"My Grandfather's Clock"

In the end of August every year, we used to go to Shinshyu for training camp of the orchestra in my med school days. I have sometimes mentioned of that camp in this blog. In a year or two after I joined the orchestra, I got a new cello which my parents bought for me. It was a cello made in East Germany. Not very cheap for my parents but one of the instruments for the beginners. i brought it to that camp. Unfortunately, it was found to be broken. The neck was detached from the body, which repeated later and turned out to be a weak point of this cello. What a shock it was for me to have had such a trouble with my brand new instrument at that time! In an hour or two, however, I regained control of myself and decided to bring it back to Tokyo. There was a back up instrument at the club room in the university. I could carry on the practice of the orchestra with that it.

Early in the morning on the day after, I went to a railway station nearby with my broken cello. There were several friends of the orchestra coming to farewell to me there. When I was going into the train bound back for Tokyo, exactly, Shinjyuku, they started singing a famous nursery song "My Grandfather's Clock" for me. Hearing their harmony on my back, I took on the train. This song is still reminiscent of this event in my young days.

I am not very sure this photo was taken then. I was wearing wooden clogs! What did I point out with hand? I can't remember that. How I have been encouraged by them singing for me! It was a warm harmony. It is still vivid in my memory.

The club room was of course empty. I took the back up cello, hardly regarded as a deluxe instrument, and headed back to the JR station of Shinjyuku. It was already night. There was a train bound back for Minamiotari, one of the station in the mountain area. I got on it. The other passengers were almost mountain climbers. They wore the clothes for climbing mountains while I had on the ordinary shirt and trousers, in addition, with that cello. It was a slow train and supposed to get to the mountain area in the morning of the day after. 

I could hardly sleep all the way. The passengers gradually got off the train. When it ran in a valley near to the destination, it dawned. Very cool. There was fog covering all around the valley. Only high ever green trees were seen in the fog. Despite of the cold temperature, I felt my heart warmed getting closer to the camp my friends were still playing music together. 

This is one reason why I still like driving this area. I used to go there on my car quite often in the past. But it has become tough for me to drive all the way by myself now. Maybe, I will take the train to that place, not the night train but a daytime one.    

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