December 28, 2011 at 3:05 AMIt's interesting, all the fiery darts your mind will throw at you when something bad happens. At first I was sure that my bow broke because I had been greedy about wanting another violin. Then I thought maybe I'd been prideful about my possessions, so I deserved it. And then it occurred to me that my bow must have been jealous about my affair with the Kittel, and had jumped out of my fingers out of pure spite. Silly Emily, accidents happen because accidents happen, and there's no need to find a reason, other than cold dry fingers, unforgiving concrete, and the fragile nature of bows.
I pulled myself together and called George, but as soon as I began to tell him what I'd done, I began to sob again. It took another fifteen minutes, sitting in the car, before I was able to drive. While I waited, I called Matt Wyatt and left a pretty pathetic, unintelligible message on the violin shop's machine. Then I called Karen Rile and talked with her until I felt a little better. Somehow, it really helps to have someone with seasoned moral support on the other end of the line. She gave me Elizabeth Shaak's phone number at Mount Airy Bows; she might make it all better.
Since I was going back to Fred Oster's anyway, my accident couldn't have had better timing. It made my decision to return the violins an easy one, and furthermore, I was heading to the perfect place to locate an authority for a proper estimate/repair. At the shop, they looked the damage over and quickly assured me that not only could it be splined, but I wouldn't be able to tell the difference at all. Unfortunately, Fred's bow person, Erin, was out of town. Hesitantly, I mentioned Elizabeth Shaak, not sure whether it was kosher to bring up another shop. "Oh,yes, you could take it to her!" he agreed. "Erin actually lives upstairs from her."
The repair would amount to less than the insurance deductible, but I could possibly file a claim and have the bow totaled. That is, if I had insurance, which I didn't. (I know I should, but I hadn't gotten over how bad the last insurance company was.) I knew the risk I'd taken; I was fine with that. Mostly. I have to admit, I drowned my sorrow quite impressively after we left Fred Oster's, first with a black-and-white cookie at the Reading Terminal Market, then with an Italian style hoagie at Sarcone's deli, and then with a visit to Isgro's pastry shop for a sfogliatelle and cannoli. (I'll just deduct that in next week's New Year's Resolution...)
(Puffy-eyed me, going for a cookie. Taken from George's cell phone. I finally found my camera under the seat of the car on the way home.)
A steady drizzle became heavier as we fought traffic over to Mount Airy Bows to leave the Nurnberger with Elizabeth. After reviewing the damage, she decided to spline it and came up with a modest estimate. If all goes as planned, she will be sending it off to me in Oklahoma next week, just as good as new, minus the value.
On my way home, Matt Wyatt called from his holiday in Arizona to check on me and offer his condolences. I told him how embarrassed and guilty I felt for wrecking such a beautiful bow. "Don't feel bad, it can happen to anyone. I broke one the same way when I was in college--a Voirin, actually. It was a morning gig, gym floor, I was tired... It was only two feet, too. I watched it happening in slow motion."
Like the others, he promised it would play just like it played before, and I could still get many happy years out of it. Granted, it's value now equals that of the frog's--about $500. But I could just pretend that I planned on taking it to my grave anyway, so its price tag didn't really matter. I mean, how many cherished possessions do you assign a monetary value? Your dog? Your husband? Your wedding ring? How does the saying go?
...To have and to hold, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do we part.
From the discussion it seems that a tip fracture is not the worst thing that can happen to a bow so (if I maybe be so bold) maybe you can at least be a little pleased it wasn't much worse...
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