Sunday, November 15, 2009

wrapping the weekend

While working - nay, manning - the LOC information desk yesterday I had one of those special moments. A gentleman and his girlfriend came to the desk and asked to see "the instruments"; we have a collection of violins and cellos on exhibit in the Whitthall Pavilion. They include all the great instruments of the day: Stradivarius, a Crisler donation, and about a half-dozen other pieces. The Whitthall isn't something that folks wander through as a matter of course being that it's a room off a downstairs hallway, but in my 20 months at the LOC I've had maybe 20 folks who've come to specifically see the instruments. The Library also pulls them out quite often for concerts in the Coolidge Auditorium by traveling players. Anyway, once I got the key from the supervisor we headed downstairs for a quick look and I find out that this gentlemen is the guitarist for Pete Seeger and has been building violins by hand for over 40 years. You will rarely in your life witness such happiness as I saw when he caught a glance of the instruments; there may have been tears in his eyes. His girlfriend, who'd found about the exhibit on-line, was all smiles to see just how happy he was to come across all of this on their visit to D.C. (they came down from NYC). I had the benefit of getting a nice, in-depth explanation of the shapes and design of violins - something I found horribly interesting. After about 45 minutes of joy they headed out with plans to come back to the City - the next time I told them to call ahead and speak with the musical instruments librarian; they are perfectly happy to actually pull out the pieces and let folks examine and hold them. It was wonderful to see them head out on the 1st St. NW so happy.

I'm watching the Sunday night NFL game on-line; Colts v. Pats. If the fans of each team (or haters of each team) can throw out that bias, watching these two teams is what football is all about. Both of them are so well-coached and so much fun to watch that I think they may be the only teams across sport that I'll watch and not have a rooting involvement. Brady and Manning are really something like heavyweights going at it. Great stuff.

It's looking more and more like L. will end up here in January. Details are being sorted but if it works out I hope she'll be here until the end of the summer...updates to follow.

No comments: