A while ago I posted this on the Martin Forum. I thought it might be a good introduction from me to this Forum. I'll also post some updates to the original story. Not long ago, my father asked me to contact my Aunt to pick up my Grandfather's Guitar. About 20 years before this he made the same request and my Aunt declined to let me have the guitar - I wasn't "ready" - so I was a little reluctant to try again. Besides, so many stories like this conclude as a disappointment - the guitar winds up being a disaster or some off brand plywood junky thing... ...this, fortunately, is not one of those stories. When I finally made a date with my Aunt to pick up the guitar, I could sense her apprehension. Twenty years ago she had balked at giving me the guitar because she feared that no one but she could be entrusted with this family heirloom and it was still an emotional moment for her to allow me to take responsibility for her father's guitar. I assured her that I took the responsibility as an honor. Now, as she handed me the battered case she gave me a brief history of her treasure. My grandfather was born (we think) in 1900 in Santiago, Chile. In 1926, he ordered the Guitar directly from the C.F. Martin Guitar Company in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Imagine a 26 year old man in Santiago, Chile ordering such an instrument. When he came to the United States my grandfather brought little more than a suitcase and his guitar. Tragically, he passed away in a construction site accident in the 50s. The guitar sat in a case in my grandmother's house for years. At some point my uncles were cleaning out my grandmother's house and had a large fire pit to dispose of "junk". My aunt happened to see the pile of stuff destined for the fire pit, and at the top of the heap was the guitar case. She snatched her father's guitar almost literally from the flames of destruction! The guitar continued to sit in its case, in attics and back rooms until this week when my Aunt finally handed it over to me to be the caretaker for my generation. Before opening the case I realized that the condition of the guitar and even the "collectability" of it were irrelevant to me. I never met my Grandfather nor have even seen a picture of him - now I was about to get my first real link to the man. Inside the case was an actual 1926 Martin 0-18 Guitar. It has Hawaiian Koa wood top and Mahogany Sides and back. All of the tuners are straight and intact - including the knobs themselves. It has the classic pick wear on the body and groves in the frets, indicating many many hours of play. It is in unrestored "Good" condition. The only things not 100% original seem to be the Bridge Pins. Needless to say, I am thrilled. Many things still intrigue me about the provenance of this guitar - and I look forward to researching the instrument as well as learning what I can to help me understand the potential story behind my Grandfather acquiring the guitar. I may have to take some "poetic license" as I piece together the back-story. I am curious as to how someone in Santiago, Chile in 1926 orders a Martin Guitar from Nazareth, Pennsylvania. The sheer logistics of the transaction alone boggle my mind - not to mention the personal decisions that must have been behind my grandfather doing so. For example this must not have been his first guitar - you don't buy this sort of guitar from America as an "entry level" instrument. This was also certainly not the most simple way to purchase a guitar in Santiago - there were clearly other Guitar makers and even local Luthiers that would have been easier and less expensive. In 1926 you didn't just hop on the Internet and research/order a guitar - heck, you didn't just pick up a phone either. Foreign currency exchange, slow communication, language barriers, unreliable shipping across multiple continents - this was not a "walk in and buy a guitar off the shelf" transaction. Were there even Spanish Language Catalogs? How many weeks or months or even years did it take to save the money to purchase such an instrument? Or did he win the cash in a single night of playing cards? I've bought several fine guitars and could barely contain the excitement of the purchase and transferring it home in my car. Imagine the anticipation of a 26 year old in Chile in 1926 waiting for his guitar to arrive from America!