Early childhood trips to my Aunt Mabel and Uncle Steve’s house generally involved begging to play my cousin Stephen’s drums.
These visits involved other things too… Like getting to feet Uncle Steve’s hawks (he was a Fish & Game Officer that rehabilitated hawks on the side) and trying avoid being jumped on by Kate, my uncle’s energetic black lab while simultaneously trying to pet her calm and laid back mother, Sis.
But mostly, I remember the drums.
I remember being denied the drums probably about 50% of the time because we were there before noon, and Stephen… being a typical teenager, didn’t like to crawl out of bed until mid-to-late morning, three year old cousin’s whims to play the drums be damned, and I remember the horror the day arrived when my mother broke the news to me that Stephen had given up playing and sold his drums… HOW COULD HE? DIDN’T HE KNOW *I* PLAYED THOSE DRUMS?
His brother, Michael had a pink guitar. I was less interested in the guitar because that involved knowing how to do things with the guitar to make things sound pretty, whereas drums just involved hitting things to get a pleasing sound… and somehow I knew this at three.
However, I recall one morning (probably a Sunday, but I can’t be sure) while Stephen was sleeping and I was a broken record about wanting to play the drums, Michael decided that his brother ought to be awake, turned the amp up real loud with the hidden agenda of blasting his brother out of his slumber. He strapped the pink guitar to confused little me, who wanted nothing to do with this stringed contraption that kinda buzzed a little when I moved and dragged me out to the living room to show off how he’d made his little cousin into a rock star, and tried to convince me to strum the strings and “play guitar” for them… but I wanted nothing to do with it. I just stood there frozen, looking at my parents to save me and when they laughed, I just burst into tears.
Clearly, guitar wasn’t my instrument.