Friday, January 16, 2009

Lisa Wood is a co-worker of mine (she hosts Viva La Luna on ROCK 101 KUFO, among many other duties) and more importantly a close friend of mine. Her and her (now) husband had a pretty rough year, and because of financial troubles due to many sudden changes in their lives she had to sell one of her favorite possessions - her prized guitar. Here's her story of loss and gain told in her words, she is an amazing person and her story is touching to read. If you have a few minutes please read below! If you'd like to see more of her blog, and see pictures of the guitar head to for more. Thanks!

The Story of the Guitar.

by LWood

This story is incredible (it would be no matter who it happened to), is guaranteed to bring a goose bump or 2, possibly a tear to the eye and is a testament to the people we feel so, so lucky to have in our lives. I think it needs to be told, especially in a time where it seems like every day we are hit with not-so-good news.

A little back-story…
2007 & much of 2008 were very rough for us. We both lost our jobs and were unemployed for much longer than expected. We learned, very unexpectedly, that Brian has a teenage daughter he’d never known about, which turned our lives upside down. I’m pretty sure no one ever really braces for that kind of news, but once thrown into that scenario, you have no choice but to take it on and move forward. We started paying child support and struggled through a very difficult and emotional legal battle. That, combined with our lack of employment just about ruined us financially.

We tried very hard to keep our heads up and know that eventually things would get better. Our friends and family were an unending source of emotional support, it really made all the difference having them by our side.

At one of our lowest and toughest financial points, after having to borrow money from both of our families at one point or another, when unemployment checks weren’t enough to cover our bills, let alone the mounting lawyer fees, we had to sell some things to make ends meet. It wasn’t ideal, but we came to the conclusion at that point that things were things and we’d be better off down the road and could try to replace them then.

Anyone who knows us knows our deep and undying love for all things musical. Over the years, before we met and after we began dating, we’d collected a few second hand instruments, several limited edition concert posters, records and CDs. I parted ways with a few Pearl Jam posters, which stung a bit, some CDs, which I was able to at save as MP3s, but the hardest decision was to part with my beautiful Fender Stratocaster. It was the only instrument I’d ever saved up for and bought new. Brian fell in love with it when we started dating, it was our favorite guitar. With the simplest set-up, no pedals, no effects, just the guitar and an amp, it sounded like a warm musical blanket wrapping you in goodness. It was one of the few things we had that carried a decent value though and as painful as it was, we had to sell it. I know the guitar geekitude is not easily explained in words, but those of you who have that in you, know exactly what I mean.
I posted it on Craigslist and sent the link to everyone I knew and got an email from a guy here in Portland that wanted to buy it for his wife. He paid for it with paypal and came to get it. It seemed almost too easy, but he was all smiles about it and I was glad it was going to someone who’d appreciate it, not to mention another girl playing guitar

It was so, so hard to see it go, but we assured ourselves that we did the right thing, especially since it was the money from the guitar that paid our rent that month.

Fast Forward 5 months to our wedding reception.
Sean and Jeff had done their toasts and in a passing, almost quiet moment where you wonder if anyone else has anything to say, we heard “Alright, I’ve got something to say” from the back of the room. It was one of our closest friends, Gavin. He got up on the mic and I noticed that his voice was a bit shaky and he seemed pretty emotional.

Rather than the expected wedding toast, he started talking about how we’d had a pretty rough go the last 2 years and had to sell some things. We kind of looked at each other, like “where is he going with this?” He went on to say that he and a group of friends had pulled together to surprise us, turned to the back of the stage and I saw a guitar case. My first thought was that they bought us a new guitar and I was floored.

But then out came my guitar. Surrounded by old vinyl records, all signed by everyone who pitched in, in it’s original case.

We were stunned and to be honest the moment is all a little blurry for me. It was one of those moments where you feel like you’re in a tunnel where everything is happening really quickly, but you want to try and get your head around what’s actually happening and try to savor it.

Once I’d processed the fact that my guitar, not another guitar like it, but my Fender was sitting in front of us, I was full of questions.
“How did you find the guy who bought my guitar?”
“How did you convince him to sell it to you?”
This goes back to the moment being blurry…Gavin said “Dude, we bought it for you. I knew that guy from college and he lives in Portland. We pooled our money together and sent him to buy it from you so that we could give it to you here, tonight.”
So they sent that guy to buy the guitar in May and held onto it without either of us having a clue. Amazing.

Every time I tell the story and as I write it right now, I am overwhelmed by it. We’ve always felt very lucky to have such amazing people in our lives, but never could we have imagined such a scenario. It left us speechless and feeling as though saying thank you a million times over would never be enough.

Every single day of our honeymoon and still to this day (especially when one of us plays the guitar) at some point one of us will look at the other and say “can you believe that happened?”
Our friends and family are the absolute best, we can never say thank you enough for making an already unforgettable, amazing day more than we could have ever dreamed.


Amy Winehouse crawls around fancy resort on all fours while trying to steal other people's drinks. Really.

It's a matter of days since Amy Winehouse was boasting of her new healthy-living regime after meeting a clean-cut young rugby player on holiday in the Caribbean.
Unfortunately for her, 21-year-old Josh Bowman has now returned to England.
And Miss Winehouse has not taken long to revert to her shambolic lifestyle.
She drank so much one night this week that hotel staff refused to serve her any more alcohol.
But determined to carry on boozing, she crawled around the restaurant on all fours and apparently tried to take drinks from under diners' noses.
The troubled 25-year-old singer, who is battling her addiction to drugs, is said then to have begged other holidaymakers to buy her wine which she could take back to her room.

Guests at the £200-a-night Le Sport Spa resort on St Lucia are said to be exasperated at the behaviour of Miss Winehouse, who has been seen wandering around in her bra or even topless.
She has held all-night singing sessions on her balcony with friends, some of whom she has paid to fly out from London, and threw a glass of water over a 27-year-old woman on her honeymoon, whom she accused of giving her 'bad looks'.
A number of guests are said to have asked for a transfer to a different resort.
The good news for those who remain is that Miss Winehouse is moving to a private villa after four weeks on the island.
The bad news is that it is near the resort - and she has decided to extend her holiday by another fortnight.
It has even been suggested that she is considering buying a £3million-property, complete with a recording studio, in the Sugar Beach area of the island.
The singer's 57-year-old father Mitch has now flown out to keep an eye on his wayward daughter and her friends.
After meeting Mr Bowman, Miss Winehouse announced that she was off drugs for good.
'Before I came out here I looked at a photo of myself in the newspaper and was horrified,' she said recently.
'My skin was a spotty mess and I was so pale and skinny. I thought to myself, "Girl, you got to sort yourself out or you'll be dead soon".
'I was depressed, doing drugs and had no life in me at all. Coming here has changed everything. Home is hell for me. I've escaped from it. The drugs are everywhere.
'But I feel so calm and peaceful and for the first time I can definitely say I am off the drugs. I haven't touched anything since I arrived and I feel the best I have in years.'
A fellow guest, however, said: 'A lot of the people who have come to stay here are upset because she is loud and vulgar. Guests are paying a lot of money.
'But many of them are asking to be transferred to a different resort because they have had enough. They can't take it any longer. It has ruined some people's holiday.'
A spokesman for the singer said: 'Amy was not stealing drinks off people's tables. She could have been doing anything in those pictures.
'She is moving out of the hotel and into a private villa nearby. She wants a bit more privacy.
'Her dad arrived today and she has decided to stay out there for two more weeks. She is just on holiday and enjoying herself.'

Lisa Hughes - our news reporter for today!