The Day the Music Died
A few weeks ago, our neighbor hiked three miles through the pine trees to our house. He took a shortcut through someone else’s land and stumbled on a grave of piled rocks and a cross made with two sticks held together with rope. Something stuck out between the rocks. He uncovered an electric guitar. Overcome by a spooked feeling, he replaced the rocks. When he arrived at our house, he told my husband Gary about the guitar.
Now there’s nothing Gary loves more than old rusty falling apart objects, which is one of the things I love about him. I figure it may never even occur to him to trade me in on a newer model who doesn’t have all that cool rust around the edges like me. We won’t discuss my half and all-the-way-fallen parts. Off they went to look at the grave and, of course, Gary came home with a dirt encrusted Harmony guitar. He planned to hang it on the wall or use it in a sculptural collage.
A couple of days later we lost a cat. And cats are hard to keep in the country, mostly due to owls and coyotes. We’d had bad luck with kitties in the past but these cats had lived two full years and we thought they’d survive to old age - until we found what was left of Tig out in the field. Our shoulders slumped.
Gary got to thinking maybe it was bad juju to have taken that guitar out of the grave.
That night we had a few people over. Gary brought out the guitar and everyone debated whether it was cursed or not. And as they were a bunch of writers and artists, stories about why the guitar was there and who buried it started flying, continued all night and into the next day. Even people who heard the story later were inspired.
Monday morning I went to work and Gary decided to take the guitar back. We still had one cat left. As soon as he grabbed that guitar neck and headed down the path, thunder broke out, then a light rain. It continued all the way there and back. You should know that we’ve been in a drought for quite a while and that rain was a blessing. As for the thunder, what musician doesn’t appreciate a concert in the sky?
Click on PAGES below for the poems, stories and artwork that rose out of that grave.