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Excerpt from Chapter 6 Heartstrings

    I hadn't thought about my father's mandolin for quite some time. It's in storage between sketchpads and oil paintings on canvas board from my art school days. Recently I opened the sliding doors to the storage unit and pulled out the mandolin case. The lid's leather hinges were completely dried out, but the latches still worked. The mandolin lay under a Japanese silk cloth. Placing the cloth in the lid, I took out the mandolin and held it lovingly in my arms.

    Long before I was born, my father bought it from an Italian sailor just off the boat. Daddy loved instruments and at one time owned a banjo and a violin as well. Music was his happiness. He wasn't much for conversation, but he was always whistling lively melodies.

    The mandolin is a handsome instrument with inlays and carvings decorating its warm wood tones. While admiring its beauty and luster, I pulled out the pick that wove itself under and over some strings and strummed some chords.

    Quite suddenly, I set the instrument back in the case and rushed to the living room. I found myself searching through the piano bench's sheet music collection for my father's mandolin music and pitch pipe. For some reason, I needed to gather up his heart, his sensitivity, and his passion, and hold all of it close to me, just as I did as a child in my house's cozy basement.

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©  2005 by Kay Faye Fialkoff. All rights reserved.
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