Ron turned 60 years old on June 12th. I wanted to give him a special gift in honor of this milestone birthday. The kids had asked me if we were going to do anything special for him, and I kept drawing a blank. We usually go to Round Rock, Texas to watch a semi-pro baseball game; but, this year we couldn't find a home game at the right time. On top of that, some of us were going to be just getting back from the coast. About 2 weeks before school ended, I woke up knowing what I wanted to do for Ron.
The last time we took a trip to Ohio to visit his family, Ron's mother gave him his father's old guitar. Howard had been in a gospel music group before his death, and had played a 1957 Gibson electric guitar. No one had played the guitar since Howard's death, and it had been kept in the closet or basement since then. Ron had talked about getting it restored when he first brought it home, but never followed through with it. I decided this would be the perfect birthday gift.
Scott (#2 son) sneaked into the house one day when we were both at work and snatch the guitar. He and Ryan (#1 son) found a man in Austin that restores guitars. Ryan took it down and explained that we wanted to give it to Ron as close to the 12th as we could. There was a lot of work that needed to be done, and one part needed to be rebuilt, so the chances of getting the guitar back by the 12th were slim. So, when we got back from the coast, we had a Father's Day/birthday cookout and played that off as Ron's birthday celebration. The kids were all in on the secret, and as the time passed it got harder and harder to not say anything around Ron.
Finally, Ryan got a call from the restoration agent letting us know that the guitar was ready. Luckily, it was on a Wednesday, which is traditionally our family dinner evening. Ryan headed down to Austin and picked up the guitar. We hid it in Mom's sewing room until just before dinner. Then, I had Ron sit down in the center of the living room and Ryan went to get the guitar. Ron's reaction was heart melting! Ron was so touched when he saw what we had done. The kids had all chipped in to buy a beautiful, sturdy new case for the guitar because the old was was beyond repair. I think it was a perfect surprise gift!
|I don't think Ron really understood what he was looking at because the case was unfamiliar.|
|Once Ryan opened the case, Ron realized it was his father's guitar.|
|The strings on the guitar had been kept tight, causing the bridge to bow. You can't even tell now.|
|The piece that lifts the strings off the guitar had to be rebuilt.|
|Happy Birthday, Daddy!|
|These guys have amazing secret keeping abilities!|
|That is a happy old man!|