(The background color on this page is the wood from the Yairi guitar.)

Here I am Playing with a Singer in Front of 200 People.
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      I have a special flat church key my sister gave me to open Boston Lager bottles, which don't have the twist-off caps.  My sister gave me that bottle opener after I told her the sad story of what took place when I finally bought a top-of-the-line guitar. Here's what happened:
After a lot of waiting, my specially ordered maple dreadnought came in from St. Louis. It was a gorgeous thing but it had a huge crack in the headstock. I played it for an hour or so at the music store before we sent it back, but when we got to looking at it we somehow became convinced it was not made of maple but of koa. We thought it had somehow been mislabeled. Since it was the most gorgeous guitar anyone there had ever seen, we changed the order and told them to send a koa model to replace it. When the new guitar came in, it looked nothing like the first. We were wrong, you see; the first guitar was maple, but it had been stained a beautiful coffee with cream color that didn't look at all like the other maple dreadnoughts in the store. I was a little disappointed because the koa guitar, while still a thing of exquisite beauty, was not quite as pretty, but I felt it had a bigger sound so I kept it.

      Now for the part about the bottle opener. I was playing the guitar a few days later and when I set it down I noticed to my horror that there were some ghastly scratches on the beautiful koa underside where you rest the instrument on your thigh. Had that damned cat come in the doggy door and scratched it? I was freaked. I'd never scratched a guitar before -- and this guitar was something else. The fingerboard was not rosewood -- it was genuine ebony and it was understated and utterly unadorned except for a single lightning bolt-like slash of real abalone at the twelfth fret. The neck was a single piece of wood and, similarly, the top was one solid, super-expensive slice of spruce. The back had a string of beautiful dark knots left from long-gone branches. Each of the pegs in the bridge was capped with a dollop of glittering abalone and the action was like that of no other guitar I had ever played. And it cost a small fortune.
      I quit searching for scapegoats when I found the 1930s vintage church key in my pocket. One end was for popping bottle caps; the other was for opening old fashioned beer cans -- you know, with the sharp, upturned point on the end? That point had been sticking through my pocket and gouging the guitar. Dang!

Scratches on my Yairi Guitar.jpg