Apr 23 – Minor Situations

April 23, 2009 – Minor Situations

The area we’re working in is a small community; a really nice community. I wouldn’t mind living there. There’s a sub shop here that the paint crew likes to frequent. So we went there for the first time this week. And guess what, there’s a minor working the counter. I least I think she’s a minor. She looks WAY too young to be working. Then again, school was in session. Maybe she’s a young looking senior that goes half days to school? I don’t know. But it made me uncomfortable. I wanted to ask the shop owner if she was legal to be working in there. Of course that would have set off some questions toward me. The crew chief knows my beef (that’s the prison term for “conviction”). The shop owner was an Asian guy and I was wondering what he was doing with this young girl working there, just the two of them. I know I know, it’s just my imagination right? Well, again, I want to point out that that’s how sexual misconduct with minors carry’s on. Someone who picks up on it doesn’t believe his or her own gut feelings. So, I’m just guessing that she is a minor. Looking at her made me realize how distorted my own thinking was when I was offending. I had placed my “victim” into the realm of “adult woman”, when clearly she wasn’t. And this young lady is trying to be an adult woman by holding down a job. Couldn’t an adult man start to blur the lines between appropriate and inappropriate in such a situation? Of course he could. I did. And thousands of others have as well. Probably most of them haven’t been caught or charged. I’m glad I was though. Because now I can look at that young lady and see someone who is too young for most aspects of adulthood, and yet is ready to embark on adulthood by working her first job. Bravo to her. I hope she does well in her life.

Back at the job site, I learned by hearing the crew chief and lady of the house talking that her oldest son is learning guitar. The crew chief plays violin. So the two of them had a little bit in common to share. He then points over to me and tells her that I play guitar too. So she looks at me and says, “Maybe you could give my son some tips”. Let’s pause now for a moment of awkwardness…Do I have tips? I have LOTS of tips for someone starting out playing guitar. And before I offended I had a favorite one that I would give kids. I’ll share it here so anyone reading this who has kids learning an instrument can pass this on.

There is a particular artist or group that influences every musician. Usually when someone decides to learn an instrument, it’s because they want to play like this particular artist or group. What I’ve learned in my years of playing guitar is to not only learn from your influences, but pay real close attention to THEIR influences. That’s where you’ll learn more about your influences than any biographical author or interviewer could ever tell you. The Beatles were my big influence. I wanted to play like Lennon. But it wasn’t until I started paying attention to who he listened to as a kid that I started to really understand why he played the way he did. Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent, Chuck Berry. And the other influences on McCartney and George Harrison were the likes of Fats Domino, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, The Isley Brothers, the Motown girl groups, Lloyd Price, and of course Elvis. When I started to back track and listen to these classic recordings, I heard the foundation to every Beatles song written. And that’s my advice, “Who’s your favorite artist? Find out who influenced them, and go buy those CD’s”. – Back to reality though. I can’t say anything to any minor on my own. Maybe I’ll just tell the mom and she can pass it along to junior. It’s too good of a tip to go unsaid….

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