Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Farewell, Tony Gilliland

ONE OF THE best things about Second String Music is the sense of loyalty and family we get from our customers. Our casa is your casa, we like to say. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with, on a daily basis.

So it was with great shock and sadness we learned Tony Gilliland of Hannibal passed away last month. His wife, Helen, came in this morning to break the news (sometime we live in a bubble around here) and Sheryl shed some tears with her and as we remembered Tony.

He used to come in every other month or so and he bought a guitar and a tuner from us, among other things. He'd pop by when Helen got her hair done next door, and he was usually too modest to play much. Sheryl liked him because he was funny and loved music.

I loved it when Tony came into the store. He was 91 but looked a lot younger, and he could still play the heck out of a guitar. I learned that when he came in, we sort of had to make him play because he really didn't want to show off or get in the way. Far from it - Tony had a love for music, and he was still rocking until the end. Country music was a passion for Tony and you could tell by the way he picked the guitar.

One day he came in and was sitting there patiently, shooting the breeze, and I begged him to play. When he shrugged it off, I got my old Gretsch Cutter guitar out and his eyes practically bugged out of his head. He picked it up and I swear that old guitar came to life, the way he coaxed notes out of it with his fingerstyle method.

We are helping Helen sell a few of his music items, including a tuner and an amp. Please read his obit in the link above - Tony had a great ride and obviously loved life.

God bless ya, Tony. You will be missed and we are so much better off for knowing you and you gracing us with your presence.

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