When we left off, I was strumming my plastic Mauna Loa. When I was in the fourth grade we had an all-school talent show, and a kid a year older than me wowed the crowd singing a folk song and strumming a huge guitar. Right then and there I knew I had to have a guitar, too. My first was a Sears Harmony “western style” guitar, ordered by mail, and shipped to our local Southern Pacific depot via Railway Express. (Wow … that goes back a bit.)
I recall we had a Pontiac station wagon, and that my Mom had some shopping to do after we picked up the guitar. I can still picture myself in the front seat, in a grocery-store parking lot, tuning the guitar and giving it a try.
The ukulele got left behind. From then on it was guitar, guitar, guitar. And I had that Sears guitar for quite a while, going so far as adding a pickup to it when I joined a surf band in junior high. These days there are musicians who spend thousands of dollars to recreate a really nasty sound like the one I got from that old guitar, a DeArmond pickup, and an old record player converted into a guitar amp!