Life Coach Magazine

Learning to Appreciate the Things of Value in Our Lives…

By Finallygrowingup @mordechaikashuk

Learning to Appreciate the things of Value in Our Lives…

Seventeen years ago, I had $5,000 saved up from the acting work that I had done. I had worked hard for that money, and I wanted to do something special with it. During those days, I was just really learning to play the guitar, and I was beyond a shadow of a doubt, a die-hard James Taylor fanatic. I had the pleasure, in 1988, of seeing him perform, in Israel, at a relatively intimate outdoor music venue, called Sultan’s Pool, which still exists today. At that time of course, I was still living in America, but was attending a summer program here for high school students and it was the summer between my junior and senior years. Now the staff announced that we would be going to see a concert, where a musician named James Taylor would be playing. At that time, I had only vaguely heard of him by way of a song written by Carol King, named “You’ve Got a Friend”. Of course this was a huge hit for Taylor, and was played everywhere, so naturally I had heard it and heard him. Other than that, I knew absolutely nothing about the man. So, I went to a music shop and bought a tape cassette of his greatest hits, so that I could familiarize myself enough with at least a few of his songs so that I could sing along at the concert. Quite surprisingly, there were only about 500 people at the concert, and my group constituted about a third of that number, so after the concert, which was superb by the way, we got to meet him, and say hello, no deep conversations mind you, but a hello nonetheless.  Over the next 6 years I went from a know nothing to a literally know EVERYTHING about James Taylor. I had obscure albums, records that he made that were never released, knew EVERY word to EVERY song, long story short, I was hooked on James Taylor. In fact, over those next 6 years, I listened to nothing but James Taylor’s music, NOTHING! So, in 1994, 17 years ago, I did a bit of research, and found out who made the guitar that James played.  Oh, it was a beautiful guitar, just beautiful, as you can somewhat see from the picture (which truly does not do it justice), so I contacted the luthier (guitar maker).  His name was/is James A. Olson, a remarkable man, down home manners, friendly as could be, and just an all around really nice man.  I told him how much I love the guitar that James Taylor played, and inquired, just for the heck of it, what it would cost including shipping and all, to have one made for me, that was exactly like his, but with my initials added on the last fret of the guitar, in mother on pearl. After a lengthy conversation, he informed me that it would cost $5,000 all in all. Now this was something special, just the kind of thing that I had looked for to spend my $5,000 on. So after much back and forth the guitar was ordered, took one entire year to make, and was shipped to my house, in a classic yellow pinstriped James A. Olson Case. Oh, how I can still remember opening that case for the first time, such anticipation. I can even remember the smell that hit my nose as I opened that case and saw, for the first time, my very own, custom-made Jim Olson guitar. Boy was it gorgeous. I remember picking it up, tuning it for the first time and all. It was truly a magical experience for me in every way you can possible imagine! All through these last 17 years, I have played that guitar with love, and treated it with the respect and awe that it inspired in me that very first day. Earlier today, I looked on Google to find out where to look on the guitar to find Jim’s signature, the date the guitar was made (I had forgotten, I thought that it was about 10 years old), and exactly what number guitar it was, that Jim had ever made. So, with the information that I had found on Google, that all of the other info that I desired, was located inside the guitar, just behind the pick guard, and a lot of help from my wife and just as much maneuvering with a mirror between the strings, this is what we discovered:

The Guitar was Hand Crafted by Jim Olson, and completed on: 6/22/1994
The Number of the Guitar is: #506 – This was the 506th Guitar that Jim ever made.

According to Jim’s website, he had made roughly 12,000 guitars in his career, around 36 per year, and that new basic guitars sell today for a starting price of $12,500 and still take about a year to make. All sorts of features can be added to the guitar, but of course they all increase the basic price.

Here are the specifications of my guitar:

The Model is an SJ, and it has -

Cedar top and rosewood back and sides
Abalone sound hole rosette
Abalone top edge
Abalone back center strip
Abalone butt wedge joint
Dove fretboard inlays (pointed toward peghead)
Ebony tuner buttons
L. R. Baggs LB6 bridge pick up

Recently I though of selling my guitar to get out of some minor financial trouble, but after what I have learned today, and the 25-year-old memories that it has brought back with it, I have realized that I will most likely never part with this marvelously rare and lovingly custom-made treasure.

Thanks Jim.


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