The few months before I turned ten I spent Saturdays in Washington, DC with Dad, learning to make violins, as we molded, cut, carved, planed, and sanded our way through our first instrument. I can recall no present before or since that made me happier than the violin I received for my tenth birthday. That I had helped make it, somehow made it that much more meaningful to me. That it was my “undivided time with Dad” was also a factor in its importance to me.
I remember the pride I felt when I posed for the first time with the completed instrument. Dad stood behind me and let me take center stage with Mr. Gault, our teacher and friend. Three years later, when I made my own violin,
without Dad’s help but still under the tutelage of Mr. Gault, I was proud of my accomplishment, but it was never as meaningful to me as my first violin. In fact, though in an East Coast Violin Makers’ Convention that year my first solo-made violin earned the highest ranking possible, while entries by both Dad and Mr. Gault secured only the “competency in violin making” award, I still prefer to play the violin that was my first -- the one that I helped Dad create.
I found the evidence of my pride in the scrapbook the other day. Oh, to be ten again! LOL
Please excuse the oh so delightful pants and my clever cat-eye glasses. Clearly, I was NEVER a slave to fashion! (But please note the position of my right hand as it holds my bow…I was READY to play!)