Special Instruments from Special People

On Dreams & Visions I was fortunate to have been able to play a couple of very special instruments, not only because of what the instruments were, but also because of whose they were. Both of the special people have gone to join the saints in heaven, and so it seems particularly appropriate that these two instruments show up on Dream #4, my musical depiction of what we have to look forward to after this life ends. The first instrument is a 1958 Chet Atkins Gretsch 6120 model guitar. This orange beauty belonged to my Uncle Lyndy Olson. He was a huge Chet Atkins fan, and he mastered the Atkins style of playing. I used to love going to visit my Uncle Lyndy and Aunt Elaine just to watch and listen to Lyndy play this guitar. Sadly he passed away a few years ago, and I helped my Aunt find an appropriate buyer for the guitar – and the bonus was having the guitar in my possession for a few weeks.

Special Instruments

The second instrument is a rare Alto Saxophone. The Grafton Alto Saxophone was manufactured in England in the 1950s. This was a serious instrument made from acrylic, hence getting the nickname “the plastic sax”. Charlie Parker is perhaps the most famous musician to have regularly played a Grafton. This instrument belonged to a wonderful gentleman from the congregation I serve, Christ Lutheran Church. His name was Allan Dawe, and when I started up a little brass band at the church Allan joined us along with his unique saxophone. I was instantly in love with the instrument, both for it’s striking looks and for its mellow sound. After Allan was unable to play the sax anymore, having suffered a stroke, the instrument passed into my hands. Truth be told I couldn’t really play a saxophone at that point, so I joined a local community band simply to learn the instrument. That led to becoming part of the Jazz Band-its Big Band, but that’s another story. Whenever I play this instrument I think of that sweet, gentle soul who is no longer with us. I still play the Grafton at church sometimes, and I hope when I do Allan is looking down from glory with a smile on his face.

Here is some information on the Grafton.  Here is some information on the Gretsch.