My father practicing in Kansas City. Notice the baby carriage in
the background. If anyone is in it, it would be me!
Notice also that my father was wearing a tie and a vest. It was
probably summer, or he also would have been wearing a suit coat.
Dad was the picture of dignity his whole life. His hair had
already turned silver by the time I was born, which helped his
image as a distinguished classical musician. (He was 36 at the
time. My parents started their family relatively late.) He would
get up and put on a tie and a coat when he had nothing to do but
sit around the house. The neighbors used to kid him for mowing
the lawn dressed like that.
Dad's viola, which he played his entire career, was made by
Paolo Costello, a maker who flourished in the late eighteenth
century. It is thought that Paganini may have played this
instrument at one time, but this cannot be verified.