Tom Durkin
: A home for my Darling |

Tom Durkin
: A home for my Darling

Before I tell you about my Darling, I want to follow up on my column from two weeks ago.

I suggested Nevada County adopt a Housing Now approach to homelessness. Nothing from the county, but a number of readers responded enthusiastically to these ideas:

For chronically homeless people, establish a sanctuary campground where they could stay safely without harassment from law enforcement — and where we would all be safe from wildfire caused by an escaped campfire. Furthermore, a sanctuary would offer needed medical, legal, rehab, social and mental health services.

For working-poor homeless people who are only homeless because there is no available affordable housing, the county should relax restrictions on accessory dwelling units and permit full-time living in RVs and trailers – provided, of course, septic is safely managed.

If you support either of these options, please contact me at Maybe, together, we can motivate the county to provide assistance instead of resistance to helping our homeless citizens.


It was love at first sight. I met my Darling on an out-of-town job. There were others, but Darling and I hit it off from the start. We had a whirlwind romance, but then I had to go home.

I begged her to come with me, but she said no. She had obligations to her dead partner’s family. They had taken care of her for the six years since he had passed. She couldn’t leave without their blessing.

The next year was torture. I still had my old lover, but it was just never the same between us. We’re still good friends, but the thrill is gone. She just didn’t pull at my heartstrings like Darling did.

I made repeated overtures to Darling’s family, but they said the elders had to meet to decide.

Darling is older and widowed, but you wouldn’t know it to look at her. Her striking auburn and ebony features, porcelain smooth skin and sexy curves still turn heads. Her voice has matured and is more seductive with age. It resonates in my chest when we are together.


Finally, after several more months of pleading, the elders decided in my favor. Honoring the custom of Darling’s culture, I paid her dowry and took possession of the object of my affection.

Darling has been home with me for almost a year now, and we are supremely happy. I do have to admit she is high-strung. When I do something wrong, she lets me know instantly. But when our vibes are in sync, she rocks my soul.

Darling is my muse. She brings out the best in me. We’ve written songs together, even one with lyrics!

Sometimes, I feel Darling is too good for me. I’m just a poor, no-talent commoner, and she comes from a birth family of bluebloods. For her part, she’s modest because she does not bear the name of her famous and renowned cousins, the Gibsons.

Still, I tell my Darling Epiphone she’s as good as any Gibson I’ve ever met ….


If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m talking about my guitar. To be clinical about it, Darling is an Epiphone DOT, f-hole, semi-hollow body, electric guitar with a sunburst finish made by Gibson Brands Inc. She is the finest instrument I’ve ever owned. She plays better than I ever will.

I won’t even begin to pretend I have any musical talent. It’s all learned behavior and practice, practice, practice.

Darling makes it easy to practice. She’s always within arm’s reach of my desk chair, plugged in and tuned up.

I used to play/practice for minutes at time, fingerpicking my flat-top acoustic Art & Lutherie (which is a very nice guitar), but the pain in my arthritic thumbs limited how much I could play.

Now, because an electric guitar is easier to play, I can play Darling for hours at a time, but I’m still a fingerpicker (never learned how to use a pick).

Sure, Darling is drop-dead gorgeous, but that’s not why I fell in love. It’s how easy she is to play. My fingers dance on her strings almost effortlessly.

While there will always be a place in my heart for my acoustic, Darling is now my instrument of choice. If she were a woman, I’d marry her.

Tom Durkin is a freelance writer, editor and photographer in Nevada County. He is a homeless advocate and member of the Shelter Subcommittee of the Nevada County Continuum of Care, a subcommittee of Human Resource Council of the Sierras{cq], but the opinions expressed here are strictly his own. He may be contacted at

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