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[The Guitar]

Joe Speer


I walked with my newly acquired guitar out to the highway to thumb a ride. The instrument was a gift from a friend for help on a building project. We made adobes used on a home he designed for the extended family. His wife's in-laws lived with them and two grandchildren. As I walked the southern outskirts of Espanola a car pulled over.

"You want a ride ese," asked a youth with a red bandanna over his eyes? He drove a yellow ’66 Camaro with huge back tires.

"Where are you going," I asked?

"'Burque." After the exchange of preliminary travel banter I agreed to ride with him and put the guitar in the backseat. He asked if I would spring for a six-pack in trade for the ride.

"Sure." What kind of beer do you drink?"

"Coorrrs." He stopped at a convenience store and I got out to buy the beer. When I walked out of the store he had the car running and facing the highway. As I approached the car from the back he suddenly peeled out and drove off. I stood flabbergasted but had the presence of mind to note the license plate number. I walked to the police station in Espanola and reported the fresh crime. We filled out some paper work and they obtained the driver's name and address from the license number. I asked if a policeman would accompany me to the residence so I could confront the person. They agreed and as we approached the house I recognized the car parked in the driveway. I asked the policeman to stop just down from the house. I didn't want to startle him. I walked to the front door with the six-pack. There was loud music that sounded like a Santana riff. I knocked and waited. No one answered so I knocked louder. The door opened. It was the man who drove off with my guitar.

"We meet again," I said. He made a motion to close the door but I blocked the move with my foot as I saw the guitar. "Don't get nervous," I reassured him. "When you drove off with my guitar, you forgot the beer." I handed him the six-pack and snagged my guitar while he stood pie-eyed. "Adios amigo." I skedaddled out of his yard.

"Wait," he yelled. "I'm sorry I stole your guitara. Come back and let's party vato." I ended up staying there overnight. I let him play my guitar. He sounded like Paco de Lucia and John McLaughlin together for a gathering of the spirits. He played much better than I did. Before I left I gave him the guitar. Then he gave me a ride back to the highway.

  Joe Speer is a raconteur and editor who lives and travels in a VW camper. He likes to visit ancient sites and wilderness areas while studying literature of 1920s and films of 1960s.
2010 Volume 1 Issue 2