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The last six months of hishitch were spent in Charles-ton, and that is where Wilsondecided to stay. “I didn’t wantto go back and be a farmer,” hesaid.After leaving the Navy,Wilson rst went to work inretail sales with Fox MusicCo., opened his own musicstore for a time, returned toFox Music and then went onthe road in the Carolinas andGeorgia as a sales representa-tive of instruments.He left that job “when Isaw computers taking overthe music business,” Wilsonsaid. In the meantime, Wilsonhad begun to teach himself torepair stringed instruments,guitars and violins and such.“I couldn’t get anyone else torepair my guitars,” he said. “Ienjoyed the work. I like wood-working..”Wilson opened his currentbusiness in 2000, specializ-ing in repair and restoration,as well as making guitars. Heplays professionally with theBobby Ryder Quartet, basedat Hilton Head, though he ad-mits, “There’s more money inselling guitars than in playingthem.”His group performs insuch Florida locations as Jack-sonville and Orlando, and forthe past four years has en- joyed invitations to appear at afancy gig indeed, the birthdayparty for golng great ArnoldPalmer at his Bay Hill CountryClub in Orlando.This year, the event washeld on Sept. 4-5, and alsofeatured singers Vince Gilland Amy Grant. Of Palmer,Wilson said, “He loves guitarmusic.”Wilson’s repair work is fedin part by the damage done tothe instruments in transit withFedex, UPS and moving com-panies.“I also get the spousalabuse cases,” he quipped.“You know, when he comesin at 2 a.m. and she breaks hisguitar over his head..”The guitars Wilson makessell for $1,500 to $2,500, andhe said he sells all he produc-es. “It’s not rocket science, butit’s time-consuming,” he said.“If I broke it down and sold aguitar for $2,000, I probablywould have been working forminimum wage.”Wilson has some impres-sive credentials in the guitarworld. He said he built the rstdouble-neck electric guitar forthe vocal group Alabama andis the only provider of war-ranted service for the Bene-detto Guitar Co.“Bob Benedetto makesthe nest jazz guitar there is,“Wilson pointed out. “Theysell for between $25,000 and$75,000.“Wilson’s own guitar thathe plays with the Ryder quar-tet is an electric arch top Gib-son.Wilson and his wife Franhave two sons, Bryn, whoworks for a music company inSavannah, Ga., and Chris, whooperates a charter shing busi-ness out of Charleston.“They divided my twogreat loves, music and sh-ing,:” Wilson commented. Hemet his wife while serving inthe Caribbean. She was a civil-ian nurse at the naval hospitalat Gitmo. In Charleston, Mrs.Wilson worked at the medi-cal university, from which sheretired, and now keeps herself busy as an orchid arranger.The guitar repair businesscontinues to be good, espe-cially in the current economicslump. “With the downturn,people are getting their oldones xed rather than buyingnew ones,” Wilson explained.At 67, Wilson doesn’t con-sider retirement. “I couldn’tretire if I wanted to, and Iwouldn’t retire if I could,” ishow he puts it.A musician would say thatattitude about work strikes justthe right chord.
Joe’s has ottted his shop in Old Mont Pleasant with all the tools he needs to practice his craft.Joe repairs all makes and modelsof stringed instrments.
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but you will have a differentdenition and time frame forthat decision.The question has changedfrom “How much do youneed?” to “Is it possible?” But just as Americans were too op-timistic about their retirementprospects a few years ago, Ibelieve we have become fartoo pessimistic about the fu-ture.It’s not “game over” forAmerica -- or for your retire-ment plans.I have not changed myfundamental belief in the fu-ture growth of the Americaneconomy and, with it, thestock market. And the stockmarket is the one way you canhave access to participate inall that growth and build yourown wealth.I’m not a market timer, asyou know from reading mycolumns and books over theyears. But when the extremesof either pessimism or opti-mism sway the greatest num-ber of people, it’s time to standback and rethink your posi-tion.The pendulum alwaysswings to extremes.In the past decade, we’vemoved from an extreme of op-timism about having it all toan extreme of negativity aboutAmerica’s potential to surviveand prosper. Now you see whyit’s so important to have a dis-ciplined nancial plan.Let’s agree on one thing:If the pessimists are correct,then it really doesn’t mat-ter how your investments arestructured. If it’s the end forAmerica, then you don’t needto worry about the value of your stock portfolio!But before you give up onthe future, take a closer lookat history. America has beenthough tough times before-- and we always have comeback stronger and growing.But every generation mustlearn this for itself. It’s not justthe lessons of the Depressionin the 1930s, which now seemlike ancient history.Those now younger than50 who are shocked by the cur-rent economic recession maynot remember the recession of 1980-82. That was an equallyscary time -- when the primerate was 21 percent; mortgagerates were 15 percent; both un-employment and ination hadreached double digits; and theDow Jones industrial averagewas less than 800!But America camethrough those tough times-- and soared to a new era of economic growth based onproductivity created by tech-nology. In that dismal reces-sion of 1981, few would haveguessed that within 20 years,the stock market would tradehigher than 14,000 or that In-ternet technology would revo-lutionize the way we work,live and learn.History never repeats ex-actly, but it does teach us les-sons. This has been a differentkind of recession from anywe’ve seen before, because itis fueled by an unprecedentedlevel of debt -- something Ihave warned against in all of my writings for the past 20years! So we’ll need a differ-ent sort of resolution.Remember Newton’s lawsof motion, which you learnedin high school? For every ac-tion, there is an equal and op-posite reaction. Excesses of debt unfortunately must bewiped out, creating an excessof pain for those who over-borrowed. If America can getthrough this process withoutlosing the free markets thatcreated such wealth through-out our history, then we willbe setting the stage for the nextperiod of real growth.It is never possible toknow the future. Forecasts,predictions and prognostica-tions always are impacted bycurrent events. It is our job toplan for all of those eventu-alities -- whether ongoing eco-nomic slowdown or the nextboom that will be triggered byan invention yet unknown.And we also must beprepared to survive mistakesmade by well-meaning politi-cians and economists. No onepolitical party or economictheory has a monopoly ongood -- or bad -- ideas. But weknow that economic growthrequires a currency that retainsits value, laws that protect thevalues of assets, and marketsthat can be trusted.That’s what “The NewSavage Number” is all about-- creating your own nancialsecurity that will help you ridethrough the tough times, evenin retirement. Now it’s moreimportant than ever that youunderstand the risks -- andpotential rewards -- of yourinvestments and your entirenancial plan. So let’s get re-started!No matter what your ageis, take a fresh look at yourplans for the future, becauseno matter how late you start,your future will be so muchbetter if you prepare for it now.And that’s The Savage Truth.Terry Savage is a regis-tered investment adviser andis on the board of the ChicagoMercantile Exchange.