Monday, September 14, 2009

"Beethoven's Bust"

The CD is Vivaldi, so has nothing to do with the story.
I just borrowed this photo from an old post.

Way back in the 100 Blessings post, I alluded to a story connected with this bust of a fabulous musician, Beethoven. It is now time to fill you in on "the rest of the story." (Do you hear Paul Harvey's voice here? I love the dramatic sound of it.)

In the fall of 2002 I had retired from public school teaching, but was still co-directing the high school musical. On the opening day of deer hunting season, in November, I was at the school working on the technical aspects of lighting and sound, as opening weekend was coming up. Because deer hunting is so big in this rural area, students didn't have school and staff were working on a wide range of things. The building was relatively quiet, and when the loud speaker interrupted our concentration I was annoyed. How surprising that the announcement was for me to come to the office for a phone call. (This is pre-cell-phone days for us.)

On the phone was my husband, who said, "Do you have your camera with you?" What a strange question for him to ask, on this work day.

"I have the pocket camera, but not my SLR," was my reply.

"I was afraid you'd say this. Well, we've been broken into."

It took a few minutes for this to register with me, so I asked him to repeat it. Then I told him I'd be right home.

Two young men had, indeed, broken into our home. Right through the front door. In the space of a couple of hours that morning, while we were both at work, the deed was done. When my husband came home at lunch, the unpleasant surprise was waiting.

We had just returned from some time away, and our camera gear had conveniently been left just inside the front door, in our living room, to be sorted and unpacked. As I said, "conveniently," as it was then easy for these home invaders to gather it quickly together and throw it in the back of their pick-up truck. (Shock** Gasp**)

They continued to ransack closets and drawers, gathering what they could. They were obviously amateurs, as they left behind some valuable items, and took other items that only mattered on a sentimental level. Of course.

Earlier, before I'd gotten home, my husband had called the police. When the dispatcher answered the phone and Daryl began to tell his story she informed him that the police were aware of the problem and would call on him when they finished at the homes of the others. Others? Approximately 8 others, actually. The police were hot on the heels of these young men.

And they did catch them. As the pick-up truck careened around a corner, it overturned, spilling all contents from the bed of the truck across a farm field. What wasn't broken before had little hope after that.

So, where does Beethoven fit in? These uneducated young men thought my plaster bust on the piano was a fine piece of art. Ah yes. Did they not know I would rather have that super-fast telephoto lens then a fine bust of Beethoven? AND, it had been a gift from some friends of my first there was some dubious history to this piece of "art." When the truck rolled, Beethoven broken into a number of pieces. The police thought it a bit humorous, we think, as in the paper this hunting-day heist was dubbed, indeed:

Beethoven's Bust

But the story doesn't end there. The students in the play I was directing heard about the theft, and felt terrible that I'd lost the treasured bust. Being music and drama students they would of course assume that this was a deep tragedy. (They didn't react that way about my camera!) At the conclusion of the musical, which was a huge success, they presented me with my director's gift...

wait for it....
a beautiful, plaster

Bust of Beethoven.

And that, as they say, is "the rest of the story."

P.S. - Good does come from bad. Yes, we got our equipment back. No, it wasn't in working order. Yes, insurance covered most of the damage. Yes, we both got new cameras and lenses. And this was the year we became a split-brand photography team. Daryl stayed with Nikon, and I jumped the fence to Canon. Now we have many "interesting" discussions on the pluses and minuses of these two fine systems. Yes...there are stories here, too:).


Char said...

:) that is very sweet of your students though. I'm a canon girl myself though my old photography instructor swears by nikon. every other year one tops the other so i think it's basically pick a brand and stick to it. I like canon because of the lens.

Sandy K. said...

Yes, it was very sweet, and I was so touched by the thought which went into that gift. Students sometimes have a difficult time finding that "right," affordable gift for the directors, and that year was very special. My acting ability was put to the test as I opened the package and realized what it was. The audience was watching. The students were watching. And I was up to the challenge:).

Highton-Ridley said...

A great read- you do tell a story well, Sandy :)

joyce said...

What a great "rest of the story" We don't get Paul Harvey anymore. I truly am sorry that you were broken into an may have lost sentimentally valued items, but I do like the way you now see the humour in it!

ols1 said...

What thoughtful students. Lucky you got to keep some of your valuables. I would be upset if anyone stole my photographic equipment - it does become part of you the more you photograph.

Sandy K. said...

Here's an interesting twist to the story - the pocket camera I did have with me at school that day was the retirement gift my students got me, some of whom were in this cast. Crazy how things work out, isn't it? It was my first digital camera, I do believe.