The Manifestation of an Ovation

I’m going to tell you a story:

Last month my husband had band rehearsals in England and this time I got to go with him. I spent three lovely weeks eating local Turk-Itali-pub-Indi- food and visiting the villages and the friends who lived and worked there.

One of these friends was a famous guitar player, and we got to tour the lovely house he and his wife shared. Looking at his guitars and other beautifully organized instruments I saw an Ovation guitar sitting on a stand.

I thought to myself, ‘So, an Ovation is good enough to live in this gentleman’s home’. This got me thinking about my old pink Ovation guitar, lost to me for the last fifteen or so years.

His Ovation was black not pink, but it was the trigger.

When I lived in Austin (the city, instead of the outskirts like I do now) I had a little house smack in the middle of everything. It was nestled in in the secluded Travis Heights neighborhood, but it was only four blocks from my salon on busy South Congress Avenue.

Lots of musician friends popped in and out of that salon and lots of fun, spontaneous hangs happened there and at my Travis Heights home.

One of my friends was planning a quick trip to the big guitar convention at Palmer auditorium one weekend and he asked if I wanted to come along. Of course I did—I’d never been to a guitar convention.

As we strolled down the isles gawking at all the guitar designs and colors, my attention was caught by one guitar in particular. It was a pink-stained burl wood-faced Ovation Ultra acoustic guitar with pickups. Very unusual.

I kept thinking about it, isle after isle. Towards the end of our time at the show, I walked back to the stall where I saw the the pink guitar and it was still there, with it’s price tag of $300.

I asked the bored-looking guy standing next to it, “Would you be willing to come down on the price?” He thought about it for about five seconds, and then said “Sure. No one wants a pink Ovation”.

We settled on $225 cash.

I had to run to the cash machine and back but I paid the guy, and the guitar was mine. And I didn’t even play.

I took it home to my little house and sat it on a stand in my living room next to the couch. In the years I lived in that house, everyone and their brother picked at that guitar while they sat on my couch. They always said, “Sounds good for an Ovation”.

That guitar was borrowed for gigs, played with love late into the night by some great musicians, and used on records and I had a lot of memories attached to it.

Then I started dating my husband, and eventually we decided to try living together in his house in The Hill Country.

I turned my little Travis heights house into an Air BnB and left the guitar on its stand in the living room as part of the ambience. It looked interesting on the website and I thought it looked good there, next to the couch.

Then my little house was robbed. The thieves took all the electronics, and my pink guitar. I felt the loss of that guitar more strongly than the loss of a replaceable flat screen and I thought about it a lot after it was gone.

I bought another pretty guitar with birds on the front inlaid with mother of pearl, but it just wasn’t the same. It never lived in my little Travis heights house, it was never played by friends.

And it wasn’t a pink Ovation.

For two weeks after we visited our guitar friend in England that pink guitar kept coming up in my mind, and it became almost like a mental obsession. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

So, last Sunday I pulled out my cell phone and Googled ‘Guitar, Ovation, Pink’. And just like magic, a photo popped up on my cell phone. It looked exactly like my guitar, my pink-stained burl wood Ovation Ultra guitar.

I saved the page and kept searching, to see if that kind of guitar was common, or if there were more of them, but no. I couldn’t find another one. Apparently, the only guitar like my old guitar, for sale at that moment, lived in a music store in Aurora, Colorado.

Of course I contacted the store.

I told myself, “If the pegs are gold, I’ll know it’s mine’. Then, ‘I’m going to buy it. Even if it isn’t really my guitar, when I look at it I’ll smile’

I bought it immediately.

The price: $225.00.

In three days it arrived on my doorstep. I unpacked it and looked it over completely. Yep. Gold pegs. My guitar. It even had the chip in the finish at the back of it’s neck my friend made with his ring.

True Story.

That’s my definition of the word ‘pinkchronicity’—The happy accident that feels “meant-to-be”


Free Your Hair and the Rest Will Follow

Everywhere we look, we see hair in every color of the rainbow. This feels new, but it’s not. We’ve been coloring our hair for centuries. We have historical records depicting romans sitting in the sun with hair soaked in a lime wash, baking and gossiping for hours while their hair turned orange. Anthropologist Harry Shapiro wrote: “So universal is this urge to improve on nature … that one is almost tempted to regard it as an instinct”.

Today, hair coloring is so popular, 75% of women color their hair, compared to 7% in 1950. In Nora Ephron’s 2006 book “I Feel Bad About My Neck”, she gives hair color total credit for turning back the clock on aging. She says hair color is “. . . the most powerful weapon older women have against youth culture.” No one wanted to be gray.

But attitudes toward gray are shifting, fast. Pinterest reported an 879% jump in the use of the search term “going gray” from 2017 to 2018. The last time gray hair was this hot was probably the 1700s, when Marie Antoinette types would dust wigs with white rice flour. So, why is ‘going gray’ on everyone’s minds? When you noticed your first gray hairs, you found you could cover them pretty easily. And infrequently.

But, gray hair is progressive–10%gray isn’t noticeable much as it grows out. But 10% becomes 20%, 20% becomes 30%, then 40% and twice a year root touch-ups become every six week visits. Once your hair hits 50% gray, your percentage of white/gray to natural hair moves pretty fast, and before you know it, you’re seeing your stylist every 3 weeks—you have now become a slave to your hair color.

White roots and shoe-polish-looking hair color is no longer stylish or young-looking. In fact, obviously dyed hair is now considered ‘aging’. It’s also time-consuming, expensive, and annoying. How did this panacea to aging become a monkey on our backs?

Maybe all the fake news and daily lies makes us determined to create more transparency in our lives (and our beauty routines). Maybe we crave ‘Real’, or the illusion of it, anyway. Maybe we’re just busy, and need less on our plates.

So, what to do? You can free yourself from hair color slavery. If your hair is tinted brown, the process of letting your gray grow out could demand a major salon commitment, involving multiple bleachings. One stylist in Phoenix says it takes 9 hours, and don’t even think of getting off cheaply. Even embracing your natural gray can entail a lot of salon time or torturous hard color lines, to grow out existing dye.

Or . . . you can subtly change the way you color your hair, blending rather than ‘covering’ your natural gray. Get back to your previous stress-free maintenance schedule—it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. There are tricks. We like to call this clever process “Hair Color Renovation“.

Every head of hair patterns the gray in a different way and it’s different with each person. Hair color is sort of a science experiment and gray hair—fake or natural—must jive with your coloring to work. You have other options. It’s not always eliminating the salon color process itself that’s liberating, it’s the option to choose, to make the trip to your stylist be whatever and whenever you feel. It should be your choice. Free your hair.