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    15th January 2020

    Stolen Guitar: My Martin HD-28 LSV

    I’m putting this out on the web in case someone comes across it somewhere and somehow also sees this post, but about a month ago my guitar was stolen.

    It isn’t just that it’s a valuable guitar – it would probably take ~$3500 to replace it – but that I’ve had it since I was 18. I used the last $2000 from savings bonds my grandparents gave me (a link to my beloved grandma and late grandfather) for college and bought it on consignment at a little shop that used to be in Old Town Fort Collins on Walnut (what was that place called?). I played a Taylor but it felt thin and lacking in substance. I played a Seagull and it was bright, but didn’t have the full tone I was looking for.

    I didn’t think the Martin was as pretty, and it didn’t have to cool, trendy neck cut for all those high solos I’m always (never) trying to play. But when I strummed that thing, it was meat and potatoes vs soup and salad, Shakespeare vs Shel Silverstein (who I love of course!), Aretha vs Amy Grant (who I also love!). The wood in that Martin vibrated with substance and soul; it was a meal in itself, not just an appetizer. If there’s such a thing as love and first jam session, that was it.

    And that Martin was well-loved, well-used, and well-traveled. I played it for chapel and LOFT services and Calvin College (now Calvin University in a name change that destroys the alliteration that was the best part of the name!), at Third Day Victory Church, and for the last 7+ years at Fountain of Life Covenant Church in Long Beach. I played it at small groups and worship nights at Calvin, at the Bakers’ house, the Stovers’ house, for a prayer group in Long Beach, for the FOL Spanish-speakers ministries, for worship at Camp Isaiah, on the Lighthouse Dance mission trip to Ireland and England, as a guest at a handful of other churches in a variety of locations. I played it alone and with others on the street in Boulder on Pearl Street, at farmers markets in Fort Collins and Loveland, and at open mics in Michigan and Colorado. I played it at the weddings of numerous family members, friends, and friends of friends. I played it with Sauni’s Big Jump and we had some of the best jam sessions of my life, many in my mom’s living room but some in Boulder, and more on stage around Northern Colorado.

    It was actually stolen once before, while playing at an Open Mic at Everyday Joe’s in Fort Collins. It was in the backroom while I was waiting to perform and when I went to get it, the case was there but the guitar was gone, pawned (as I later found out) by a known individual with an addiction-fueled habit of thievery. I met a FCPD officer at an RTD parking lot off I-25 at 6 a.m. to pick out a suspicious individual from a photo line-up. I picked a mug shot that looked like a guy that I had seen wandering around Joe’s that night and the officer informed me that he was the one who pawned my guitar. A month or so later (and an email to the district attorney’s office asking about it) and I had my guitar back, with one or two more scratches than it had before.

    It was in the trunk of the car during my car accident in November of 2004. It was in my trunk when I was rear-ended by a drunk driver while at a stoplight in Grand Rapids (fortunately there was also a truck behind me that softened the blow). Thank goodness I paid the $200 extra for the original Martin hardshell case (which most recently had a Macbook cord used as a makeshift replacement handle after the original handle broke off). for the past 16 years, my Martin has been there to celebrate a great many joyous moments, and it’s also been there as a catharsis and opportunity to blow off steam. I’ve used it to (attempt to) woe potential romantic interests – and to get over a few heartbreakers.

    I have other guitars, but this one is the one that has been my daily use guitar for the longest time, and my guitar style was undoubtedly developed in a symbiotic relationship with my guitar – I learned to take advantage of the symphony of tones my Martin could create. If I have to move on, I will, and I’m sure it will be exciting to go play some other guitars, finding a new partner for the next phase of my life – but I’ll never forget my first Martin.


    For those of you who might be interested in how my guitar was stolen and how to identify it, my guitar was stolen – along with a black Yamaha bass in a black gig bag – out of the back of my car in front of Temple Beth Shalom just south of 37th street in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach. I was visiting a friend after playing music at a Holiday Event at Poly, the school where I work.

    Description: My guitar is a limited edition model with some distinctive features. It has Adirondack spruce top and Indian rosewood back, sides, and neck. There is a pearly inlay trimming the neck, headstock, and where the sides meet the top and bottom, but there are no inlay dots on the fretboard. It has a larger soundhole than normal, and also a wider neck and the neck is more v-shaped than normal. There is some wear and tear on the the end of the headstock, and the sides have had small cracks repaired in recent years so there are small wooden braces on the inside of the sidewall in 1 or 2 places. It’s equipped with a Fishman Rare Earth soundhole pickup. The guitar was made between 1998 and 2000, and the Adirondack Spruce also gives a clue about the serial number, which I believe is between 668000 and 737277, but I haven’t been able to find my records with those details.

    The report # with the Long Beach Police is 191001905 and the phone number I was given to follow up on it was 562-570-7362 (auto break-ins), but you can also add information about cases online.

    There were cameras by Temple Beth Shalom, but they didn’t see anything as my car was just out of frame, and no other businesses in the area caught anyone walking with guitars. So… that’s where I am right now, with nothing more than a hope and a prayer to the rulers of the internet that the right person might see my post and send my Martin back my way…


    If you DO happen to see my guitar, please email me – my address is my firstnamelastname at gmail.

    8th April 2015

    A GIF making test for my class…

    I’m trying to figure out how to save and insert GIFs into web documents and social media so I can teach one of my elective classes how to also do it, so here’s a little GIF I whipped up as an experiment. Don’t stare at it too long and get a seizure. And yes, the LBC is that cool.


    13th March 2015

    Live in Long Beach and need a high school diploma?

    I briefly mentioned this when I posted my poem/life-update, but I’m currently working for the education branch of the Conservation Corps of Long Beach ( We serve 18-25 year old students who are in need of their high school diploma – and also offer job training and paid experience for students. We started out as an affiliate of a statewide network of schools for non-traditional high school students, but separated to become our own independent charter school: CCLB Gateway Cities Charter School.

    The last few weeks I’ve been trying to improve our web presence and drum up some attention for the school so we can enroll new students or reach out to old students who stopped coming. I created a facebook page for the school, I also use my Instagram account to post news about what’s happening, but I know there must be better ways to communicate and create community.


    As for me, I’ve been at CCLB for a year and a half now, and the school is an interesting and amazing place. The students that come in are in their current situation for many and various reasons: they had kids while in high school; they had family problems when they were younger; they fell behind in school and didn’t get the help they needed; they have undiagnosed learning disabilities; they were rebels of various sorts. Now they’re motivated to return to their studies. Some come to improve job prospects, some to prove to their families and children that they can do it, and some to keep themselves out of trouble.

    Whatever their reason, the students here have decided to come back to school, and I’m really proud of them. I make them work hard in my classes, and I know that the other teachers here keep up a rigorous curriculum as well. On the other hand, every student that comes in is coming in at a unique level, and so we have to do more differentiation than anywhere I’ve ever worked. I still structure my class similarly to a traditional education classroom, but I end up working one on one with students more than I used to. I love this aspect of my job with CCLB GCCS. I feel like I get to know my current students, both personally and academically.

    Another change that I have really enjoyed in working at CCLB GCCS is that now I teach not just English, but also science (last year I took the test and class to add a credential). In fact, most of my classes are Earth Science or Life Science, with a few English sections and an elective here and there. Teaching science as a substitute at Poudre High School is what got me into a teaching in the first place, and it feels a little like I’ve come full circle – though my current teaching environment is far from Fort Collins. Perhaps someday I will really come full circle and return to Colorado, but for now now I’m happy in Long Beach, where it’s going to be beach weather this weekend, making it very difficult to concentrate on my homework for the UCSD classes…

    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.