Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Story of George (When George met Naoko)

My cello is named George.  He was made in 1809, and today is our 7 year anniversary.  I used to say this was his birthday, since I had no idea when his actual birthday day was....

I actually met George a little more than 7 years ago, when I went up to Ifshin Violins to go bow shopping.  I found a bow I LOVED, though it was $11,000....but it sounded so good.  My cello at the time, Andie (female) loved this bow, but I wasn't sure if I could justify spending that amount of money on a bow.  I used to always joke that I'd never be a home owner because I'd always put my money toward a new cello or a new bow...and that would always deplete my savings time and time again.

My family had driven up to the Bay Area from Fresno, and my dad suggested I try cellos since we had come all this way.  I didn't particularly want to; I was perfectly happy with Andie, and she was serving me well.  I also was in my...2nd year of teaching, I think, and had assumed my cello playing growth was basically over since I was dedicating all my time to teaching.

But, being the easily persuaded person I am, I figured....why not.  I tried some cellos.  I think I tried one that was $80,000 and remember thinking...it doesn't seem that great.  And then I tried this old cello that looked kind of beaten up.  It was smaller than the other cellos, and right away was easier to play.  (I have really small hands, and that has always been a bit of challenge)  The sound was just...better.  There was a depth of sound that I just...loved.

I think that's when all 3 of us, my mom, my dad, and I all went...uh-oh.  I knew, pretty much immediately, that I had to have this cello.  We connected.  The cello was about $15,000 more than my current cello, however...it didn't belong to Ifshin, it was being soled on consignment, which meant I couldn't trade in my current cello for that one.

I had to leave without it, not having that much money...and I was heartbroken.  When I was back in Fresno, I couldn't stop thinking about this cello and I was determined to find a way to get it.

And that is when I remembered...I started a mutual fund when I was 17.  What kind of 17 year old starts a mutual fund?!  Why me, of course.  I ended up cashing out almost all of my fund, we secured the cello, drove back up a few days later, I bought the cello and put my old cello up for sale at a higher price than I had bought it.

George is from London, England (specifically the Top of Brick Lane).  I have named all but my first cello (Jackie, (Con)Tessa, Rupert, Andie) and I ended up picking "George" because I wanted an English name to suit his heritage...and I was really into Grey's Anatomy at the time and really liked the character "George".  Lame, I know.

The funniest/saddest part was when I came back to school, took out my cello, and all my students went, "Andie!"  I then had to explain this was George, and I was...selling Andie to pay for George.  It sounds a lot more sinister when you use names.  Some kind of cello slavery or something.

Andie eventually contributed to the down payment of my house.  And George and I have spent 7 lovely years together.

On another note, I went to Alta Plaza Park today.  Here are some pictures.

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