The banjo in question was a Gibson which originally belonged to Ray.
Ray (for the benefit of anyone who hasn’t read the “personal chronology” page) was a guy who used to lurk around the RV park where my parents were members, back in the ’80s. We “hung out” a few times, mostly because I was “into” Bluegrass music at the time, and he played mandolin. He claimed to have been a member of several mid-level Bluegrass groups around the Southeastern U.S. during the late ’60s/early ’70s, but there weren’t any recordings or memorabilia that I ever knew about, so that probably should have been a red-flag.
Eventually, Ray dropped a bombshell: he wouldn’t be able to “hang out” anymore, because he had been awaiting sentencing on “deviant sexual intercourse involving a child” (official PA legal code designation for his charges – I never wanted to know the specific details).
Anyway (because Pennsylvania is a shit-hole) he only got sentenced to 5 years. After that 5 years, he started coming around to the local Bluegrass “jam sessions” and such — and I proceeded to (as he put it) “rat him out” — for lurking around a 12 year old boy.
Ray eventually ended up getting his parole revoked (for yet more disgusting pedo-bullshit), and has been in prison this time for just under 20 years, as far as I know.
The subhuman piece of shit used to mail letters to my Mom (since she still lived at the same house were I was raised).
I honestly have no idea why the evil fuck hasn’t been castrated by his fellow inmates, shanked, and/or simply raped to death (any — or all — of which would be richly deserved).
Anyway: before he went “away” the first time (around 1986), he decided that it would be a great idea to give me a bunch of his stuff. The “best” item was a Gibson 5-string banjo of some kind. A few weeks later, I proceeded to methodically destroy everything else he had given me, and then sold the banjo (for what I later learned was a drastically low price).
I honestly didn’t give a shit, because the mere fact that it had been owned by a guy who had most likely been attempting to “groom” me was so cringe-worthy that it was all I could do not to smash the thing, and then burn the fragments.
Ray came around after he was paroled, and off-handedly inquired whether I still had any of his stuff. I told him “no” (which was true). Unfortunately, I *also* implied that my idiot, heroin-addict half-brother had destroyed the stuff, when in fact, I had destroyed/sold it.
In retrospect, more than 20 years later, I really wish I would have told the stupid, child-raping scumbag the truth — if only for the hurt and betrayal it would have caused him.
There’s something intensely horrifying about the fact that I have no good memories from that time-period. Think about it: I was so utterly friendless and weird that my closest “friend” was a guy who was most likely planning to eventually rape me.
That is actually extremely sad, thinking about it, now.