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This is Ralph.

I've had Ralph since I was in junior high. Ralph was my first and remains my only guitar. I have written countless songs, some of which got recorded. Some got sung by youth groups and Bible studies. Some eventually were performed in musicals my husband and I wrote, produced and directed by casts of up to 100 people and audiences of up to 1,000. Ralph kept me company in my loneliest moments. Ralph was there when I was 13 and my brother died - and I wrote my first song as a result. Ralph helped me process all the "feels" that a creative person can not escape due to the very nature of our being. Ralph has literally been all over the world with me, and all over the galaxy of what it takes to just grow up these days.


Ralph is named after one of the finest men I will ever know. Ralph White. Mr. White was the Dothan High School band director that put us on the map with super sharp red jackets and British style black band hats. The band was impressive where football was king. They broke our hearts when they moved to Alabama further north where he ran a music store. But we visited often through the years and he picked my first guitar for me. When it didn't arrive on time for our visit, he gave me his personal guitar. In fact, that was the trip we had taken to get Jon after his summer with Youth With a Mission. We only had a few weeks with him back home before he died in a football accident.

I was little when Ralph and Sandra lived in my hometown in Alabama. While I was raised in a home with deep and abiding love, there was also a deep and crippling vein of generational perfectionism. As a child, I always felt like I was doing something wrong, or was certainly about to. But at the White's house, we jumped on beds to escape the "crocodiles." At the White's house, we were loud and happy and simple. We touched empty locust shells on pine trees and felt all the tiny butterfly tickles of a roly-poly legs in the palm of our hand (potato bug).

I did things I was afraid to do and laughed.

Ralph and Sandra loved each