Friday, December 6, 2019

news of the

1. The first sign of the impending Violins of Hope residency, as I previously reported on, has made its appearance: an exhibit of action photos taken at the shop of the Israeli luthier, the man who's collected and repaired all these violins. He's shown unpacking and evaluating a new arrival. He says from the pattern of wear on the fingerboard that it was a klezmer violin. I'm impressed one can tell.

Some of the violins have a mother of pearl Mogen David on the back.

More disturbing is the photo of the dismantled interior of, I think, a different violin. Its Jewish owner was still in Berlin in 1936 when he took it in to a luthier there for an extensive tuneup. Taking the violin apart, the repairer inscribed on the inside, where he knew the owner wouldn't see it, the words "Heil Hitler" and a swastika.

The photos are posted on the corridor walls of the Peninsula Jewish Community Center, in Foster City.

2. Cats to the vet today. Tybalt was in when we first got him, nearly a year ago, but this time he knows what to expect and doesn't want it. Great effort and a blooding of poor B. get him into the cat carrier. In response to which he howls piercingly, and tries to break out by physical force. As the carrier shakes on the floor I think of our friends' application of Dunsany's "Chu-bu and Sheemish" to the relationship between their cats, and remember the line, "he had chosen a little earthquake as the miracle most easily accomplished by a small god."

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