Monday, December 11, 2006

Best scarf ever!

I remember the day my father showed me his musical saw. I was probably around 7, sitting on the couch in the living room next to my dad as he waxed poetic on the wonders of the "singing saw." I think my mother was also there, and probably my sister. But mostly I remember my dad, happily telling me how lumberjacks and folk musicians play their saws, and he played his saw a bit (I think it had a painting on the side of trees), and then he played a tape to show us what an experienced musical saw player sounds like. As I remember it, the sound was a serene warbling gently floating along the tune. I wasn't supposed to play the saw myself, because I was too little and might hurt myself or the saw, but, at the time, I really wanted to. It looked like the most wonderful, exotic, exciting musical instrument ever! Imagine: that dreamy, ethereal sound came from a saw!

The first time I came to Santa Cruz, I saw this statue of Tom Scribner and immediately remembered my father's infectious excitement 20 years ago about his musical saw. I'm sure it's been at least 15 years since I saw the instrument, and my father has moved on to other interests—including mason bees, flower frogs, taekwondo, and kettlebells—but the statue still awakens a warm sense of childhood awe. According to the plaque at the base of the statue, Tom Scribner was a lumberjack, writer, political activist, musician, editor, and humorist. I'm betting he was a fabulous Wobbly. (You can click any of the pictures in this post to see them bigger.)

And so, I hope this new "Best Scarf Ever" will also kindle happy, proud thoughts later on, after I have produced other scarfly loves. Its simple and beautiful "mistake rib" stitch pattern, its lovely soft yarn from scraps and leftovers, its ordered (yet) random two row stripes—all of it adds up to WONDERFUL! Like the singing saw, it may not be my favorite later, but it certainly is today, and it will always be special. Hopefully, a certain silly sister will agree.


Jenny said...

It looks beautiful Panda! And I've been so depressed today about stupid potential employers jerking me around. My eyes teared up when I read your thing: we must strive to be more like Tom Scribner.

I love you sweetheart. Thanks for the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed reading about your father and the musical saw. I wonder who's CD he played for you back then.
Please give your father regards from a fellow saw player. And if you wish to listen to my playing, please visit
All the best,
The 'Saw Lady'.

quixote said...

What a great anecdote! I've never known anyone who actually plays the musical saw. Your dad sounds like quite the character :) and the scarf is beautiful.

I love that Tom Scribner statue and I love how the people working at the flower stand next to it always make sure he's holding a flower or two. It makes me smile every time I walk by.