His ‘Marilyn’

Here’s how it happened…I had been thinking that I really wanted to take voice lessons.  I had taken them before and enjoyed it very much, though unfortunately I froze when it came to the recitals…stage fright.

Soon after, I attended a concert of local musician, Peter Breinholt, who had as a guest performer the talented singer/guitarist Nancy Hansen.  I was inspired by her performance.  About a week later I was attending a function at the charter school our children attended at the time, looked across the grass and there she was!  I decided to go tell her how much I enjoyed her performance and asked her if she taught voice lessons.  She said no but she did teach guitar lessons.  I jumped at the chance.  I hadn’t necessarily always wanted to play guitar but especially after seeing her perform it seemed like a great idea.  I got her number, we set it up and I began searching for the perfect beginner’s guitar that would also be good for when I got to be more of an experienced guitarist.

I loved it!  Lessons once a week and practice every day I could squeeze it in.  I was a bit slow to catch on but I was getting it.  At the time Caleb was 14 and into his electric guitar shredding his own style of music—all self-taught.   I could tell he was gifted, even though I didn’t care for the music he was playing.  As a side note, I remember distinctly a sister-in-law had come to visit and heard him playing in his room and she told it it was so good that he had that for an outlet, all teenagers needed an outlet.  It really gave me a lot more patience for the ‘noise’ and now I am grateful to her for that comment.

After a few months of lessons, I became pregnant with my 7th child, Boston.  I made it through the morning sickness all right but once my belly began protruding so I couldn’t see where to place my fingers on the strings I decided it was time to take a break and hopefully get back to it a few months after the baby was born.  In the meantime, Caleb picked up the guitar and started teaching himself chords and kind of ‘took over’ my guitar while I wasn’t using it.  Now I was even more grateful for my ‘patience’.  I never knew what the outcome would be.  Would he continue to play that style of music forever, form a band, get into drugs, get famous and lose his grounding…these and many other questions went back and forth in my mind.  I told myself–be still, have faith, believe in him.  Eventually he was playing the acoustic far more than the electric as his musical tastes greatly shifted, softened up a bit and he began writing music that I enjoyed immensely.

I still have never got back to playing consistently, I keep wanting to.  But Caleb ended up buying my guitar off me he loved it so much and tried to find one like it but had no luck.  He calls her ‘Marilyn’, and says she treats him better than any of the other girls. He now has many instruments for his band “The Mighty Sequoyah” and she is still faithful to him.

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2 Responses to His ‘Marilyn’

  1. Penny says:

    Love this post! I’ve always wanted to take voice lessons but haven’t been able to find someone who knows what they’re doing AND doesn’t charge a fortune. I struggle with the stage fright also, even though all my high school classes and activities were choir, theatre, musicals, and performances. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to get up and sing with some of your kids, if i’m so lucky!

  2. Tracy says:

    Wow! That’s awesome! Go kid …go!

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