On Christmas Eve, my family had the wonderful chance to catch up with some extended family who lives super-close. Tony's 'lil sis, my Great-Aunt Aggie lives in Fredricksburg now, and just a few blocks down the road, my Aunt Elaine (who is really I guess my second-cousin once removed, but who's keeping track of that) lives with her husband Bill.
We had a great lunch together and then went to visit Elaine and Bill's home, which happens to be above his violin shop...
where he sells violins... some of which he makes himself, AND WE GOT TO SEE HOW SOME IF IT'S DONE!
Molds for making violins and bridges to go onto them
The equation for making a violin, it's all math and physics, how cool. Also, the quote beneath the drawing is:
"NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP" SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL
They throw glitter on partially carved backs and fronts and then place them above a special sound machine where he adjusts the tone. The vibrations move the glitter and there are pictures of what pattern should emerge to know where more carving or shaping is needed. Knives, glitter, sound-making-machines, and physics: what more could a girl want?
Partially completed violins with the molds still attached
Bill showing off wood he is carving into a mandolin neck
A mother-of-pearl inlay that will go into the neck of a mandolin
I'm sad because I thought my hair was long, obviously this horse had me beat!
More supply things and a mandolin
Electric guitar in for repairs
Their home was so lovely!
A beautiful flower-piece for old bows
Even the storage room was photogenic for crying out loud!
A teeny violin for the young prodigy
The corner where banjo, guitar, violin, and mandolin lessons take place
We even got to play some instruments:
A $10,000 Violin, Rah got to pluck a string... apparently the "E" string is gold
Big sis on the mandolin!
We sight-read a couple christmas carols, I feel a new up-and-coming band!
AND A DREAM CAME TRUE:
Finally I get to play a banjo: dream come true... although unlike in my dream, I'm not very good
Although being horrible is not stopping a smile creep over my face...
In the groove baby! BEST BANJO EVER!
It may be wrong but I judge people based on their ability to appreciate the sound of a banjo.
I'm gonna get really sappy here and say the best part of the whole visit was reconnecting with family over the holidays, I couldn't imagine a better Christmas Eve Adventure! than with these people!