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The Old Guy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   As I walked into the hall for the rehearsal, I remembered that my friends were coming to watch the concert. I hoped that the concert mistress would give me a good seat in my section. I took out my violin, and went to see her. She said, "Well, tonight you sit with Charlie."

Oh no, I thought, not ... Charlie. Charlie was the orchestra's oldest first violin, and probably its oldest member. He was 85 and sat at the back of the section. My father had nicknamed him "the old guy." When I had been assigned to him before, I had ignored his corny anecdotes, most of which were made up.

I walked back, and shyly said, "Hi."

He looked up and smiled his old, kind smile. I placed my music on the stand and tilted it so he could see. "Don't bother," he muttered, "I can't read music anyway. I memorized it all 50 years ago." Great.

The rehearsal went well, with the occasional "Do you know what all these dents are in my violin? My teacher used to hit me over the head with it when I didn't play right." He also told me that he had worms in his violin.

Before the concert, my dad said, "I see you're with Athe old guy' tonight. Good luck. You'll need it."

The concert started, and we played a difficult symphony. I was surprised to see that he played it extremely well, without even glancing at the music! We talked (yes, during the performance) about which concertos were our favorites, and about our experiences with learning to play the violin. I found that we had a lot in common, even with 71 years age difference. He had fascinating stories about his teachers, childhood in the early 1900's, and jobs throughout the years (including playing the soundtrack for Camelot). I admit that I doubted the veracity of some of his stories.

I lost the music for one of the pieces, and we both played from memory, then erupted in laughter at the end. That night, I found a friend in someone whom I had considered old, senile, and boring. Now, when the concert mistress says, "You'll sit with Charlie," I think, this is going to be fun. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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