Years ago as a teenager when I was learning to play, I desperately wanted an electric guitar. I begged and begged for what seemed like forever until I finally got my first electric.
Standard Strat copy with more aggressive, less classic lines. I loved this guitar and played the hell out of it. I kept it as my main instrument ever preferring it over a Les Paul Studio I bought in high school and unloaded less than a year later.
Over time I made some adjustments. The pickguard and electronics are all out of an Ibanez series 2 RoadStar. The stock neck pickup has been switched out for a DiMarzio single space Tone Zone Humbucker. The middle pickup is stock Ibanez and the bridge is a Bill Lawrence made Keystone Humbucker. It is wired with a switch that will activate the neck pickup even if it is not in that position. This guitar is hot, it screams.
In the early 2000's, my (now ex) wife needed some money for her child custody case and trying to be a good husband who was no longer working as a musician, I pawned all of my gear to pay her attorney's fees. A pa, keyboard, two guitars, two basses, and my guitar and bass rig all went. Among them was this guitar.
For years I felt like I had made a big mistake letting that guitar go. I was sick thinking about the electric guitar I learned on was gone and I'd never see it again. I learned a lesson that day: some things are worth holding onto.
What must have been six or seven years later, I was out and about just driving on a Saturday and I came up on the pawn shop where I sold all my gear. I decided to go in and take a look just if by chance, they had any of my gear left. I walked in, moved over to the musical instrument section and there hanging on the wall...was my guitar. Not the same model, not one similar, it was unmistakeably my guitar.
It seemed like it hadn't even been touched since I left it. I think it ever had the same strings. I don't think I've ever reached for my wallet so quickly. I took the guitar home and it's still here with me now. It is by far not the nicest, most valuable, rare, or sought after thing I've ever had my hands on but it is mine and that gives it more value to me than any replacement.