Have you ever gone on a vacation, only to find that the trip was the most memorable part? This weekend I went on a journey with my Dad to look at a car I’ve been calling on since April. The owner called me last week and was ready for me to come and take a look at it, so I completely changed around my weekend plans. Usually, I make sure my expectations are a bit low, to ensure some excitement when I finally get to see what ever it is that convinced me to drive over 10 hours even if it is junk; but this time I let my guard down.
Seeing as I accidentally pulled a great deal of traffic from a website I enjoy, dedicated to a seemingly unrelated subject matter, I will veer down another path and save the story of the car for another day. Tonight, I will tell you about the violin.
Over 20 years ago, I began playing the violin. Amazingly, that was a time when I was fairly indifferent to cars. My Dad had a LaSalle which I enjoyed driving in, but I hadn’t gone completely off my rocker for these things yet. Instead, the violin fascinated me. The concept that horse hair, metal, and wood could create such amazing sounds boggled me. Many of the road trips my Dad and I took were to antique shops where we would look for oddities including antique instruments. Occasionally, we’d find an old beat up violin, and I would be overcome with a rush thinking I found a lost Stradivarius. More often than not, I found garbage, but with each mistake, I honed my skills and kept an eye out for them wherever we went.
Months ago, when talking to the owner of this particular car, our conversation somehow wandered into tales of my violin playing. Apparently there were a few violins up for sale as well as the car. My curiosity was piqued, this person not only had a car I was interested in but also a cache of violins that hadn’t seen the light of day in over 40 years. Weeks after talking to the seller, I got a few photos of some violins which were for sale, and I waited to get to take a look.
After looking at the car, I almost left the owner without looking at the violins. I was a bit disappointed with the car, as I was expecting too much, and almost forgot the second reason for the trip. I ended up in a living room, faced with six violins and a pile of bows. I spent more time sorting through the bows than i did looking at the car. Out of all of the bows and the violins, one of each caught my eyes, a bow with a diamond shaped cross-section and a violin which is most likely a copy of a French master.
It’s been quite a few years since I have sincerely played the violin and slightly fewer since I actually devoted much attention to the instrument at all. I wouldn’t say I lost interest, but the violin which has followed me over the past few years has a very brash tone, and takes a lot of the fun out of playing. This new violin has a pleasant sound and the mystique of newness to me. I’m happy with my purchase. I’m fairly sure it’s not a valuable instrument, but it is nice and was a reminder that sometimes if we keep our blinders on, we can miss the hidden greatness in front of us.
I didn’t come home with a car this weekend, but I did come home with a violin, having eaten a slice of Jersey Shore Pizza from the mostly rebuilt boardwalk in Sea Side Heights, NJ, and a load of memories. It couldn’t have worked out better.
Thank you to the fine folks at Violinist.com who found their way here, I appreciate your visits.