The HikaNation Guitar

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bruce, utah
Bruce Ohlson

Bruce "Ole" Ohlson via e-mail -- February 1, 2021

This is what I remember after 40 years.

Everyone may recall that before HikaNation I got that guitar free from a friend (whose name I have ungratefully forgotten) or maybe I gave a couple of dollars for it at a yard sale. ( Ah, the ravages that the passage of years wear on one's memory.) That guitar had a pretty big hole bashed in the lower right corner of the sound box...like about 6" by 10." I sawed out the broken piece of the sound board, installed a brace or two, and glued in a patch. I sewed a "Kelty brown" cloth bag into which the guitar fit. Alas, I was a beginner seamster at the time and the part that the neck fit into was twisted when compared with the part into which the body of the guitar fit. Oh well. A friend visited in Sacramento, prearranged, and brought the guitar. At the group meeting in the morning led by Don Lindberg, our first Steering Committee chairman, before we walked out of Discovery Park on the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail (called the American River Trail by the locals), I asked if a few people could see their way clear to volunteer to help carry the guitar occasionally. Several assented. That's how the guitar came to join the group. It took most of the way across Nevada before Scott volunteered to be the main guy when it came to carrying and playing the guitar.

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Scott
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Scott and Bruce doing some repairs on the trip.

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This shows our excellent duct tape skills.
Not even Garth Brooks has quality duct-taping like ours!!   :-)
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Sundown -- September 12, 1980
Great Sand Dunes National Monument
Scott playing some John Prine
bruce playing guitar
Bruce (with the replacement guitar), Rex, & unexpected musicians
that "happened upon" the HikaNation campsite
along the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.
 
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The Demise of the original HikaNation Guitar

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Bruce "Ole" Ohlson via e-mail February 1, 2021
(photo by Scott)

Funny Scott story: Well, maybe not funny, but a Scott story.
(somewhere in Arkansas -- mid-December 1980)

This occurred somewhere in the eastern portion of the middle of the country. Scott was doing some laundry in a small town. He was reclining in the area next to the laundromat while most of his clothes spent some serious time with water and soap. His pack and guitar were on the ground next to him. A woman who had been parked in front of the laundromat (probably doing laundry, this detail is unclear) decided to drive away. 'Away' was in the opposite direction from the one in which the car was pointed. She backed around the corner of the building to her right so she could then make her left turn and head out. This was too close to Scott and he rolled out of the way as he yelled "Stop! Stop!" She checked her mirror and didn't see anyone, so she kept backing (slowly and carefully according to her story). Scott kept yelling and she eventually did stop. She did not back over Scott, THANK GOD, but she did back over his guitar. "Why didn't you stop when I yelled stop?" Scott demanded to know.

"I looked," she explained. "I didn't see anyone."
Her insurance eventually paid $35 for the value of the guitar.


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Scott via e-mail February 3, 2021
(photo by Rex Halfpenny)

Bruce, that laundromat story is exactly as you tell it...I added a few extra details below that enhance the story.

Back to the Laundromat Story
(somewhere in Arkansas -- mid-December 1980)

My backpack was laying flat on the ground (not leaning up against something). The guitar was strapped in its usual position on top of my pack. I was sitting on the ground leaning on the sleeping bag of my pack. My back was towards the aforementioned car and the car had been sitting empty for quite a while. I was bit bored waiting for the laundry to finish, so I was probably reading or writing and lost in thought with my mind a world away.

When the sweet old lady (let's call her Judith, shall we?) got in her car and backed around the corner she was probably traveling at her top speed of about 6 feet per minute. Stealthy and not making a sound Judith snuck up on me. Out of nowhere, the first thing I felt was a gentle nudging on the back of my shoulder. I turned my head and by the time I figured out the car was moving, I had grabbed onto the bumper, my back off the ground, and was turtle-walking along to keep from ending up under the car. I was SHOUTING my head off as in Scared and SHOUTING.

But, of course, when she looked in all 3 of her rear-view mirrors there was nobody to be seen. I was out of her sight line and beneath the level of her trunk. The more I shouted, the more Judith rolled right towards me. I was shouting so hard my tonsils spit right outta my mouth and landed on the ground. By the time Judith finally stopped her rear wheel was smack-dab on top of my pack and the guitar had met its fate and sung its final note. It was destined to be firewood so I smashed it against a tree stump just for kicks.

I hope Judith is somewhere up in heaven and still laughing about the laundromat incident.


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Scott finishes off the original HikaNation Guitar
somewhere in Arkansas -- December 19, 1980 -- Day 252
smash guitar, william smash guitar, scott
(photo provided by Scott)
(photo provided by William Ewart)  

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Scott:   Photos below show what the home-made guitar case looks like in 2021.
Bruce...it has never failed me. It is indestructible!   Plus you put in a large pocket for
music books or paper. And a small pocket for guitar picks, tuners, etc. Great design.

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The High Rock Hilton
somewhere along the Appalachian Trail in Virginia
March 27, 1981 -- Day 350
(photo by William Ewart)


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And soon after HikaNation
William-David-Scott at Tom Scott-guitar at Tom
William, David, Scott visiting Scott's brother Tom
Bristol, Connecticut - April 1981
Scott visiting brother Tom
Bristol, Connecticut - April 1981