Reginald plays violin. When most people say that, they mean the subject of their sentence saws away at the strings of their instrument with sophomoric gusto, creating a sound that is reminiscent of the squeak of nails on blackboard. They are being nice and calling the violin's abuse and subsequent screams "playing." Reginald is, if you will indulge me a moment of pleasantness, really quite good. He left the chalkboard stage some years ago and is now very proficient at his instrument. In fact, he's on a trajectory to land somewhere between Haendel and Bell.
It's an acknowledged risk that if you play violin, you may be asked to perform in front of others. This is less of a risk with the accordion, banjo and harmonica; most players of those instruments perform in private or not at all. Reginald chose the violin fully aware of the fact that he would have to perform at recitals and other musical functions and inadvertently committed his relatives and friends to accompany him. I was one of the committed.
The recital was set in a darkened, dank and unheated church building in the bowels of town. Tucked away between S-Mart and Best Buy, the church's traditional stained glass and stone steeple seemed out of place. The church's bulletin tried to preemept questions about its location with a trumped up tale of ancient placement. If the faux fading on the program were credible, the church was put in order by an old priest who's only claim to religious relevance was a relic consisting of a piece of wood from the boat that wrecked with Paul off the island of Malta.