Peabody, Gibson and Nelson

Have you been hurt in an accident?  Don’t take the law into your own hands, call Peabody, Gibson and Nelson today!  Sorry, that title just sounds like the name of a law firm.  But no law firms are in our story today just hotels, guitars and friends.  Dacen was really interested in the factory tour at Gibson Guitars and Brielle wanted to watch the famous duck march at the Peabody Hotel.  So we split into two groups:  the boys did guitars and the girls did ducks.  Both places were withing a few blocks of each other so Steph dropped us guys off then found parking before taking Brielle to the hotel.
Wall o' guitarsHow cute

Steph and Brielle will have to tell you about the hotel but from what I gather, twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, some trained ducks do a little pomp and circumstance between their home and a fountain in the hotel.  People gather around to watch the spectacle and I guess it is quite popular.

Us guys had some time before our tour started so we looked around at the guitars in the Gibson shop.  There were acoustics, basses, solid bodies and semi-hollow bodies.  They had different paint jobs, different model numbers and different prices.  The least expensive Gibson we saw was around $1300 I think and the most expensive….can you guess? $25,699!!!
No thanks

I love playing guitar and I love riding bikes but I also like to think that both can be had for around $200.  I bought my bike for $199 on craigslist.  I did eventually replace all of the components including the wheels so I’ve gone over budget a bit but that bike and I covered over 4000 miles in 2014 as I virtually crossed the country along the famous TransAmerica Trail.  And my guitar…well now that I purchased for $150 at a shop in downtown Colorado Springs when I was 17.  It was used but in good shape.  It was the only guitar in the shop I could afford so I bought it.  I’ve added a pickup to it and also had to have the frets replaced so again I’ve gone a bit over budget but that guitar and I have written songs, entertained around campfires, ridden a Greyhound to LA to record at the George Lucas sound studio and worshiped together.  So…I won’t be dropping any $25,699 on a guitar anytime soon.

There are no photos allowed on the tour so I don’t have anything to show you from that but it was a really nice tour.  It was great to see the stacks of raw laminated plywood sheets for the bodies and piles of raw necks.  There are lots of machines in the factory but there is so much human interaction with each guitar.  It was cool to see the craftsmanship that goes into each guitar.  There were these guys that took the rough neck stock (which looked about like a Lego or Minecraft guitar neck) and shaped it into a sweet looking guitar neck.  And the paint booth where every starburst pattern is different because they are hand painted.  And the ladies who meticulously scrape the overspray off the guitars with razor sharp tools.  It takes about 3-4 weeks for a guitar to make it from beginning to end.  Pretty impressive..but not $25,699 impressive!  As we left they had a pile of ebony that had been seized by the government in an investigation into the source of the wood.  There were allegations that the wood was contraband.  In the end, Gibson got the wood back (after paying the government a processing fee) and they have used the wood to make limited edition Government Series guitars (using Dirty Fingers pickups!).
Government Series guitar

After the tour the girls picked us up and we headed over to see our friends the Nelsons.  Donna and Steph worked together in Boulder back in the early 2000s and became friends.  We bought our first car as a married couple from them before they moved away.  They have been all over the US but when we found out they were in Memphis we made sure to meet up with them on our way through.
The kids

They have twin boys just a bit older than Caden and a girl about Caden’s age.  The kids were very nice and all 6 disappeared into the house where they seemed to be having loads of fun.  Every once in awhile boys would run through with Nerf dart guns.  Everyone went swimming at their neighborhood pool while I stayed back and worked.  Before dinner the kids all watched Zootopia and then we had a wonderful shishkabob dinner followed by some amazing peach cobbler.  It was so great to catch up with the Nelsons and we hope our next get together with them comes quicker than this last one.

Mississippi Morning

Wall o' guitars

Nice looking guitar

No thanks

Government Series guitar

How cute

Francis Scott Key piano

Brielle and the ducks

Peabody ducks

Taylor made glasses

Card game with Taylor

Watching Zootopia

Steph and Donna

Hands in the air

Donna and Cooper

The adults

The kids

Tom Sawyer RV Park

Flood line on bathhouse/laundry

Huck and Tom

Huck at Tom Sawyer's

"Que paso Pancho?!"


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