published Thursday, April 10th, 2014

In Tune: A fiddle bow and faith in humanity restored

Mystery solved.

Two weeks ago, I wrote a column lamenting the loss of my great-grandfather’s bow, which someone seemingly made off with during my band’s St. Patrick’s Day show at The Honest Pint. After a thorough investigation of the venue by me and a dozen others, it seemed lost for good.

The story seemed to strike a chord. People stopped me in the street and sent sympathetic emails asking if the bow had resurfaced. Other musicians commiserated with my plight. My brother and girlfriend both offered to buy a replacement.

Last week, however, I reclaimed my bow and learned who was really to blame for the supposed theft. The culprit, as it turns out, was me.

Without getting too caught up in the details, I discovered that there’s a hole in the stage used to run cable. That hole happens to be near where I place my instruments during shows. Despite being slightly smaller than a fist, the gap is more than wide enough to cause trouble.

On St. Patrick’s Day, I somehow placed my great-grandfather’s bow, if not directly in the hole, then perilously close to it. Embarrassingly, the reason I know this is because I lost another bow in exactly the same way during our most recent show.

When we took the stage last week, I was wary of further mischief, especially since I was using a replacement bow lent to me by the Folk School of Chattanooga. In the middle of our set, I needed to switch instruments and leaned the bow against the stage’s knee-high railing. A split second later, I looked back only to watch the last few inches of its wooden length slide beneath the floor.

Seeing that, I immediately knew my first bow had suffered a similar fate, suggesting that it was safe and — presumably — recoverable. I felt an immediate rush of relief, even as my frontman subjected me to a bit of good-natured public mockery for his and the audience’s amusement.

After the show, I improvised a hook out of a pair of clothes hangers and fished both bows out without issue.

So what grand lesson of life has this taught me? In this case, it wasn’t so much a lesson learned as a faith reinforced.

I’ve always liked to think people are naturally good, and the supposed theft of my bow shook that belief. Discovering that I was the victim of my own inattentiveness has renewed my confidence in humanity, and I am as thankful to have that back as I am to have recovered an irreplaceable heirloom.

Contact Casey Phillips at cphillips@timesfree or 423-757-6205.

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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