teachers, students, and the smokin'-est cat
every teacher wants to make a difference. at semester's end i often wonder whether and how i'm reaching people. were they inspired the way that my teachers inspired me? sometimes they tell you, sometimes they don't. one of my favorite odes to a teacher is from duane allman, the guitar virtuoso who died on his motorcycle at 24. here's allman on his first guitar teacher:
The cat that taught me to play guitar ... Jim Sheppley, Ol' Lightnin' Fingers. The first number one, taking care-of-business man in Daytona Beach, Florida; The cat that had it all together if you wanted to learn anything. If you wanted to play something right, you'd go to him and learn it. The baddest cat. A very influential cat in my life, also. He's dynamite. The smokin'-est cat. I can't even talk about him, he's so hip. He glows in the dark. He hung the moon and tells the sun when to come up. Shepp is smokin'.
dang. i've gotten some decent teaching evaluations, but nobody ever said i was so hip that i hung the moon. i've never heard jim sheppley play, but the quote reflects as well on mr. allman as it does on "ol' lightnin' fingers." i was lucky to have some very influential cats in my life too. one can only hope to pay it forward.