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Sad Tele Story

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Old Smokey, Nov 7, 2020.

  1. Old Smokey

    Old Smokey TDPRI Member

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    I've got a sad tele story to tell.

    My younger brother died four years ago. I was tasked with sorting through his stuff and getting everything organized. I asked my younger sister, my brother's twin, if she would like to have his tele (his #1). She doesn't play, but I thought she would like to have it as an object with a strong association to him. He was a good player.

    Well, unfortunately my sister has been dealing with pretty severe mental health issues since our brother passed. She has been hospitalized several times with psychosis, delusions, paranoia and things like that. She is in the hospital right now. I spoke to her on the phone yesterday. She seems to be doing pretty well, but she confessed to me that she had, at the height of this most recent episode, felt compelled to take his guitar out into the desert and leave it there, as sort of a ceremonial letting go. Makes me think of Gram Parsons. Anyway, I was sad to hear it, but it was her property to do with it as she pleased.

    If anyone finds a highly "customized" Squire telecaster in a brown case in the desert west of Tucson, please let me know.
     
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  2. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I'm so sorry to hear of the passing of your brother.

    I have a thought, and I'm gonna float it out there, and you can bat it away or maybe it will bring you comfort.

    I think that guitar, being out in the desert is bringing you sister more comfort, than it is bringing you pain. If you can, talk yourself into accepting what she's done and again, if you can, tell her she's done a good thing.

    Remember, you showed respect and love to her, turning the instrument over to her. You know this means you will be all right, no matter what happens to the guitar. And if you're all right, you attention next turns to the welfare of your sister.

    Take care.
     
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  3. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm good with anything that puts people ahead of stuff. Because stuff is just...stuff.

    Good call Boris.
     
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  4. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    When I die or go the rest of the way nuts, I hope someone scatters my guitars in the Mojave Desert. My best to you and your sister.
     
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  5. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    I don't see a darn thing wrong with what she did, rather touching in fact.
     
  6. toytraintrader

    toytraintrader TDPRI Member

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    That tele isn't gone. Someone will find it and think it is a gift from the gods. Who knows its future and where it will go.
     
  7. Old Smokey

    Old Smokey TDPRI Member

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    I felt an initial pang of regret or sadness, and I think she did too, when she told me. She wasn't in her right mind when she did it, and she had told me in the past how much comfort having the guitar had brought her. I agree, though, that if it helps her at all do have done it, then it's a net positive.

    I don't put too much stock in the material possessions; I have his recordings and his artwork and my memories of him, I don't need to own his slab of wood with some strings on it. Although, one of the few things of his I kept for myself was a one-string cigar-box guitar that he made. My other sister has his acoustic, which he bought because he liked mine and sought out the identical model.
     
  8. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I agree that stuff is stuff, and that people are more important than things.

    But unnecessary waste is a different matter. I hope my wife knows that I wouldn't want this to happen to any of my guitars. She would not be honoring my memory to treat them in such a fashion.

    Two of my three children play guitar, as does one son-in-law. Out of 19 grandchildren, several have shown interest in the guitar. My kid brother gigs for a living, and the guitar that I've had the longest (more than 37 years) he loves. He's said he'd arm wrestle my kids for it. So there are any number of possibilities to disperse my guitars and still keep it in the family.

    Beyond that, my wife could sell them for whatever she can get for them. Or if she found some young musician that needed a guitar, she could even give a guitar or guitars away. I'd be fine with that. I've given away guitars and amps myself.

    But just leaving guitars in the desert or burying one with me or a burial at sea or the like? I'd come back to haunt her.
     
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  9. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    So sorry to hear of your loss and your sister's health. Wishing her the best. I really like Boris' post #2. I'd like to think that some deserving player will end up with it and just maybe a little bit of your bother will be part of the music it plays.
     
  10. superjam144

    superjam144 Tele-Afflicted

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    So very sad, my heart goes out to you. Death is so hard to deal with. My mom died when I was young and ever since, I have had fear of my loved ones dying.

    Sounds like a fitting tribute.
     
  11. LetItGrowTone

    LetItGrowTone Tele-Meister

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    I also think it's an honorable tribute.
    It isn't the worst fate for a guitar, to be elevated to that.
     
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  12. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    Truly a sad story on a few levels. I am sorry for the loss of your brother and the state of your sister. In all seriousness, if there is a bright side it has to be that it was only a Squire. I know that that sounds trite, and although it is probably the furthest thing in your mind, you at least don't have to think like many others on this forum about the monetary value of the Tele that you lost. The memory is worth much more anyway. That would also be true if it was a '52 black guard, but in your case you don't even have to go there. All my sympathies for you.
     
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  13. Old Plank

    Old Plank Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    If it has brought her some level of relief from her troubles, then I think it's a pretty admirable move; and even more so, I hope someday you both can have a good laugh about it together in remembrance of your brother.
     
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  14. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Upon re-thinking, I can see being mad about this, at least a little.
     
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  15. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Holic

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    Thirty-odd years ago I sold a guitar to my dearest friend. He loved the guitar, I needed the money, I gave him a good deal, he kept and played it for the rest of his life.
    When he passed, his wife gave it back to me because he told her that I would know what to do with it.
    I did know. I gave it to the son of another dear friend, a very talented young man who could appreciate a good guitar that was years older than he was.
    It's not the same as leaving it in the desert, but it was done for the same reason.
    I do trust that your "desert rose" will find another love.
     
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  16. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Yup.

    I would be, for a while.

    Then I would cool off and find peace with it. And forget it ever bothered me.
     
  17. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    If ever she wants to find it, you must help her, and I know everyone here would wish you luck. I feel sure that, if it’s been found and is out there somewhere, it’ll surface, eventually finishing up in the hands of a player..........and that player will be wanting to find out the circumstances that put a guitar in the desert.
     
  18. Old Smokey

    Old Smokey TDPRI Member

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    There’s actually a nameplate on the back of the headstock with my brother’s name and his years of birth and death, so whoever finds it will have that info. I kinda doubt anyone would find me by googling his name, but they might find one of his former bandmates.
     
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  19. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I think if someone does find it, their impulse will be to bring it back to town and get the word out, there's a guitar that's been found.

    I remember as a teen ager, my friends and I came across a huge cache of Navy signalling equipment. We toted it back to town, and notified the authorities. Trouble was, in our case the persons with the Navy, who received word of the missing equipment, were embarrassed and so they covered up the recovery. They never thanked us or acknowledged what happened at all. But yeah, I think if someone finds it they'll bring it back.

    But on the other hand Edward Abbey is buried out there in the So. Arizona desert and has been for decades. If anyone has come across the grave, they sure haven't told the rest of us.
     
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  20. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    Stranger things have happened, tomorrow, next month, year............................
     
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