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The Old Worn Guitar Kept In Tune With The Times -- Short Story--Fiction

Updated on October 13, 2016
always exploring profile image

My name is Ruby. I live in Southern Illinois. I love to write poetry, short stories and flash fiction. I am a retired R.N.

Sam looked at the old worn guitar through the pawnshop window and wanted it so badly.

Sam was a kid who grew up on a farm in Indiana. He had two sisters, Mary and Jo, plus two brothers, Eddy and Chris. They were a typical country family, poor but happy. His mother, June and his father, Thomas raised them to worship God and be thankful, even though there was never enough money for extras.

When Sam was six years old he'd gone to town with his father. They passed a pawnshop with an old worn guitar in the window. Sam stopped and looked at it with a wishful look in his eye's. Thomas was pretty sure he couldn't afford it, but the look on Sam's face prompted him to say, " Let's go in and see how much it costs. " Sam was thrilled when the owner said, " Ten dollars " but looking at the glum look on his father's face, he knew it was out of reach. It didn't make him mad at his father. He understood that times were hard. The year was 1940 and there was talk about a possible war. They looked around the shop for a bit and as they were leaving the owner said, " You really want that old guitar don't you son? " Sam spoke up and said, " Yes I do Sir " The owner saw the wishful look on his face and said, " I'll tell you what, if you have five dollars, it's yours. " Sam looked at his father reaching in his back pocket for his billfold and a big ole grin covered his face. He was a happy boy when they left the shop with the guitar tucked under his arm. He learned to pick out a tune in a couple of day.

After the war and beyond.


The kids all graduated and each one left home in search of a job. Sam only had one ambition he wanted to pursue and that was definitely music. He loved writing lyrics and playing his guitar.

His destination when he left home was Nashville, Tn. Oh, he was no singer, but he was darn good at putting rhyming words on paper.

He found work at a farm market that sold homegrown flowers, vegetables and sweet honey that tasted as good as his mother Junes'. He spent most of his evening's listening to country music and writing songs.

.

Fast forward, Sam explaining to his grandchildren how and when he met their grandmother.


It was a Saturday night and just up the street from the market was a country nightclub. He decided to go, and of course, he had his guitar tucked under his arm. He was sitting and listening to the music when one of the band members asked him if he played? He said, " Yes " They asked him to join them,he did and had a blast. They invited him to play with them every Saturday night.

One night a pretty redhead sat down close to the stage. She asked them if they needed a girl singer. They told her to come on up and asked what song she wanted to sing? She said, " How about Coal Miner's Daughter? " The crowd loved her singing and she became a regular.

It wasn't long before Sam fell head - over- heels for Marlene. They dated about a year before tying the knot.

Nashville was booming and they both found good jobs at The Ford Motor Company.

They had two children, a boy Sam Jr. and a girl Tina Louise. They settled into raising a family. Occasionally they would get a baby sitter and go to the club where the crowd still enjoyed listening to him playing the guitar and Marlene belting out a good old country song. They belonged to a small country church and raised their family the same way Sam's mother and father raised him.

Sam Jr. asked his grandfather if he could hold the old guitar and Sam said, " I was wondering when you were going to ask me. He gave the old guitar to him and thought back to the time his father bought it for him, thinking, " My how time flies. "

Sam Jr. was a natural just like Sam knew he would be. After all he came from a bloodline that lived through poverty, a war, some good times and a few bad times, but most of all they loved country music and the guitar sound that was as sweet as his mother's homemade honey. He could almost taste it all these years later.

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    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 6 months ago from Texas

      Ruby, Ruby, my gem of a friend

      Where oh where do I begin

      For sure on my face you put a grin

      This reminds me of Johnny Cash

      And the sadness of what happened to him

      Wiped away the grin

      And I don't mean to be grim

      I just write what pops into my head

      When I read a hub

      But I love your story

      Blessings and Hugs my dear friend.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 6 months ago

      That's beautiful, Ruby. It reminds me of a similar story about a little girl, her daddy and a pawn shop, except that it wasn't a guitar. I hope to pass the object down to my grandson someday. I love your stories.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shyron.

      You not only put a smile on my face

      You touched me with a warm embrace

      I love country music as I know you do too

      Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Elvis just to name a few

      Some of their stories are pretty sad indeed

      But the new country singers are in dire need

      Of getting back to real country instead of hip hop

      But I liked Jerry Lee's bee bop

      They ' ain't ' got that country twang

      I guess we gotta put up with them doing their thing.

      Hugs my friend....

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello MizBejabbers. It's always good to see you. I've always wanted to play the guitar, but I'm all thumbs. I was talking to Kenneth Avery on another one of my hubs, and we were talking about wanting to be able to play a guitar. This story popped in my mind. It's nice you have something to pass down to your grandson. I'm happy you like my stories. Thank you so much..

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Ruby

      This is a gem. Living here in Nashville I relate well to this story. Looking forward to your next one my friend. You' ve found your niche!

      Hugs,

      Audrey

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 6 months ago from southern USA

      Aw, Ruby, this is such a sweet story that warms the heart.

      I wish I could play too, but my son is a natural. I tell him he would be a big hit in Nashville. I hope he teaches his children to play the guitar or the piano. He still has the special guitar I bought for him one Christmas when he was a lot younger. So, I hope he passes it down, but he has four children LOL. Maybe if they want to learn, I can, as their "Nanny" give a guitar for a Christmas gift one Christmas.

      Yes, the new country artists are different than the good ole ones, but I do like a good bit of them too. Have to give them a chance...

      Blessings

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 6 months ago from london

      What a very sweet story, Ruby, and with all the ingredients added in. Just like that honey you mentioned.

      I needed you telling Anansi stories all those moons ago, beneath a shady nutmeg tree in the Caribbean. How charming!!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It took me awhile between my birthday and a huge storm, but I finally made it, and you gave me a lovely story for a birthday present. How nice of you, Ruby! I will cherish it always. :)

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 6 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi, we've not talked for ages, but I was drifting through HP today and enjoyed reading your story. Hope all is well :)

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Audrey. It must be great living in Nashville. Country music is my first love, although I love all music, even opera. When I was growing up my mother hardly ever turned the radio off. Her love was Ernest Tubb, she kept a glossy 8x10 on her dresser. Mine was Elvis and still is! Thank you for thinking I've found my niche. Hugs....

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 6 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Beautiful story , so simple yet so absorbing!

      You kept the reader's interest till the end.

      Enjoyed reading, Thanks you!

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 6 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Sometimes it's the simplest things in life that brings us the most joy. You demonstrated that perfectly in your story.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 6 months ago from Dubai

      A beautiful heart warming story, great write. The shop owner's kind act made Sam's day and paved the way for the many great songs written by Sam.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 6 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      What a nice uplifting story, Ruby. Very entertaining and fun to read!

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Theresa. I guess I sounded mean when I remarked that the new country singers were not as good as the older ones. I just love ' tear jerkers. ' lol. I like the idea of giving your grandchildren a guitar. I made the mistake of giving my son drums, pretty quickly he was moved to the basement...I do like Blake Shelton. Thanks for coming by my place...

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Manatita. I had to look up the word, ' Anansi ' Google said that it means stories told in Ghana. I can visualize you setting under a nutmeg tree dreaming of poetry many moons ago. Charming is a great critique of my simple story. Thank you..

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Bill. You are so kind with your comments. I like that it was a birthday present to you. Thank you much.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Paraglider. So good to see you. You're one of the first people I read on HP. Happy you enjoyed my story. All is well. Thank you..

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 6 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Country music and a sweet love story make for a wonderful combination, dear Ruby.

      Hard to believe the CMA awards are celebrating 50 years on Nov 2nd. I used to never miss watching with Mom ... this year should be a great blend of the old and the new.

      Have a peaceful weekend. Love you and write another soon, mar

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello ChitrangadaSharan. Nice to meet you. Glad you found my story interesting. Thank you much..

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Dana. I fully agree that the simple things in life make us the happiest. I remember one Christmas when my mother sacrificed and bought me a pair of cowgirl boots. I loved them. I've had all kinds of shoes and boots but nothing compared to those boots. Thank you for coming..

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 6 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Loved this story which I read with strains of great old country songs in my mind.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby - What a nice story. You have made known your love of country music before, but in this tale you display that you are a romantic as well. Thanks for this story this morning.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Vellur. This story was written about times past when a pawn store owner was not so greedy, and he did provide much joy to a family with his small price of an old guitar. I'm glad you found a meaning in this simple story. Thank you much...

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello lifegate. I'm pleased it was a fun read for you. Thank you much..

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mar. I always watch the CMA awards. There's so many I will miss, at least Willie is still hanging on. I think the reason I like ' The Voice ' so much is Blake Shelton. He is more like the real country singers that I liked so much. Thank you sweet friend. Hugs...

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Rasma. I know we both like country music as well as many others. I'm happy you enjoyed this. Thank you...

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mike. I can't deny that I love country music and yes, I'm a hopeless romantic. There's something about a country nightclub, a guitar and a pretty redhead that makes a story like this complete. I'm happy you thought it was a nice story. Thank you..Hugs...

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 6 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      What a delightful story! Loved it!

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 6 months ago from Nibiru

      hello my good friend ruby, this was a nice story. very imaginable.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Blossom. I'm so happy that you found my story delightful. Thank you much...

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Clive. Thanks for coming by to read my story, happy you thought it was a nice story...

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 6 months ago from South Africa

      Lovely story! Oh, and I love Loretta Lynn. Hugs to you, Ruby!

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Martie. I didn't know that you liked Loretta Lynn. Yea! I loved the movie about her life, ' Coal Miner's Daughter ' Happy to see you my long time friend. Hugs to you ....

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 6 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A great story and you have a unique talent.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello DDE. Thank you for the ' great story and unique talent ' comment. Happy you liked my story.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 6 months ago from Central Florida

      What a sweet story, Ruby! I love that music is being passed on through the generations. What better legacy to leave?

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shauna. Music is a love that I grew up with. My mother loved country music. I don't believe our radio was ever turned off until late at night. I'm glad you liked my story. Thank you much...

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 months ago from Northern California, USA

      This story reminds me of my first guitar. I will never forget that day and I will have that guitar forever. What a beautiful story. I especially like the name you chose for Sam's wife (smile).

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello, how about that name, Marlene? lol. I have always wanted to be able to play a guitar. Lucky you! Thank you for coming by to read and comment...Cheers..

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