Post by BENJAMIN CHASE MATHERS on Jan 12, 2014 0:13:50 GMT -5
It was a bit too early, but soon the coffee would kick in. It was kind of chilly out today so Benjamin decided to wear a sweater, though he knew he'd eventually change into a t-shirt as the store got warmer. Cold weather was horrible for instruments because it made them turn flat, so Benjamin always made sure the temperature was on the warm side. There were complaints here and there, but most people understand after he explained why it was so warm.
After doing his rounds of the store, Benjamin went behind the counter and pulled out a violin he'd found at a thrift shop. It was an extremely rare occurrence to find a violin at a thrift shop, and he wouldn't have bought it had it not been kind of damaged. But in a few weeks the instrument would be almost as good as it was when it was new. After a few hours of working on the instrument, Benjamin heard the bell chime and he looked up to see a young man walking in with a case that could only be holding a trombone. For a moment Benjamin was transported back to high school and he smiled. "First customer of the day! How can I help you?"
Post by ALEXANDER EDGAR BRYANT on Jan 12, 2014 1:40:11 GMT -5
Alex couldn't believe this was happening to his baby. For eleven years he had taken care of his glorious Bach Stradivarius as if it were an actual infant child. There wasn't a single dent on it. But of course his niece would be the one to damage it. When it happened, it was like everything was moving in slow motion, yet it happened far too quickly for him to do anything about it. It was put away, all safe in his room, but the curious young girl just had to put it together and attempt to play it. And that's when it happened. She was holding it wrong, and the slide instrument went crashing to the ground.
Never before had he needed to service it at an instrument shop, so he didn't know where to go to get it fixed. A few of his fellow classmates suggested a place in the mall. They said the owner did an impeccable job. Some even stated the broken instruments turned out better than new. Alexander prayed to God they weren't exaggerating. The last thing he needed was to invest another $4,000 some dollars on a trombone.
When he got to the mall, he searched for the shop. Finally he found it. He entered the store, and placed the trombone on the glass display case. He noticed the man was fixing a violin. Alex was an intermediate violin player. He enjoyed playing, but he wasn't nearly as proficient in it as the trombone. "Bach 42BO Stradivarius with an F attachment. Open wrap F attachment," he said before opening the case. "I hear you're the best in town," he said with a raised brow. "My young niece decided it would be funny to play my trombone. Only she was holding it all wrong, and it went crashing to the ground," he almost cringed as he thought about it. "There are a few dents and the slide sticks. Do you think you can fix it?" he asked. "Oh the name's Alexander Bryant by the way."
Post by BENJAMIN CHASE MATHERS on Jan 12, 2014 2:15:29 GMT -5
As the young man described the instrument sitting on the glass countertop, Ben's eyes widened slightly. A Bach Stradivarius? This was one lucky man. It was nice to hear he was thought of as the best in town, and he even had to hold back a chuckle at how this seemed to be turning into a mob scene from a movie.
He let out a low whistle when he heard what had happened to the beautiful instrument, and he shook his head. "That's a shame. Well I hope you told her how valuable this is and that it should never be handled carelessly." He examined the instrument and was extremely careful as he moved it to look underneath it. His movements were very methodically and resembled a doctor's. He gave a brief nod to himself and looked back up at the young man, who was now introducing himself. It was different to hear someone introduce himself with his last name, but it was also pretty cool. "Nice to meet you, Alexander. I'm Benjamin Mathers. This should be an easy fix. You're lucky nothing more happened to it." He was always a little nervous working on Stradivarius instruments, but those were the good kinds of nerves that made him focus better. He'd fixed up many Stradivarius instruments and the owners had been pleased, so hopefully this time wouldn't be any difference.
Now for the tough part; saying how much it would cost to repair it. "Well it's a Strad, so I can fix it for $500," he said, raising his brows slightly as he waited for Alexander's reaction.
Post by ALEXANDER EDGAR BRYANT on Jan 12, 2014 3:26:52 GMT -5
Alex was still in shock that his trombone had to be taken to the shop. He was even more shocked that his niece got the idea in her mind to play with his instrument. Perhaps his older sister wasn't a musician like everyone else in the family, but she had been raised to respect instruments. If Alex had dropped his father's trumpet, he would have been punished for a month. Perhaps his father would have made him pay for half the repairs as well. But, his sister didn't even really punish her daughter. She told him kids would be kids and that it was an accident. Perhaps it was an accident, but it was a very expensive one.
The musician had talked to her niece about treating the instrument properly after the accident, but he wasn't the parent. He didn't believe it was his place to reprimand her. "We had a little conversation about it. I sort of want to make her pay for half the repairs," he said with a laugh. "But that might be a little extreme for a seven year old." As the repairman looked over the instrument, Alex couldn't help but be impressed. He seemed to really know what he was doing. During his undergraduate study, he made a few friends with people intending to be instrument repairmen. The work seemed difficult, so he had respect for those in the field. "I sure hope so," he said, eying his trombone. "I've had this trombone for eleven years. My father bought it for me for my fourteenth birthday." By then, Alex showed talent and dedication for music. "It is truly a pleasure to meet you."
He made a pained face when he told him the price. "500?" he said, shaking his head. "Ah well. Wasn't expecting anything less I suppose." The five hundred would definitely be a setback, but he had to fix his trombone.
Post by BENJAMIN CHASE MATHERS on Jan 12, 2014 3:47:49 GMT -5
Benjamin laughed along with Alex. "I don't blame you. Perhaps you should tell her you'll take it out of her college tuition. Then again she's seven so she probably won't care about that, either." When Alex said how long he'd had the trombone, Ben looked up at him in pleasant surprise. "Wow. And you've kept it in this good of shape since? Well, up until its accident. That's amazing, really. So many musicians come in with banged up instruments they've had for years and they're so careless with them." He shook his head. It was a heartbreaking thing to see, really.
At Alex's next words, Ben tilted his head and looked up from the trombone again. He gave a hesitant, almost disbelieving smile. They'd barely talked and Alex was saying it was a pleasure to meet him? Obviously he'd heard flattering words about him. "Well it's a pleasure to meet you, as well. I'm flattered. Your trombone is really beautiful. I used to play when I was in high school."
At Alex's expression after hearing how much it would be, Ben decided this would be a good time to enact one of his rare "Fellow Musicians for the Appreciation and Care of Instruments" act. If it had been eleven years since Alex was fourteen, then that made him twenty-five now. So was he in graduate school or already working? It didn't matter, really. "Well I could always let you make monthly payments. There would be the usual paperwork to fill out for that to make sure you don't stop paying, but I doubt you'd be the type to do that."
Post by ALEXANDER EDGAR BRYANT on Jan 20, 2014 23:43:42 GMT -5
Alex quite liked this man's suggestion."Unfortunately she is a bit young to understand what college savings even means," he said with a laugh. "Oh God I can't even imagine," Alex said when Benjamin mentioned instruments coming into his shop damaged. Some of his fellow classmates treated their instruments poorly and it made him cringe at the mere thought of it. "My dad played first trumpet for the New York Philharmonic for years. To say the least he taught me the proper way to treat an instrument at a very young age."
The young musician's eyes lit up when the repairman said he played trombone in high school. "Excellent!" he said. "I'm so happy a fellow trombonist is fixing my instrument," Alex said. "I pray your reputation isn't a lie. I'd hate to have to buy a whole new trombone." Not only was it too expensive for the college student, but this horn had so much sentimental value to him. It was even engraved special for him. It was a one of a kind trombone.
He smiled brightly when Benjamin said he'd give him a special deal. "Oh my! You are far too kind," he said. "I am deeply grateful for this! If you fix my trombone I'll be sure to recommend you to all my colleagues." Benjamin really did seem like a person who loved fixing instruments. Especially if he was willing to accommodate musicians like this.
Post by BENJAMIN CHASE MATHERS on Jan 26, 2014 0:58:47 GMT -5
Benjamin chuckled at Alex's observation about his niece and nodded at Alex's reaction to the horror stories of neglected instruments. His eyes widened slightly in interest. "Did he? That's a great accomplishment. My dad wasn't a musician but he taught me to take care of everything, so I extended that knowledge to instruments." He smiled at Alex's words and shrugged slightly. "I wasn't the best trombonist in the world, but I'm much better at fixing them than I am at playing them. I'm confident in my ability to fix this trombone so I'm capable of promising you that you won't need to buy a new one." Benjamin wasn't the type of store owner to lie and tell a customer he needed to buy something new when the old was perfectly fine or capable of being fixed. That was extremely dishonest and Ben always wanted to make an honest living.
"I'd appreciate the recommendation. Well, let me go get the paperwork." Ben smiled again before moving to the back room that served as a small office. He quickly returned with the papers and a pen, showing Alex where to sign after he made sure the man had read everything. He didn't want his customers signing something blindly.
Post by ALEXANDER EDGAR BRYANT on Jan 31, 2014 23:27:59 GMT -5
Alex smiled when Benjamin said his father's occupation was a huge accomplishment. It truly was an amazing feat, and someday Alex hoped to be as good as his father. "Yeah it really is. I played third trombone, second chair for the philharmonic, but I'm certainly not good enough to play first yet," he said honestly. Alex was talented, he knew it, but there were some insanely good trombonists who caught onto technique much faster than he did. "So if your parents weren't musicians, how'd you get into the field?" he asked curiously. "If you don't mind me asking. I don't wish to intrude."
He felt a surge of relief when the man said he'd be able to fix the trombone without a problem. "I don't know anything about fixing instruments," Alex said. "Well, I know proper slide care, but that's about it." Instrument repair was all very interesting to Alex, but he never took a class on it for some reason.
Alex nodded and waited patiently for Benjamin to fetch the paperwork. When he came back with the contract, Alex made sure to look it over carefully. He didn't want to sign anything he didn't agree with. He knew there were some businessmen out there who tried to trip up customers on small details. But for some reason, Alex highly doubted Benjamin was the type to do that. "It looks good to me," he said before putting his pen to the paper and signing.
ELLEN ELIZABETH WATSON: That sounds familiar. I used to be that way. I still am, but I've learned to let go a little.
Sept 18, 2013 22:33:39 GMT -5
EMMA GRACE DANVERS (GOODMAN): Alec is too good to me, how did I deserve him. I'm such a perfectionist that I am afraid to screw up
Sept 18, 2013 22:30:10 GMT -5
ELLEN ELIZABETH WATSON: Everyone screws up. I've screwed up so many times I can't even keep track, but you just have to pick yourself up and learn to forgive yourself which can be the hardest thing to do
Sept 18, 2013 22:28:38 GMT -5
EMMA GRACE DANVERS (GOODMAN): Thank you so much Ellen. I know Alec is there to encourage me, but sometimes I feel he's put me on this great mother pedestal. I'm afraid of screwing up.
Sept 18, 2013 22:25:29 GMT -5
ELLEN ELIZABETH WATSON: I wouldn't worry too much Emma. You're very maternal, something I never was, and I managed to do it alone. If you ever need to talk about parenting, I'm always here
Sept 18, 2013 22:10:52 GMT -5
EMMA GRACE DANVERS (GOODMAN): I'm just worried about being a good mother. Since my own mother is no longer here to advice me. I just want to do her proud *nervous look*
Sept 18, 2013 22:09:25 GMT -5
EMMA GRACE DANVERS (GOODMAN): well I think Alec will be worried when it comes to that age. He'll probably buy a shotgun and ward off any boy who comes a courting.
Sept 18, 2013 22:08:32 GMT -5
ELLEN ELIZABETH WATSON: -laughs- you don't have to worry about that for a while. I told Victoria when she was going into sixth grade, but I think it also depends on the child
Sept 18, 2013 22:07:23 GMT -5