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Restoring Old Gibsons and Memories

Just before the 2005 holidays, while cleaning out the attic, Sharon Ness of Clarksville, TN discovered her 84-year-old mother’s Gibson acoustic—an Army Navy Special, circa 1920. Sharon’s father, a musician, had bought the guitar for her mother for $15.00 at a pawn shop in 1939. Her mother learned to play by ear, and her parents spent many wonderful years playing music together.

When Sharon discovered her mother’s beloved Gibson in the attic, the instrument that had provided so much happiness over the years was in horrible condition. Water damage had caused the back to become unglued. It appeared unrepairable; it’s music lost forever. But when Sharon showed her mother the guitar, the music-filled memories came flooding back, and they knew they had to have the guitar restored.

Sharon was determined to trust the precious instrument to only the finest luthiers. Through the Gibson website, she contacted Gibson Repair and Restoration and arranged to deliver the guitar. “I wanted to do this for my mother,” Sharon explained. “She can’t travel now, so she couldn’t do this on her own.” Sharon toured the Gibson Repair and Restoration facility and was amazed at the skill of the people who worked there.

The gifted luthiers of the Gibson Repair group treated Sharon’s guitar as a piece of history, not just an instrument that needed to be fixed. The restoration was completed in time for the holidays. When presented with the guitar, Sharon was ecstatic. “I can’t believe this is the same guitar,” she said. “This is amazing.”

On Christmas morning, the beautifully restored old Gibson acoustic was Sharon’s gift to her mother.