Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Monday, July 27, 2015 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 140 Issue 30


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7/2/2013 4:09:00 PM
Back Talk From The Back House
By Nancy Wilson

The end of an era
I did it last week, because it was time, again. I had already given my cello, Natasha, away maybe 10 or 12 years ago, because it had become too difficult to play anymore (arthritis, about which I decline to write, but it is there).

Then along came Carol Teel, with the original Young At Heart performances (now Hearts Ever Young). She was very persuasive. I had given Natasha to a cello teacher, who said he could use her with his students who were ready for a full-size cello, but couldn't afford one. I felt that would be a better continuance for the cello than sitting in a corner rotting, since I would no longer play.

For the first Young At Heart concert, I rented a cello; before the next performance came along, a friend gave me an old, truly tacky one, that I had somewhat fixed up so I could use it.

I even practiced nearly every day before the performances so I could manage to get a few squeaks out of it. That worked pretty well, until this year, when I decided it might be nice to borrow Natasha back, just for the concert, which consisted of a variety of songs and dances from the movies.

It was delightful to play her again, although I was well aware that this might be my swan song. As it turned out, it was.

I made it through, but paid a heavy price for it. It was about a week before I felt fully recuperated. I agonized, would I ever play again? I queried all my friends. What should I do? I felt very ambivalent.

The ham actor in me thoroughly enjoys being up on the stage with the rest of the group, over there in the corner beside the piano, participating in all the banter among the musicians.

One of my friends came up with a cogent question: is that camaraderie worth it, considering the week afterward? I thought about that, but could not come up with an answer, no matter how long I pondered.

Then one day last week the man who had loaned Natasha to me came over to take her back, per our arrangement. He was already back to his car, when I called him back, "Please come back for a moment." He returned, and I showed him Naomi, who is in pretty poor condition, in spite of the little I could do for her.

"Can you use this cello for a student?" I asked him.

"Sure," he said, "I can fix it up, and give it to another student who can't afford one. It's very expensive to rent one, and most of my students just can't do it."

I then gave him not only the cello, but all its accouterments...the stands, the tuner, the rosin, even all the music I had accumulated over the years. Everything is gone from my home, and, believe it or not, I feel a whole lot lighter. The burden has been lifted. I needn't spend my time wondering, will I, won't I?

Even though I know I won't fiddle any more, I am certain that I did the right thing. The cellos will be well used, and of course that is what they are for. As for me, it's mostly a matter of aging; just one of the more important things that I've had to give up as the years creep on. A large loss, yes indeed, but fortunately, in this case, not one to regret.

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