Scars and guitars

Scars and guitars….
I have been looking at alot of guitars lately. As in many aspects of life I need “accomodations” (or so I think). Parkinson’s disease has made me “special”. I was looking for guitars with a bit shorter neck, a bit narrower body. I looked at my first acoustic guitar. It was my brother’s. He sent it to me for my 16th birthday. There was a lot going on in my life at that time. And not all of it was happy. The guitar gave me joy and helped heal some of the wounds. Music does that to you, you know. That guitar is no longer playable. But I remember its first major scar. We were at Meadowood for a SEARCH retreat, staying in a small lodge which has a sleeping loft. Someone knocked a pop bottle off the balcony and it skidded across the face of the guitar and left a long scar. Funny, I remember that incident so well, and that it left a scar. I don’t remember the songs I played that weekend.

Fred, playing his jazz guitar, wears a bracelet bearing his son’s name. His beautiful teenage son died in a swimming accident. The loss of a child sucks the breath out of the parents. Fred works on those wounds through writing jazz . His wounds are still open and bleeding. Someday they will heal over…into scars. The music helps him through the dark nights.

The old guitar maker called and invited me over to try out some guitars. First he had me play the first guitar he made for himself. It was full of scratches and dings … much like himself who for so many years had toiled and labored to make a living. This guitar has autographs. . The autographs of friends, bluegrass and country artists… autographs on his heart…memories of good times that more than erase the scars on his arthritic hands.

The young man guitar player let me try his cherished guitar. It has been replaced for daily playing, but he will never part with it. I felt honored to place my hand and around its neck and feel where the oils of his hand had worn into the wood. Holding the guitar I could see the dings on the face and scratched up pick guard. Scars you would never notice from a distance…scars that are apparent when you are close enough to embrace.

I looked at my current guitar. It has some dings in it that I put there. Its just starting to develop its character. The scars aren’t deep. They are not obvious unless you get up close. They are my scars. I think I will keep my guitar …I think I will give  up playing other’s guitars.  I have my own scars.







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Published by Carol Clupny, author The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman's Remarkable Journey with Parkinson's Disease

I am a middle aged woman with Parkinson's Disease. When I was first diagnosed I spent a lot of time researching the disease. Seeing a video of a man in the advanced stages of the disease attempting to get out of his chair and then "freezing" as he tried to walk across the room got me off my butt and moving. Great adventures on the Camino de Santiago and with TEAM Pedaling for Parkinson's across IOWA, as well as the day to day adventures of life have lead me to writing. My first novel, a memoir, was published early 2019. It is called, you got it THE RIBBON OF ROAD AHEAD. Living with the degenerative neurological disease Parkinson's, ULTREIA is a word that guides me. I have chosen it as the name of my business ULTREIA BOOKS. It comes from Latin and old French and means "unfailing courage". In the old days, pilgrims would call "Ultreïa" to each other as encouragement "Go up, go further!" Nowadays we would say "You can do this thing". It takes courage to live with Parkinson's. May I face each day with unfailing courage. Ab Here is more about me; I was living an active lifestyle riding horses, hiking, climbing and snow skiing when at age fifty I was diagnosed with Parkinsons. Retiring from my career as a speech-language pathologist I decided to “take to the road” to battle the disease. My first steps, walking out her door to the mailbox, lead to trekking over 1000 miles of pilgrimage trails on the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain. A dusty bike discovered in the garage resulted in four rides on the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa with the Pedaling for Parkinsons Team. These adventures inspired me to write a memoir The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman’s Remarkable Journey with Parkinson’s Disease. I blogs about my everyday life as a middle-aged woman in the mid-stages of Parkinson’s disease. My honest, humorous, and casual narrative style brings the reader to an intimate understanding of my resilience and acceptance. My blog, sharing the name of my book ”The Ribbon of Road Ahead” can be found at After completing a Masters of Science in Speech Pathology from Eastern Washington University I received certification in School Leadership and Administration from Lewis and Clark College. I provided speech pathology services and later became a program director completing 32 years in the wide geographic expanse of eastern Oregon. Active in the Oregon Speech-Language and Hearing Association I received honors of the association and the presidential award for work on recruitment and retention of speech and hearing professionals. Il presented numerous papers and projects at local, state and regional professional conferences. I was appointed by Governor Ted Kulongoski to two terms of the Oregon Board of Examiners of Speech Pathology and Audiology, the state’s licensing and consumer protection agency. Since my diagnosis in 2008, I has become active in the Parkinson’s community as an advocate, an Ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation and support group facilitator for Parkinson's Resources of Oregon. I was appointed the regional patient representative for the Parkinson's Foundation’s Women with PD TALK study. In September of 2019 the Michael J Fox Foundation selected me to participate in the Parkinson’s Policy Forum in Washington DC. As an attendee at the World Parkinson Congress in 2016 in Portand, Oregon, I presnted a poster session examining the decision making process for patients considering deep brain stimulation. At the 2019 WPC in Kyoto, Japan I presented a poster on vision concerns of women with PD and lead small group discussions. Myr book The Ribbon of Road Ahead has provided many speaking opportunities for Carol. In 2019 and early 2020 she visited 24 support groups in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California to share her thoughts on living well with the disease. In addition, she has presented talks for The Center on Aging in San Francisco, Parkinson's Place in Las Vegas, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation in Richland WA and virtually through their HOPE online program. In late 2020 I rejuvenated her voice and narrated her book. It became available as an audio book in 2021. As part of this project I read stories over the airwaves on RadioParkies Australia with DJ Madonna and in Great Britain with DJ Johnny Parky. She and her husband Charlie have two adult sons. They live on a small hobby farm in eastern Oregon. Contact Information: Carol Clupny PO BOX 128, Hermiston, OR 97838 (541) 720-4256

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