April 9, 2007 at 2:25 AMOn April 8, my Dad would have been 82. He passed away almost 14 years ago from an aggressive form of stomach cancer. He is the person who talked me into playing the violin (well, he was hoping for a fiddler). When I was in the fourth grade, we took one of those auditory assessments, and strings were one the top of my list, with flute and clarinet listed last. I thought I wanted to play the clarinet, as that was what my best friend was going to play. Fortunately for me (and everyone in the entire universe), he convinced me the violin was a better choice. My father was a self-taught musician who could play a tune on anything. He did not read music, but I am pretty sure he had perfect pitch. He grew up on a farm in Arkansas during the depression, chopping cotton and had malaria as a kid. He sang on a radio show (very much like Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou) and got fan letters asking him to sing such songs as "Home on the Range". When I would come home from CIM for vacation, he would make me take my violin to his auction and we would play fiddle tunes until his arthritis got the better of him. My father knew nothing about classical music, but I would have never been a violinist without that first nudge towards playing. So when my beginners are playing Liza Jane tomorrow, I'll be thinking of you. Happy Birthday, Dad!
Thanks for sharing this.
This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.