Being around people passionate about what they do is contagious. They make you want to go out and not waste another minute pursuing your own dreams.
I’ve been on the prowl for a new guitar and a friend recommended NStuff Music (“Family owned and operated since 1968”) in Blawnox, one of the many small boroughs surrounding Pittsburgh. (You really need to hear a native Picksburgher say “Blawnox.”)
So I walked into this nondescript store and became a drip of estrogen in the sea of testosterone. Men sat on stools picking and strumming, men lined the counters and aisles, men talked guitars and listened to guitars. The walls were awash with the instruments.
I kidded one employee that I wasn’t the right gender or young or “hip” enough and he just waved me off, laughing. Once I found my way to the second floor acoustic section I was just one more guitar lover, tucked in a little room, playing guitars. (A player with a baritone bass joined me and we talked guitars. He invited me to try his bass. I did.) The Martin or Taylor guitar that “talked to me” would be mine.
It was the Martin. I told the Martin rep the least he could do was throw in a T shirt. “C.F. Martin & Co. Heart/Tone/Legend. Stay tuned.” As I stood at the counter a shaggy haired guy who could’ve been (or still is) a Deadhead smiled knowingly and nodded. “You’ll love your Martin. I love mine.”
I do love it. But I also appreciate the love of those men (and the few women) for their art and the tools of their trade. If my passion ever gets watered down, I’ll remember those black T shirts at NStuff Music.