Bigfoot came home last week.
Tom told me this story.
Last year, Tom created the Bigfoot Guitar to serve as a tangible reminder of the good things that happen when a community comes together to support a cause.
When local musican Rick Hulett, a.k.a. "Bigfoot", was diagnosed with cancer last year, he e-mailed his friends/fellow musicians telling them about his diagnosis. He concluded his note with the words
"More music, less bullshit!".
That week, his good friend Kerry Williams invited all of their local musician friends to come play music & support Rick at The Pines Tasting Room in Hood River where Kerry was playing a regular Thursday night gig.
Thursday evenings became jam sessions which quickly became weekly events. Cindy Williams, Kerry's wife, asked Ben Bonham to create a graphic design and then she personally silk-screened 700 t-shirts and sweatshirts to help raise over $10,000 to help cover some of Rick's medical expenses.
Stories were written in the local newspaper. Money was raised. The musicians played their hearts out. People danced and sang and laughed and cried.
New friendships were begun and old friendships got stronger.
All of this was done in support of Rick who, before leaving to undergo surgery in Washington, D.C., vowed that he would recover and triumphantly return to The Pines later in the summer.
Well, he did!
And, one would think that that would be the end of the story but after Rick returned, he learned that a musician friend of his had also been diagnosed with cancer so Rick, Kerry and friends began to raise money at The Pines for him, too.
The Bigfoot Guitar is dedicated to the healing power of music. But, many details of the sculpture are dedicated specifically to Rick. The glass in the headstock is intended to mimic the color of one of Rick's favorite guitars. The big orange feet represent Rick's big orange Crocs that he likes to wear. The mirror in the sound hole of the guitar illustrates a lesson that Rick taught Tom when he was giving him beginning guitar lessons two years ago, i.e.,
"you only get out of it what you put into it".
Cindy & Ben allowed Tom to use the graphic for his sculpture, Linda Steider donated the beautiful glass and Tom's good friend Vinny Schlosser of Schlosser Machine donated all the steel and brass when he found out what Tom was up to.
As Tom told me, a short synopsis like this can't even begin to explain what those Thursdays were like.
Tom said you had to be there and that
there was magic in the music...healing magic!
Tom's friend Dan Ross checking out Tom's beginning welds on The Bigfoot Guitar body.
Template, Tom and final sculpture before painting.
Rick's triumphant return, The Bigfoot Guitar and Tom.
After nearly nine months at Columbia River Music in The Dalles, Bigfoot is finally home and
Rick was here last Sunday playing music with twenty-five friends.
There is healing magic in music!