A Blueridge

05/25/2021 0 By BuddyCushman

It’s days like today I wish I’d started keeping a journal back from like when I was 10 up until yesterday. The ongoing scribbled story of my life. First, I think journaling is cool, and lately for me this Blog space has felt something what I expect writing in a journal feels like, especially since the third week in January when I announced a new post every day, Mondays through Fridays. The last month for sure. Plus, I think journaling is valuable as well as a clear record of people, places, things, times and dates, even what decade I’m trying to remember when something happened.

Like when I bought this Blueridge guitar. Was it the 80’s? the 90’s? the 2000’s? I’ve been trying to puzzle this out this morning as I have recently rescued the Blueridge from where it has sat idly for years behind my mother’s recliner up on the second floor where I will no longer be welcome soon. So the Blueridge has come down to the basement where I mostly live and write Morning Pages and this Blog and plan packing and storing and recycling and donating and throwing away behaviors, the 24-hour clock rushing around and forward and my time here rapidly coming to a close. Oh, I eat and sleep down here too, which barely matters. Anyway, the acoustic’s down here with me these days and since it is within grabbing range every time I go to bed I have this last week been picking it up and slipping the strap over my neck and shoulder and muscle memory remembering chords and playing for five minutes until my non-calloused fingers start yelling at me to go to bed already.

There’s a guy named Eddie Carlino in Medford, Massachusetts who followed his bliss and opened a guitar store a long time ago, which I just Googled and saw was 2003 – an aha for me re: the lost decade thing – since it was at Eddie’s not long after he opened that I first heard about Blueridge acoustic guitars, which was a brand he carried and encouraged me to buy and which, as the photo proves, I did. But I did not buy one of the many Eddie had hanging on his wall. No, it was on one of my vacations to California and visiting/staying with my best friend Bob Zimmerman and me alone strolling down Telegraph Ave in Berkeley and coming upon a second-floor guitar shop in this open-air grouping of shops and I went in one afternoon and there was this used Blueridge, which I believe was on sale for $275 and, taking Eddie’s advice because I liked and respected Eddie and hung around his store a bunch and even once bought a small cheap amp, I bought the Blueridge and walked back up Telegraph and over under the Sather Gate which is the entry from that direction onto the campus off UC Berkeley and went over and sat on a stone wall and began playing my new guitar – my first public performance ever, Yippee, and no one gave me money and no one told me to screw and pretty much no one paid me a lick of attention. But, still, how cool to first audition not 100 yards from where Mario Savio told the Berkeley kids and students to clog up the machine of big everything (’55 ?).

After a while, since I did then have calloused fingers and could play an hour or so, I walked the guitar back to Bob’s in El Cerrito (I took the BART) and a few days later just before flying back to Massachusetts I brought the guitar back to Blue Note Music on Telegraph and had them ship it to me in Medford – which they safely did.

This morning the Blueridge has served as my journal, accurately reminding me of times in my life, and it’s down here in the basement with me because this is simply another time in my life – more selling than buying – and in fact I pretty much am journaling the fading of my marriage and my kid being safely tucked away in a new and loving home and me soon enough going to hit the highway (once again) and all I’m bringing with me will be what fits in the Camry. And I may have sold all the electrics and amps, but the Blueridge is here in the basement, the strings breathing life, just a little, again. And there will be a place in my car for it, out there somewhere on the 5.

Hopefully I’ll journal that journey too.