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« Key To My Mind: The "Ring" by Wagner | Main | Remembering Du Pre', Great Cellist, Great Spirit »



When I was about seven years old, I would watch my grandfather make violins. There were maybe 100 different materials that went into them. What astounded me was that wooden body parts of the instruments were actually sculpted, sanded down from large blocks of wood, intricately curved, yet of precise widths. By comparison, it would have been so very easy to just soak sheets of wood in water and then mold it and let it dry to the mold. But no, they had to be precisely sculpted by hand. He also made zillions of ice fishing rigs that were totally crude. Well that was in the days when you could eat the fish you pulled out of Lake Candlewood, in New Fairfield, Connecticut where we lived. We rented cabins to the "low-down" New Yorkers. The world is not at all what it seems. Now I realize that half of them were gay, and all of them would tear up and down the lake and smash into things in boats heavily laden with beer. (Now they have boating cops, speed limits, alcohol bans, etc. The people can't even be proper assholes any more. The end is indeed near.) Our town was considered deep in the sticks then (no more), and everything we did took a long time to finish. It was impossible to understand the manic New Yorkers. Now everybody is a get-it-now frantic New Yorker! Shit.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Wow, he carved violins? One cello maker I knew as a child, I used to watch him work. One day, he said, he knew all my relatives in Germany and learned from a Meinel, how to carve cellos.

This is where I learned who was in the SS, who was captain of a U-boot and so on.


I was in Madrid on business a few years ago; had a free afternoon and went on a tour of the palace. At one point I was in a room containing no fewer than SIX Strads - four violins and two violoncellos. Very interesting. Apparently, some people from the orchestra come around and play them every so often.

Also saw El Cid's sword while I was there. It looked exactly like a Roman gladius - the pattern hadn't changed in a thousand years.

Kristen Herr

Hello Ms. Elaine:

I am in the process of considering a purchase of a 1923 Joseph Meinel violin and I was wondering if you Mr. Joseph Meinel is in fact from the Meinel lineage and if you know of his history/work. If yes, would you mind spending a few moments to provide any information on him and his craft. Thank you much!!!

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