The Volunteer Violinist

by Laurel | January 3rd, 2012

03 January 1908

Carload of Delayed Passengers Are Soothed by Jig From a Fiddle Played By An Old Man

The waits which often ensure at the corner of Main and Mosher streets by the electric car which has to wait for the 11:38 southbound train have caused at times harsh remarks and a visible show of strong impatience. This state of affairs was changed for once last evening by the advent of an old man with a fiddle and if the street railway company wish a contented set of passengers, it would be a good plan for them to arrange so that last evening’s program will be continued indefinitely. The car had been standing at the corner for some time, the train from Northampton was late and what at first was mild remonstrance from the passengers, who wished to get to their homes in South Hadley Falls changed to caustic remarks over the management of the street railway company and the running schedule of the Boston and Main railroad. It was suggested that the Boston and Maine train had run into a merger and that the train would not arrive until the meeting of the Holyoke and Westfield stockholders Saturday. About this time an old man with a fiddle got aboard the car. After taking his seat he took the fiddle from the case in an absent-minded way and picked lightly at the strings. There was silence in the car for a minute followed by requests that he let a tune go. The old man was accommodating, and placing the instrument under his chin the music of an old-time country jig came forth. If the wheels of that electric car were not flattened it was no fault of the passengers. No one in the car was able to keep their feet quiet and time was marked so strenuously that the car rocked from side to side. At the close of the tune another was demanded and from that time until the train pulled in there was peace and joy among the passengers, and the passage of time was unnoticed. It was only an old man and his fiddle, but the combination made a car full of people good-natured.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

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