Rock Con Roll (Chapter 5, page 2 of 10)


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Chapter 5

Carl and Franny Geiger weren’t really my uncle and aunt. They weren’t even related to Bea—just fellow grifters. But I spent so much time with them when I was young that they became the best aunt and uncle anyone could have. Certainly better relatives than my so-called mother. Franny taught me the finer aspects of conning as they pertained to the human body, including self-defense, the light touch needed to pick a pocket, and how to cold-read people from their facial expressions and body language. But an even better skill was taught to me by Carl, my dear sweet uncle. In addition to being a master woodworker who repaired broken guitars and built copies of rare ones, he also taught me to paint and to forge.

Little had changed in Carl’s workshop. Every wall—floor to ceiling—was still covered with guitars. Instruments were piled everywhere along with scraps of wood, metal, and other materials. The dusty old display case on the side was so covered with grime that the glass was nearly opaque. I remembered when it was cleaner, and I could still make out the jumble of strings, frets, capos, and musical detritus, piled everywhere and impossible to properly appreciate. When I was young, I spent plenty of time trying to figure out everything in that display case. Almost as much time as I spent staring at the pick bowl.

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