Hi folks... I'm glad I discovered this forum! I'm 74, and am a retired pro musician. Music was only one of my peculiar careers, and more of a sideline than the others, as I have always made most of my income as an artist. But there were many years when that sideline was more profitable than my artistry. My love of the Telecaster was accidental, as I've always been a banjoist first and foremost, and never had much interest in playing any electric instrument until I had been playing the banjo and an acoustic guitar for over 10 years. I was around 28 before I ever picked up a Tele, and I chose the guitar only because I was newly married and had an offer to join a good local dance band drop in my lap. My Martin wouldn't ever cut the mustard in it, so I needed an electric guitar. The Tele is the most banjo-like guitar ever made in my view, and once I tried one out in early 1972, at a music store owned by a friend, who let me take it out on a gig, I knew it was the right choice for me, and bought it. My first Tele was made in either 1969 or 1970 (can't remember just when it was made anymore), and it became my go-to electric for the next 27 years. I was never the best player on any of my instruments, but I've always had a very wide range of musical interests; I love jazz as much as bluegrass, and country just as much as rock, and I don't mind playing a sappy top-40 kid hit if the pay is good. So it all led me into many different bands, and my Tele could handle anything I was ever able to play in them all. Eventually, I got a reputation as a good replacement player for the times when a band's regular lead player couldn't make a gig. I became fairly adept at winging it stone cold, and the Tele really helped me out with its simplicity. For several years, I made enough money as a substitute player that I really enjoyed that work more than as a member in a steady-playing band, as it allowed me more freedom at a time when my other work was paying the bills and feeding the bulldog. The drop-in gigs were gravy that allowed me to afford giving my kids and wife some of life's pleasant extras. Later on, I joined a lady I knew for years and we formed a duo. She is a great singer and plays a good solid bass, but I suddenly had a lot more roles to fill in a duo than I ever had before, so I sold my well-worn old Tele to buy a new Stratocaster, which was a more flexible guitar for the need, but one I liked, not not as much as a Tele. The Strat was a rare model, one that had the same 1 switch, 2 knob setup of the Teles htat Fender only made for a short time in the 80s. We finally hung up the duo after 11 years, and I quit the music business when we quit as a duo. Eventually, I sold the Strat too, and gradually quit playing at home as well. But during that time, I worked for Gibson in their acoustic guitar factory in Montana, so I really never did quit the biz. After working at Gibson twice, 10 years apart, I finally retired for good in 2004, and until recently, writing has taken up my free time. I got so rusty on my acoustic guitars I didn't even want to pick them up, but a good old friend would call from time to time. He had a home music recording studio, and he would call up his pals and would sometimes just play, but other times preferred to record the rest of us. He owned a swell Telecaster, a 2004, I loved to play every time I went to one of his jams. He was a half-owner in a music store, so he always could pick out a good guitar. It revived my interest in playing the electric again, and I wanted to buy another Tele. I suddenly got his about a month ago. Sadly, he discovered he had a lethal inoperable brain cancer. He was a very courageous man, so he faced his impending death head-on, and he wanted his friends to get his best instruments before he died. The cancer was merciful in that regard; he was never in pain, and he was given just enough time to get his affairs settled to his satisfaction. His passing was very quick and painless. So now I have his guitar. I'll never sell it, of course, but I doubt I'll ever want to. He was an ace repairman for a long time, and the Tele was his favorite, and it's so well set up and adjusted it will never need any work done on it. All I'll ever have to do is change the strings and keep it clean. It helped me with my grief a lot since then. While its acquisition came from a sad necessity, I was honored that it was reserved for me, and now, entirely through strange consequences, I'm now back to possessing the only electric guitar I'll ever need for the rest of my life. It's been a very long, strange circle that encompasses 50 years of my lifetime that was once open and is not closed once more.