Friday, January 10, 2014

A Guitar-Picking Classmate

Gary participates in an email group with a few of his high school classmates.  They sometimes “talk” about whatever happened to this or that classmate.  And that is a bit challenging as half of their school mates came from an Air Force Base and the AF was constantly reassigning personnel in and out of the Base.

One day they happened to mention a classmate named Steve Shockley who they remembered being a budding guitar player from the AFB.  No one had seen or heard of him since his family was transferred out during his junior year.  Gary subsequently googled him and found one big clue.  There was a YouTube clip of a guy with the same name who was playing guitar and appearing twice weekly at an old west saloon in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Gary said if we ever got that way our in our travels we would go look him up and see if he was the long lost classmate.

After Gary’s win in the poker tournament (will I ever stop hearing about that), we drove on over to old historic downtown section of Scottsdale.  (We will go back there on another trip as it really looked like it would be a fun area to explore with all its old western buildings and shops.)  We easily found the Rusty Spur Saloon, walked in, and the same guy as from the video clip was up playing a guitar on stage.

There were only a handful of people in the place at the time so when he finished his song, Gary walked up and asked, “was your family in the Air Force”?  And with an affirmative answer to that question, it was, “and in the mid to late 1960’s you were stationed at a base in the cornfields of north central Indiana?”  At about that point, the guitar player was probably getting real worried about just what question was going to come next, so instead of another question, Gary told him that they were likely classmates together in school which they proceeded to confirm and then carried on a bit of reminiscing.

Over the next hour or two, Steve showed that over the years he had gone from budding to very accomplished guitar player.  The two of them tried to jog each other’s memories a bit between songs,  And during a break, the three of us had a nice conversation.  Steve appears every Monday and Tuesday afternoon at the Rusty Spur and told us that on weekends he plays in a band at a place called Geasewood Flat.  We will pass back through that area in a couple of months and will get over and enjoy some more of Steve’s guitar.

So just what did Steve think of someone from the 1960s coming to the Rusty Spur to look him up?  On balance, it seemed he got quite a good kick out of it.

And we know there are a few of Gary’s classmates who follow our blog so if any of them wish to see the video of Steve, click on the link below.

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