Today’s blog post will be short. This is an excerpt from the first commission I was ever given. Fittingly enough it came from my dad and tells a story about my great-great grandfather.


The strings scratched. A grating, ear-aching sound. The less-than-dulcet tones of a little kid earnestly loving music.

The kitchen, billowy and thick with tobacco smoke, made for a makeshift concert hall. Only two people lingered in the house, the kid with violin in hand and his grandfather. Everyone else fled the house, if only to preserve their ears.

To the grandfather, the scratchy strings, and the little hand that sawed back and forth with bow, were sweeter than anything from Mozart or Vivaldi.

The boy faltered, a hopeful tremble of little lips. The grandfather clapped his hands, ash falling from his cigar.

“Again,” he said, his voice a pleasant rumble, the lightest trace of the Bronx upbringing he never spoke about.

A smile spread across the little one’s face, encouraged as only a grandson can be, flush with the love and appreciation of his father’s father.