“One of the perks of my job as Doug's business manager has been to 'play in' the fiddles as they come off the bench. When Doug set up violin #717 in July of 2011, I took it for a spin, even though I thought it might be too big for me. After a few weeks I meant to swap it for a newer instrument that needed playing. But after a couple of days, I realized that I could not give it back. This fiddle grabbed ahold of me and would not let me go.”
I play fiddle for local dances, weddings, parties and family events. I play second violin in the Windham Orchestra and I play in an amateur string quartet.
Since January of 2008, I have been business manager for Cox Violins. Among more mundane tasks, I photograph the instruments, oversee production of The Scroll, and maintain the website including the “Spotlight” section, a rogue’s gallery of players who play on Cox instruments. I also worked with Charlie Dion of Bear’s Den Carving, who created our chain-saw carved bear.
Late in 2007, when my previous job was ending, I sent emails to many friends, asking if they knew anyone who was in need of my collection of skills. At the same time, Doug was considering hiring someone to take care of the aspects of his business that he could not find time to do himself. My skills seemed an almost perfect match for those needs, so we agreed to give it a try.
The learning curve for this job was much steeper than I expected, and almost five years later I am still learning new things and new skills to keep the Cox Violins business running smoothly and efficiently.
In 2010 I went to my high school reunion. The best part was being asked what I do, and answering, “I am the business manager for a violin maker in Vermont.”