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An early but bittersweet Merry Christmas

Posted by bj on Thursday, December 23, 2010

My friend, Jose' the fiddle dealer is moving back to Barcelona, Spain at the end of January, since he's getting way up there in years and that's where he has family, and though I'm very sad to see him go, I know it's for the best, especially after following him to his home and watching him drive. Southeastern PA will be a much safer place with Jose' the Hazard from Hell off the road! He's been in a number of accidents lately, and it's amazing he hasn't killed himself or someone else.

So he's needing to get rid of a lot of stuff he has, since he's not bringing much of anything with him except a couple boxes of personal treasures. So he invited Mike and me to his home to pick out a bunch of instrument parts, pieces and stuff, as well as some tools.

What did I come home with? A few dozen bridges and bridge blanks, a few handfuls of pegs, half a dozen fingerboards, some nuts, endpins, saddles, tailpieces, finetuners, chinrests, machine heads (which I will only probably use on one fiddle and give the other few sets to Jane) as well as bunches of spool clamps, a couple smile shaped clamps that are capable of clamping half the lower bout at a time, a really fine chisel, deep-throated wooden c clamps, and more assorted stuff. I also brought home a peg reamer and shaper (though these, unfortunately, are on loan at the moment. He said I may eventually end up with them.)

I also came home with a great old bow, though it has no hair at the moment. It's french and stamped Tourte, though I know it isn't. It's straight and fine and true, it vibrates like crazy when tapped, and is nicely stiff despite being very finely carved. I can also see the tool marks in the tip curve when I loop it. I'm not sure if it's pernambuco, it looks somewhat redder, but that might be the varnish. What leads me to believe it might be pernambuco is how fine the stick itself is, the stick is very graceful, but has weight and gravitas. It's also very nicely balanced. I can't wait to play it! A french bow for my french fiddles!

I'll probably be getting more of this stash the week or so before he leaves.

Mike got guitar parts and pieces, and we both were overwhelmed by Jose's generosity.

And spending a few hours with the two of them was a great thing, especially since I'll miss Jose' like crazymad. He's one of my favorite people in the world. But he did say that I'll always have a place to stay in Barcelona. I'm resigned to his going, since a few weeks' back he took a nasty fall resulting in a face plant that had his face swollen and showing bruises of many colors for awhile. I know he'll have people who care about him nearby when he moves back home, and he won't need to have a car in Barcelona since there's very fine and affordable public transportation.

I wish he didn't have to move, but I also know it's for the best.

12 comments on “An early but bittersweet Merry Christmas”

mudbug Says:
Friday, December 24, 2010 @4:13:17 AM

Sorry you're losing a friend, but congrats on all the booty.

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Friday, December 24, 2010 @8:41:07 AM

Fine and affordable public transportation? That's just wrong, as wrong as walking or biking paths which aren't interrupted every hundred yards by fast-charging SUVs. If we were made to walk, there wouldn't be SUVs around! Or ATVs! Anywhoooooo, sorry to see a friend go, but mayhap visit him in Barcelona? Have you ever been to Spain? You'll have to, however, learn the Phrygian mode before you go. Just saying.

bj Says:
Friday, December 24, 2010 @8:38:48 PM

Hey Humbled, howzabout you teach me how to Phrygian . . .

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Saturday, December 25, 2010 @7:54:20 AM

Ohhhh how I'd love to Phrygian wit' ya, bj!

Tennessee Tom Says:
Sunday, December 26, 2010 @12:47:53 AM

What Mudbug said.

M-D Says:
Sunday, December 26, 2010 @6:59:32 PM

Sorry to hear about Jos leaving again. Bless his heart.

Tell him to opt out of the pornotron scanners at the air-port, and TSA will feel him up, in stead. That should get him perky for his trip.

M-D Says:
Sunday, December 26, 2010 @7:00:29 PM

Dammit! I typed Jose, but put an accent over the e. I guess the script couldn't handle that.

bj Says:
Sunday, December 26, 2010 @7:07:38 PM

ROFLMAO! Oh Jose' will LOVE that! We'll have to get him to stop the Parkinson's meds for the day before to ensure success! He's always at his friskiest when he forgets his meds.

This time he's leaving for good, not just for the winter. Looks like I may have to start saving up for a boat ticket. No way I'm going through the pornoscanners. Either that or I'll drive to NB then fly from there.

M-D Says:
Sunday, December 26, 2010 @7:22:19 PM

Little Jose will be so happy!

I know you're going to miss him. Hope you can go over there. :o)

bj Says:
Sunday, December 26, 2010 @7:44:25 PM

LOL! Well, I've since come to find out that Little Jose's happiness is a more common thing than Big Jose' would have had me believe! Ask Jane . . .

And now Humbled wants to teach me how to Phrygian.

I'm just such a popular gal these days, I can't stand it . . .

richdissmore Says:
Monday, December 27, 2010 @2:22:29 PM

sorry to hear your firend is moveing away its all ways sad. but he left you with things to remind you of him some of the tools he use for years now have been given to you his firend take them and use them wisly and remember him keep fiddleing

M-D Says:
Tuesday, December 28, 2010 @9:47:00 AM

Uh-oh! :o)

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