If you ask me, one of the prettiest musical instruments is a guitar. Particularly a guitar made from recycled mahogany wood from the jungles of Haiti. Sound interesting? Allow me to tell you how one came about. In 1984, a friend of Luthier, Steve Showalter, (my Papa) of Showalter Guitars, was on a mission’s trip in Haiti. This friend called up Papa and told him that there was some very nice mahogany there in Haiti. He asked Papa if he should bring some home to the states.
Thirty-two years later Papa’s friend was back in the states, and had been for quite a while, when he invited Papa to his home. They talked of guitars and of other things. They didn’t bring up the wood, however, until Papa was walking out the door. Papa asked about it, and the friend said “Oh, it's out here in this little building.”
They took a peak, and it just looked like a pile of tossed wood.
A while later, Papa’s friend invited Papa over to his house again to see his new shop. While there, Papa mentioned the wood and was brought to see a nice neat stack of gorgeous wood. Papa’s friend then told him a crazy story about the transportation of the wood from Haiti to the US.
“When I was in Haiti, getting ready to ship the wood, they told me I could not ship the wood overseas.” Papa asked how it had ended up in the states then. “I was told a secret! If I made the wood into a crate and shipped my things back in it, I could have the wood. And here it is now!”
Papa was surprised and amused that this was the way it had been brought.
“How much wood do you need for a guitar?” Papa’s friend asked.
Papa showed him, and was given a large and beautiful board eight inches wide. Then he asked Papa how much was needed for the sides,and Papa said he would need a piece about five inches wide. He was given this as well. Papa went on to be able to make two guitars out of the wood he was given. One of those guitars was bought by the man who had given him the wood.
Isn’t it amazing that a guitar so beautiful was at one point in the form of a roughly made crate? That guitar is #34 in the store.showalterguitars.com.