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Reflections of PSP VIII



Saturday I sold my Peavey Bandit to an older gentlemen that recently lost his job. He had been on the prowl for a Peavey Bandit USA Red Stripe model because they sound better than the older USA models. Couldn’t help but agree with him. As we sat there for nearly an hour talking about guitars, amps, and the thirst that can never be quenched for obtaining them, I told him something about my guitar buying. As I looked about the floor in the living room, I had a brand new Fender Stratocaster, a Reverend Six-Gun III, and a Martin MMV. I told him the longest I’ve had any of those was three weeks. But I said, my wife cannot complain about my buying guitars for one very good reason. In a way, they have provided for my family. And it has a lot to do with The Heritage and PSP.


The week of PSP VI, I had a job for nearly eight years as a Senior Traffic Engineer with MetroPCS before they were “merged” with T-Mobile. I was called in the Human Resources Director’s office and with him was my boss and our Vice President of Network Operations. I thought it was really odd and found it immediately worrisome. And just like that it was over; I was told that T-Mobile has looked at all the markets and decided that Traffic Engineers weren’t needed. All the Traffic Engineers were to be laid off in 60 days. It didn’t matter what I really did for my job above and beyond my job title or how I was the senior engineer with the most knowledge and experience. What matter was my official job title. So for the second time in ten years, I was out of a job. Of course, that overshadowed my plans that week, the week of PSP VI.


I packed my old HFT-445, loaded up my car, and headed off to PSP. I picked up Slammer from the airport on the way there and checked in the hotel for the night. Seeing all the guitars on display in the conference room that night and all the people I admire and consider friends really helped me to forget my own problems for a while. The next day, I was walking through the factory and saw so many unique instruments. Then there was the smell of the old wood dust, the sound of the machines sanding down necks and carving tops; it was just amazing. Undoubtedly, I had forgotten my problems, at least for now. I took my Heritage HFT-445 out of its case and held it proudly outside that factory for the group photo. 225 Parson Street, the birthplace of many guitars of rock stars. A place that should be a national monument. A place where it’s not the end of line, but just the beginning.


I was in front of a factory who has seen its own end, its doors closed, people sent to Nashville or laid off, and left to rot. But a few people chose to stay; chose to open those doors again and start over. Marv, Ren, Jim and few others gave that old building and the equipment inside basically a reset button, a new lease of life. Perhaps there was some hope for me too. Perhaps, I’ll be able to restart my career and pick-up the pieces to begin again.


The Saturday after PSP VI, I was still at the hotel when an ex co-worker from MetroPCS sent me a text message about his latest bass guitar purchase. He had quit on his own a few years ago, but he was happy with his decision. He asked how I was doing and I told him what happened. He demanded I talk to his wife immediately. He gave me her cell number and said I have to call her right now. She, of course, was a HR manager at General Motors. It never dawned on me to call her since I knew nothing about cars nor was I an electrical or mechanical engineer. I called her, she asked about my bachelor’s degree and my knowledge of Microsoft Office. She had me look up a specific job on the GM website and how to adjust my resume to highlight certain skill sets. That following Friday, I had a job interview. Less than a week later, I had a job offer. When my time was up with T-Mobile, I left on a Friday and started my new job at General Motors the following Monday. That was just about two years ago now.


Last December sparked a heated conversation that banned members and damaged relationships to other members of the forum. The site shut down for several weeks and when the lights turned back on, things changed. One of those things was PSP. There was a looming question of will there be another PSP again. One could only hope.


I decided to step up and see what I could do. I didn’t know if I would fail or not, but it wouldn’t hurt to try. I called the VFW Hall to see if we could play there. Thankfully, they were excited to hear from us and not have to pay a band. We were able to play live music again and entertain some veterans at the same time. It was a win-win for everyone. I had help from Pressure to get a PSP VIII Logo setup. Called a friend from church about having shirts made with the logo. Obtained a guest list of all those who were going to be there. Guy was able to get the Factory to participate again. I received lots of help from a lot of people to make PSP a success. I cannot take credit for it all.


PSP VIII came and went like a whirlwind. It was over just like that. As I woke up still tired and exhausted on Saturday, I checked my email and found someone wanted my Peavey, so I had to pack up and head home quickly. My family had left a few hours before to head out east on a vacation with my mother-in-law; so I had the house to myself and enjoyed the quiet stillness of home that night. No amps, no guitars, no beer, no sound; just peacefulness. I could have died a happy man knowing how much everyone enjoyed PSP this year. As I look back, I will always remember the great times I had at this PSP and the ones before. Someone asked why I did all this; it’s very simple really. The Heritage brought us all together. It’s the people who bring us back. That's PSP. Enjoy those beautiful Heritages everyone. There is a lot of history in your hands.


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I can't think of a more eloquent way of putting the HOC and PSP in perspective. Yes, this is a hobby for most of us, but the friendships are what make it all worthwhile.


Well said!

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There are a few facts that you briefly bounced over in your amazing note.

You live in Detroit, nearly 2 hours away from the gathering... quite the task and the results were a complete success. Also when you originally started discussing the possibility of attempting to continue on the Festivities there was a divided reaction, some like me were solidly behind you and others expressing negative feedback... You still moved forward(Your letter explains your motives excellently).

I will be there next year, look forward to seeing my friends that share in our passions!

Good Job! Not that you got paid...

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Love the blog entry, DB! Always great to get to know a forum member just a little better through these posts! Right on :)

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