In 1987, Kenny's Guitar Shoppe put a $20 used beginner's guitar up for sale. Dullum was smitten. Encouraged by his parents, who were keen on teaching him a lesson in planning, saving, and ethics, Dullum took a job earning $1.10 an hour laboring after lunch at Ben Franklin Elementary's cafeteria while his young sixth grade classmates enjoyed recess. He endured 18.2 hours of this--which was clearly in violation of any number of necessary laws--in order to save up $20 to purchase his first guitar. That $20 bill was special to young Dullum. He had worked his soft young hands to the bone at the Ben Franklin sweat shop to earn it, and it seemed like a fortune. With care and respect, he gently folded it in half and tucked it into his small front pocket. His mother drove him to Kenny's. She let him enter the store by himself to complete the transaction as well as the circle of lessons. The young Dullum gently removed the $20 from his pocket and handed it to the scrubby dude working at Kenny's, who scanned his surroundings before roughly stuffing it into his dirty, filthy, stinky pocket. The distinctive sound of a cash register opening is missing from Dullum's memory of the transaction. Dullum believes that $20 likely ended the day in the cash drawer over at The Highlander, were the guitar shoppe dude traded it for a case of Old Style tall boys and a pack of Swisher Sweets. But Dullum digresses. He quickly fashioned himself a pick by filing down the edges of a quarter and soon was playing Poison's 'Talk Dirty To Me', a stirring song that inspired his parents to question the existence of anything fair and true in the world. Things felt good.
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