You might say I need a new guitar case. Look at that poor thing. Even the red duct tape is rotting away. This comes from thirty years of carrying it around, of lifting it in and out of cars, trucks and SUVS, of setting it on carpets, concrete, gravel, sand and polished stages, of propping it against walls in homes and hotels, of opening, closing, opening, closing all four latches, of carrying it to music camp, church, jams, open mics, street fairs, garden tours, coffee shops, concert halls and nursing homes. Up and down, in and out, open, close.
Some of my musician friends say it’s good to have a beat-up case. People will figure what’s inside isn’t worth stealing. Well, the guitar is as old as the case. I bought them together at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, California. My husband Fred kept me company as I tested one guitar after another, playing the same songs until I came to the Martin Shenandoah. A D-35, for those who care. That was the one. Acoustic guitars are said to sound better with age. This guitar has had its issues. The built-in-pickup died. I dropped the guitar twice when my strap gave way. The second time required a trip to the luthier to put it back together. The surface is nicked and scratched and it usually needs a new set of strings, but it’s a Martin. It sounds good. God willing, that guitar will last as long as I do.
The case not so much, although the inside is fine. Its plush maroon padding is like new because the case is usually closed. When it comes to collecting tips, I favor a jar or an old hat over an open case someone could trip over.
I have started looking for a new case. Our local store doesn’t have any in stock and doesn’t do mail-order. I hesitate to order something so big online without seeing it first. I could be using the new case for the next 30 years. I have already spent most of my Christmas money on other stuff, so this case has a few more miles to go. For $4.99, I bought a new roll of duct tape, zebra striped. I’ll definitely know which guitar is mine.