When I was 12 my father took me to the local music store to look at instruments. I was immediately drawn to the guitars. I reached up and brushed my fingers across the fretboard of a beautiful black Les Paul boasting a sunburst design dreaming about the wonderful notes that I would be able to create.
My father wouldn't go for it. He wasn't about to let me bring a jangly electric guitar into his home-- especially for my first attempts at playing. Also it was too cumbersome for my small frame and would be awkward to cart around, let alone make jangle.
We ended up compromising in a way. Dad bought me a 3/4 Fender acoustic (it's a tad smaller than a typical acoustic guitar, making it easier to reach the length of the fretboard). It was black with a sunburst design akin to the Les Paul.
Thus began my infatuation and admiration for the man Les Paul, his work and his creations. He was a vital part to the history of music, in fact, quite a chunk of that history may not have been made without him and he will impact generations of musicians and instrument makers to come.
Les Paul will be missed. But he will also be remembered every time an aspiring musician brushes her fingers across the fretboard of one of his guitars in a music store.
I'll admit that my beloved Les Paul guitar remains a dream, but some day I'll find just the right one. As for my 3/4 acoustic~ it's a little worn, but I still make it jangle from time to time.