I’m finally ready. It’s taken a little less than 20 years but it is time. I’m going to sell my violin and my viola. I can’t play them so they are stored in my bedroom closet gathering dust. Taking them out of the cases for this picture was painful.
The smell of the instruments brought back so many memories. I thought back to my Hyatt Regency days when I was one part of the accordion and violin duo, Bellows and Bows. We played for breakfast and for lunch five days each week and for the Sunday brunch. I do remember the surprised looks on folks faces when we came out as they enjoyed their pancakes or eggs. We also played parties and other events.
I remember my only audition for a professional orchestra although I don’t remember the city. (I played in the St. Joe Symphony for money but that one doesn’t count) I stayed at a hole in the wall motel because it was cheap. I don’t remember the audition itself but I do remember coming home, disappointed at how I had performed. Questions flooded my mind. “Do I want to spend my life auditioning for orchestras?” “What if I never get in one? “ “What if I spend the rest of my life teaching and doing freelance work?” On top of that, my right hand was not working right which caused me not to play as well as I would need to play to get into an orchestra.
Depression hit as I thought about how music had been my life. A pastor suggested I try going to Central Baptist Seminary while keeping some of my students. If I liked it, I could transfer to a Presbyterian seminary. I did this and began to feel a call to leave professional music and become a minister. When I was sure, I left Kansas City and all my music contacts and moved to Atlanta to attend Columbia Theological Seminary.
After graduating and finally receiving a call to Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church, I played in a community orchestra. However, I injured my right hand in the accident so I couldn’t play. As time went on I could play a little but it didn’t sound good to my ears. While in Asheville, I played only one time – in a skit for a clown troupe I had joined.
On Easter last Sunday, something clicked in my mind when a string quartet played in the service. As I listened, I realized the time had come for me to sell my instruments. I will get them appraised and then I will sell them.