‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at OK Guitars

If the pandemic ever ends and I reopen, it won’t be in my old caboose. The train car was sold and is being turned into a residence if the town approves it. If they don’t approve then maybe I’ll reopen right where I was for 6 years.

Sadly, my shop is currently closed. Pandemics and guitar shops do not coexist well so until this is over, the doors are closed. I’ll reopen when it makes sense to do so-probably in a different location but maybe not. This is the only post I ever re-run. I could try to write another Christmas poem but I know my limitations. My wife and I wrote this one while on vacation (remember vacations?) in Mexico in 2015 and have run it every year since at Christmas. Read on.

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the pad

I was playing my Gibson- not great, but not bad.

I remembered a blues lick and played it with flair

Just like in the days when I had all my hair.

The block necks were hung not too tight or too loose,

As I waited for Santa inside my caboose.

I had them all tuned and I played every one.

The truss rods were perfect, the strings tightly strung.


All of a sudden on the roof of my shop,

I spied an old fat dude just reeking of pot.

He fell off the roof and into the snow.

I asked him right in. Why he came, I don’t know.

There was ice in his beard and mud on his boot,

And I thought only rock stars could wear such a suit.

He took down a red one, just like Eric C.

His fingers flew faster than old Alvin Lee.


It was wailing and screaming all over the town.

I could hear my Dad yelling, “Turn that damn thing down!”

Who knew this weird guy, such a flash with a pick

And a love of guitars, would be old Saint Nick?

I couldn’t believe all the sounds in my ear.

He said, “You get good working one day a year.”

Now Jimi, Now BB, Now John, George and Paul

Would bow to this master, the best of them all.


“You remember that Christmas back in ’63?

When you found a new six string left under your tree?

You started to doubt that I was the truth,

But my gift to you then was a link to your youth.

So for all of the years that would come in between,

Way deep down inside, you’d still feel like sixteen.”

He picked up some cases by Lifton and Stone,

Some old Kluson tuners and a worn out Fuzztone.


“Now, Charlie Gelber you must hear my pitch,

‘Cause this is my time and payback’s a bitch.

The 335 please, the red 59.

I gave you your first one, now this ax is mine”.

And quick as a flash it was stuffed in his sack,

And he waved a goodbye as he snuck out the back.

He jumped in his sled and sparked up a j,

Flew into the sky and was off on his way.

So if feeling sixteen is what sets you right,

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

By Charlie and Victoria Gelber

With apologies to Clement Clark Moore

This is the actual guitar I was referring to when the post was written. I didn’t own it then but I own it now (for the next few weeks anyway, then it goes to the next owner. It’s a near mint red 59 stop tail.

4 Responses to “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at OK Guitars”

  1. RAB says:

    Charlie, I always love reading your Xmas poem, great imagery! Happy Holidays y’all. I hope that includes blasting your favorite vintage axe through a great old tube amp. Best, RAB

  2. Kevin W. says:

    Bravo. Merry Christmas to you and yours. I’m a new reader of your site (last 6 months or so), look forward to every new post, and have greatly enjoyed reading/learning through your old posts. Thanks for every bit of it.

    Best regards,

  3. RAB says:

    Anyone else noticed how awesome Charlie’s inventory has been recently? He’s got the goods! Happy New Year all! RAB

  4. Dan says:

    Sorry that I never got to visit the shop – I know that caboose WELL! I worked at a summer camp in Kent for many many years, and spent a lot of time in Kent Pizza and the Fife – if I remember correctly, wasn’t the caboose previously an art gallery, called “New York, Paris, Kent” or something along those lines?

    When things return to normal I’d love to stop by – I’ll bring my 62 SG Jr, and 67 345 along, would love to have you check them out.

    Happy New Year!

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