The Louisiana Lady
Dec. 8, 2009 9:12 am
Updated: Dec. 25, 2009 6:20 pm
Decaf, one of my longtime friends on AR, asked me to blog about how my 12-string guitar got her name. I thought I would do so in the spirit of Christmas, as I got her about 2 years ago, around this time and how I got her renewed my faith in the kindness of my fellow man.
I know it sounds funny, but I name all of my stringed instruments, I have around 10 of them. My black 6-string is Black Betty, I have talked about her in another blog. I have a mandolin that's named Maggie, and this is actually the story of how the Lady and Maggie came to live on my "Wall of Fame". I don't know why I name them...it's kinda like a guy names his truck, I spose. I name my all my girls.
Around this time, two years ago, I was as depressed as I have ever been. I hadn't seen my husband since before Halloween, it was going on Christmas and there wasn't a light at the end of the tunnel as to when I would see him next. See, the husband was a bad boy and had to spend some time in 2 different county hotels (long story...it happened before I met him and it wasn't like he was an axe murderer or anything like that, just paying an old debt to society). I finally managed to scrape up $2500 to bail him out from where he was up north of here. I called and due to this county setting a court date that he missed because he was up there, I couldn't bail him out because they wanted him back down here....follow all that?? So, henceforth, the bail plan was out the window. I took the bail money and headed for the music store on my lunch hour just down the street from where I worked at the time.
I was sitting there between 2 displays, one for guitars and the other for mandolins and ukes and the such. This old man walked in, picked a 6-string off the rack and started to play it. I must have been looking really dejected because he stopped and asked me what was wrong and before I knew it, I had told him my tale of woe. He asked why I was at the music store and I told him I was going to either a mandolin or a 12-string, I just couldn't make up my mind as to which. This incredible old man then said to me, "I'll make up your mind for you, you go buy this 12-string." And with that he pulled the Lady down and handed her to me. Then he went on to say, "My fingers are just too big anymore to play my old mandolin, so if you promise to give it a good home, I would like to give it to you." My mind was reeling and my first thought was....WHAT??? Next thought...NO WAY!! he then asked where he could bring me the mandolin and my skeptical mind told me NOT to tell him my home address....I had just been burglarized and relieved of several thousands of dollars worth of jewelry a couple weeks prior to this (another long story...and by the way, AR has saved us thousands of dollars as I hang out here now instead of BIDZ.com or ebay)...so I told him my work address a couple of blocks down the street. He immediately left with the promise to be back at my work within 20 minutes with that mandolin. I'm thinking....yeah, right, like this is really gonna happen to me. But, at least, I figured, I had help making up my mind. I took the Lady up and said I would like to buy her and plunked down several hundred dollars and walked back to work with my precious cargo safely tucked into a new gig bag. I hadn't been back to work more than 5 minutes when I was called up front and there stood that wonderful old man with a mandolin case in his hand. He handed Maggie to me and had a couple of tears in his eyes and said, "I hope you get as much out of her as I have, her name is Maggie." I caught my breathe...he named his instruments too! I asked him what he wanted for Maggie and all that dear old man wanted was to give me hug and get my promise that I would have a better day. I was in so much shock that an absolute stranger could show that much kindness to me that I never did catch his name. My boss was yakking a mile a minute and all I caught was his last name of Boudreau. He said to just call him Grandpa. I asked for his phone number...he said he didn't have a phone, didn't have use for them. And with that, he gave me another bear hug and was gone. I have never seen him again, I don't know his first name. I don't know if he wasn't sent from above to help out someone who was at one of the lowest points in life...there's a lot I don't know. But what I do know is that, forever more, Maggie and the Lady will always reside side by side on my Wall of Fame, it doesn't matter where I live. Maggie is safely tucked away in a heated storage unit along with Black Betty and all the others. I only have room to bring them home one at a time, and some are buried pretty deep in storage. But the Louisiana Lady got her name because a complete stranger showed me so much kindness and his last name reminded me of Louisiana and I will never, never, as long as I live, forget that angel of an old man who flew into my life so quickly 2 years ago, and just as quickly flew out of it never to be seen again.
It's a couple of years down the road and sometimes I feel like I neglect the Lady...my rheumatoid arthritis is getting worse and I think it will only be a matter of time before I totally am unable to play. So I can't make the Lady talk like I used to, but this time every year, I do bring her home for a while just to honor Grandpa, and play, and for a few minutes, she sure can talk. But after New Year's, I'll tuck her back to bed and see her again on down the road.
All of you have a wonderful Christmas and remember, one single, random act of kindness may, in fact, change another's life for the better!
Our wedding picture
The Louisiana Lady
rheumatoid arthritis, left hand
rheumatoid arthritis, right hand
having RA sometimes splits my knuckles so deep that I can't play for weeks on end.