It's cause for a celebratory jig or a rollicking solo - a misplaced fiddle on a MBTA trolley has found its way home, and its owner is serenading the T employees who worked to reunite them.
On a Saturday late last month, Berklee College of Music professor Valerie Rose Taylor was traveling back from the Lowell Folk Festival when she left on the bus the instrument she had owned for 41years. She noticed its absence the following morning, and rushed to retrace her steps. With the help of numerous T employees - from a helpful bus driver in Watertown Square to a Harvard Square token clerk to the transit police at North Station - the fiddle was retrieved. A train driver had found the violin and returned it to a lost and found facility.
But the trail did not end there.
The bus driver brought the fiddle to a Cambridge bus facility. But when Patricia Labitue, who supervises bus operations, learned of the lost item, she had it moved to her office in Charlestown. There she kept it under lock and key Saturday night, then personally watched over it the next day.
"I figured it was probably very important to someone," she said. "So I didn't think it was a good idea to leave it unattended."
The instrument had no contact information, but appeared to have been played often, Labitue said.
When Taylor found her way to the Charlestown facility and saw her violin safe and sound, she gave it a gentle hug, Labitue said. While she stopped short of hugging Labitue, she thanked her profusely.
To show her appreciation, Taylor sent MBTA officials a gracious two-page handwritten thank-you note, which with her permission the T released today.
"This is a letter of thanks, and I hope that copies reach every person involved in the rescue mission described below," Taylor begins. "My heartiest thanks to each and all of you ... and a hail to you at the top of the MBTA tree who manage an organization that has such sympathetic professionals in it."
Two years ago, a similar reunion made headlines, when Grammy-nominated violinist, Philippe Quint, left his $4 million violin in the back of a cab in Manhattan's Battery Park. The 1723 Kiesewetter Stradivarius spent the rest of the night on the seat of the cab before it was returned. As thanks, Quint played a concert for the man who returned it and his fellow taxi drivers at the Newark airport.
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