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L&M November Student of the Month: Warren Crane

Tuesday, November 6, 2012
It was Thanksgiving of last year.  I lay in a hospital here in Tennessee with a bad case of double pneumonia.  It was late at night and I could barely speak but I could type and was checking some emails late at night as I lay there in the hospital bed.

One of our longest and most dear students, Warren Crane had just emailed me.  He told me how wildfires the month before burned his home to the ground, along with his boat, RV, and all of his possessions. He was able to make it out with his guitars, his original copy of Learn & Master Guitar and a few personal things.

He was one of our first guitar learners and had purchased every course Legacy had ever put out – all of which (other than his first guitar course) burned in the fire.  He never requested it but as soon as I got out of the hospital and back to the office I sent him every course we’ve ever done as a replacement.  Here are a few pictures of what the fire left behind of Warren’s home.  http://tinyurl.com/6flqf13

Warren Crane was one of our very first and most loved discussion board members.  His discussion board name was warren-tx.  In person, Warren was a tall, skinny, loveable man whose warmth and infectious humor that couldn’t be hidden by his cowboy hat or his curmudgeonly online persona.

I first met Warren as I was walking nervously up to the hotel for our very first Guitar Gathering. This big voice in a Texas accent said “Hi, Steve!” Warren was literally the first Learn & Master Guitar student I met face to face. I knew from that point on that my relationship to our learners was more like family than business.

Over the next several Guitar Gatherings we laughed, and played and talked many, many times.   The picture above is him singing and playing during the very first Guitar Gathering student showcase.

Warren not only learned how to play guitar, but became a regular fixture at jams in his area.  He retired from his job, picked up the guitar, and never looked back. He was a constant encouragement to me and others, in person and on the forum.  Warren, along with Adele, and others, made the Learn & Master Guitar family what it is to this day.

As I lay in my hospital bed late at night last Thanksgiving, I was encouraged by Warren’s email that said…

“Steve, I’m sorry I’ve delayed so long to write to you, but was thinking about Thanksgiving and all the things I’m thankful for… and you were a big part of that. …I know I’ve mentioned my old Gibson acoustic guitar and the way it’s helped me through many hard times before. I was playin’ it the other day… and this time I actually sorta knew what I was doing and that was thanks to you. (He went on to describe the fires and his recent heart attacks)… It made me realize that everything we do here is temporary and if I didn’t quickly express my appreciation for all you’ve done for me, I might not have the change to do that.  So, THANK YOU!!!... I don’t know what else to say except that your efforts have been greatly appreciated.”

We emailed a time or two more over the coming months – each with the same amount of humor and encouragement.  Then, in April I received a short note from his daughter that our friend Warren had died on Easter Sunday from yet another heart attack.

As we approach another Thanksgiving, I’m again reminded of my late night in a hospital room only a year ago, and that late night correspondence between friends.

Warren’s signature line on his discussion board profile summed him up greatly… “A rut or a groove; the only difference is Attitude.”  Miss you Warren.

- Steve
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