sheds any light on things.

They said they'd like a month to work on things -- still not entirely sure what repair will need to be done, there's a list of must-do's and then they'll be able to string it up and see if there's more to be done -- and in the meantime I am practicing on my the guitar my dad gave me, hoping someday to be worthy of the instrument I've inherited from my grandfather. Really enjoying the playing, even though I'm still so much of a beginner. Learning something new is definitely another of my favorite things. Hopefully someday I'll get good enough to share the playing with others and have them enjoy it too!

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