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24 March 2014


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-happy sigh- What a delightful post. A story with memories, pathos, happy ending. How perfect! :-)

Thank you...

(Upper NYS of the US)

A very happy ending, I suppose your mum thought no one wanted it , and luckily for you , it was not far away.

A perfect and happy ending, I suppose your mum never gave it a second thought , that you would want it. Luckily it was not far away.

What a lovely column, Corey. Being married to a violinist who has a spectacular (French!) violin, I can really relate to the attachment one develops. When I was a grad student in piano I used to love being in a practice room with a violinist because in the small enclosed space I could smell the resin coming off the bow and the wood warming up. So organic and so entwined with the experience of playing a sonata for violin and piano ...

Corey, I am so happy for you and all who made it possible to get "your" violin back! xxx

What a nice story with a happy ending! Maybe you were so sneaky when "visiting" the violin that your mom had no idea you loved it so.

Reminds me of "visiting" my mother's fox stole when I'd go home to visit, although it was slightly creepy too, with its closing clamp being the fox's actual jaw. Why oh why didn't I take that when we were closing up Mom's house.

And these days, when my sister comes to visit me, she always says hello to Mom's beautiful dresses and embroidered blouses that I keep in a closet in the guest room. Those lovely items that are the stuff of wonderful memories.

Now I want to see your violin. Picture, please?

This is like an O'Henry story. The violin got back to you. Beautiful. That's the charm of a smaller community, where people know each other!

We have my grandfather's violin hanging on the wall. It's a beautiful thing and has a date inside from the 1800s. I've been told that although it's a pretty violin, it's not a very good instrument, so I think it is doing it's fine as a wall decoration.

this is a rather unusual love story.... i however have (as a violin and cello player) to point out that an(y) instrument NOT PLAYED is dying... a violin not played will undoubtedly lose its soul, the tone and the instrument itself will suffer. So if you just 'use' it as a deco item, fine - but it won't be able to give joy to anybody playing it.
When I bought my first violin myself, I did buy an instrument from a music dealer who shut down his business for age reasons. As I had not much money, he helped me choose for a long time and eventually told me he had 'an old ham' he got from a house sale where this violin sat in the attic for God know how long. I fell literally in love with the beauty of the (dirty) instrument and I loved the hoarse sound of it. The dealer told me to play, play, play to wake it up from it's Beauty Sleep.... and I did. It's still my best loved violine and although the bow cost about 3 or 4 times as much as the instrument (and I had it extensively professionally cleaned, re-adjusted, got new equipment etc), I couldn't put a price to it. I'm also planning to sell it now because I've gone off the violin playing in favour of cello playing and I feel Î'm doing an unjustice to the beloved instrument by not playing it anymore regularly. End of April I will sell it, after a professional musician will play it when visiting - one last time, it's Swan Song for me....

Wonderful story from the memory bank . . . and the very best kind of ending!

Corey, I second Kiki's thoughts, and hope that you can find someone you know who will play the violin and give it the care it needs to continue singing its song for people, as its maker intended.

It's a wonderful thing when family items make their
way back to you...I have had that happen recently,
and was amazed how things fell into place...I feel
it was meant to be. Am feeling so blessed.

Now that's a GREAT story!! Love it

Such a cool story...I have my Mother's violin and I have always loved it since childhood.

I can relate to your sweet violin story. I have my Mother's ukelele -- an adorable blue and white one, with a stenciled design on the body. Every now and then she would play and sing "I wanna go back to my little grass shack in " --- (the rest of that line has the name of a Hawaiian place that I won't try to spell.) After she played a few songs the little uke would go back to its resting place on a high shelf in her closet. When I got a little older I realized the significance of that little ukelele. Going to Hawaii was one of her dreams, but with 3 children and a miserable marriage, it was far out of her reach. Years later, after my brothers and I were grown and gone, and having suffered through a devastating divorce, Mom finally realized her dream. She spent ten idyllic days on a cruise ship to Hawaii and the pictures from that trip show her glowing with happiness. She died 6 years ago, and the little ukelele now hangs on my bedroom wall. I run my fingers across the strings now and then, and I'm back sitting on Mom's bed, listening to her sing.

What a wonderful and very touching story! I'm so glad that your mother's violin found it's way back to you!

Lovely story! Now you must learn to play it.

Another thing we have in common.I ADORE VIOLINS too……had them in the shop and DIDNOT want to sell……..love the cases they come in too!The cases spoke to me for display props……….see how fortunate you are you come from a small town!THAT is a BEAUTIFUL story!
I assume your in ITALY????

It's not too late to try playing it. At 58, I decided to take violin lessons. I had never played any instrument and did not read music. It was glorious, and I especially loved playing with others. Too soon, an autoimmune disorder took away my ability to play the violin, so I switched to the piano since I was advised that it would be easier to play with hands that didn't function as well. If I'd told myself I was too old at 58, I never would have played the violin at all, and now I have (admittedly bittersweet) memories of sitting in the strings section of the local community orchestra. I'm 64 now, and, due to my illness, my mobility and the function of my hands decline. I'll never be a great pianist, obviously. However, I love learning more about the structure of music, and that's reason enough to plunk on piano keys each day.

Love this story and the journey of the violin. It reminds me of my sister and I and our violin lessons so many years ago. I have always wanted to take it up again. Thanks for reminding me…..

Ah, such a heartwarming homecoming relating to the old saying 'what goes around comes around' . One never really learns what the word 'cherish' actually means until you see it's effect on the one receiving its gift. Like a mini episode from 'The Red Violin'. Learn to play it Corey ... I own two old beauties (one of which is a magnificent suvivor from Auswitch/Bergen-Belsen, with the owner's initials carved into its back) and they have been two of my life's greatest treasures.

Added thought ... lyrics to Laurie Lewis' The Maple's Lament ... available on iTunes.

When I was alive the birds would nest upon my boughs
And all through long winter nights the storms would 'round me howl
And when the day would come, I'd raise my branches to the sun
I was the child of earth and sky, and all the world was one

But now that I am dead the birds no longer sing in me
And I feel no more the wind and rain as when I was a tree
But bound so tight in wire strings, I have no room to grow
And I am but the slave who sings, when master draws the bow

But sometimes from my memory I can sing the birds in flight
And I can sing of sweet dark earth and endless starry nights
But oh, my favorite song of all, I truly do believe
Is the song the sunlight sang for me while dancing on my leaves

My father played the violin when he was young. Unfortunately my grandmother's dream was that he would become a concert violinist and from what I was told, he had the talent to fulfill her dream...but it was her dream not hers so as he grew, he stopped playing it rebelling under the pressure of her dreams. I remember my dad playing the violin for us once when I was young. After which, I would often open up the leather case, touching the smooth polish of the wood and holding the bow pretending that I could play it. I don't know why I never thought to ask for violin lessons, but as I grew older, the desire to own his violin one day was in m heart. This year, my lovely and talented niece decided she wanted to learn to play the violin so he asked my father if she could have it. At first every fiber within me mourned, I warned the violin and the precious memories that came with it. But then I realized, with her it would find a better home. Her hands would draw the bow across the strings and make beautiful music. I had his old cameras, which as a photographer, was right for me. Still, I resonated with your initial feelings of loss.

What a beautiful story, so intertwined with love.
My grandmother paid for me to take piano lessons.
My cousin still has the piano unless he sold it.
No sentimental feeling for that piano though, I
would have rather danced to the music, not played it.

Thank you, Kiki, for reminding us of the importance of letting an instrument sing, even if that means passing it on to another who will play it.

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