Violin smelled of cigarette smoke

From our March 2013 issue

By Magdalen Stang – Manning, Alta.

What a delightful wealth of spirited stories from the Saskatchewan pioneers who toiled the land, in many cases, allotted to them.

Both my mom, Emma Hofer Hartman, and my husband, are proud Saskatchewanites, even if they lived in Alberta most of their lives. Both are from farm families and say how they readily relate to so many of the stories.

Both came from very musical families. Mom often spoke of how music was what eased and uplifted life on their mixed farm as they gathered in different homes to still the worries for a spell, through song and dance.

I also came from a large musical family. We are all gifted with singing voices and all play at least one instrument. In my senior years, I’ve joined a fiddle group which gathers every Monday for practice at a senior centre.

I bought a secondhand violin from a music outlet last summer, and yes, it was made by a Frank Siedler from Nokomis, Sask. When I opened the case it greeted me with a strong scent of cigarette smoke, but the sound is very pleasing and mellow to my ears.