Shipped the Martin On Ahead


For those of you dropping by for the first time, Patrushka and the Pondering Pig (not the same as the Captain and Tenille) are planning and plotting their perilous peregrination from the awesome Atlantic to the wild Pacific shore, all in their little Japanese made gypsy cart, avoiding the interstates and sniffing the sunflowers. They’ll be posting about what happens to them whenever they can find a wi-fi postbox…now let’s listen in as the Pondering Pig says…

I shipped the Martin to California yesterday. Second day air. I was just too uncomfortable about leaving that part of me in the heat of the wagon and worrying about it at every cafe where we stop to eat the Blue Plate Special all the way across America.

It’s not a shiny new polished Martin but a scratched up guitar I bought in the fall of 1969, just two months before Patrushka and I married. Bought it second hand from some Haight-Ashbury hippie wanting to go back home. A D-21, for you guitarplayers. Unusual, even then: guitar players always say, “A D-21!” Martin didn’t make too many. They built this one in 1961, at the arch of the folk music era. Sitka spruce top, rosewood back and sides.

The back is scratched from my belt buckles. The sounding board is scratched from rocking out and from when I wore my Medic-Alert bracelet on my right hand like a fool. The fingerpick guard’s about had it.

The neck needs to be reset one of these days – the action is a little higher than it used to be. I’ve replaced the tuning machines twice. The originals weren’t very good and the one of the Schallers Rodney Albin put on in 1976 snapped. It just crumpled. Never seen anything like it.

I bought a new hardshell case for the Martin last year for safety, but I still have the original flaking and peeling plywood case smelling like must and closets and old memories.

I never gave my guitar a name like some people do. But it’s been my friend and companion and extension of myself all these years. I made up sad fingerpicking melodies on it to comfort myself and forgot them the next day. And I rocked out in barrooms and pizza parlors for free beer. I played songs by Charlie Poole and Buddy Holly and James Taylor and the Pondering Pig. I don’t want no other guitar. So I shipped it second day air even thought it cost me $180.00.

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