Lightfoot Autographs D18



After his Saturday concert in Orillia on November 14, 2009, Lightfoot met with officials from the Opera House and Soldier's Memorial Hospital. He signed and tuned a guitar that will be auctioned off on eBay, with the proceeds going to SMH.

"It's a very special moment. Gord is such a wonderful supporter of the hospital," enthused SMH president and CEO Elizabeth Riley. "He's a legend in his own time, and it's great to see him support his hometown.

And the winner is...

"Patti Scott is a death-defying Gordon Lightfoot fan. At the 2007 Mariposa Folk Festival when a thunderstorm blasted Tudhope Park and sent hundreds of spectators racing for cover, Scott sat tight as Lightfoot plunged on through the driving rain. "I sat in the lightning; my date didn't," said Scott, who was the highest bidder in the online auction for a D-18 Martin guitar autographed by Orillia's most famous son.

"I've always loved Gordon Lightfoot," said the owner of Orillia Pharmacy, strumming the acoustic guitar at a news conference yesterday afternoon. "It's an amazing guitar. It has a nice soft touch -- a nice sound."

Scott, who paid $7,719.68 (US$7,400) for the honey-coloured instrument, said she went beyond the price she had set as a maximum. "I felt strongly it should stay in Orillia," she told a small group gathered in the offices of the Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital Foundation office on Mississauga Street West.

The fact the proceeds were going to support the foundation, which purchases equipment for the hospital, was also a motivating factor, Scott said. "Somebody will receive treatment in the future from equipment that wouldn't be there otherwise," said Bob Middaugh, chair of the hospital's board of directors. "They won't know who to thank, so we'll thank you now."

The hospital also extended thanks to the manufacturer Martin guitars, which donated the guitar with the assistance of Gilbert Guitars in Orillia.

The first stringed instrument Scott learned to play was a ukulele in Grade 4. She later learned to play guitar at campfire singalongs and knows the chords to Lightfoot'sIf You Could Read My Mind. "Every girl wants a guy to be able to read her mind," she quipped.

Scott was on holiday in Antigua in the Caribbean when the bidding on eBay came to a head Thursday evening. "I was in a little Internet booth at the hotel." Although this was her first time on eBay and there was a one-hour time difference, Scott managed to edge the competition, logging half a dozen bids in the last half hour. She placed her final bid seconds before bidding closed at 7 p. m.  A few seconds later, she received an email saying she had won.

From Orillia Packet & Times