Robbie Link

Robbie Link

Musician – Performer, instructor

Cello Friday

It’s a cello Friday and the music of the Scots. I’ll be playing this evening with fiddler Mara Shea who is quickly becoming one of my favorite music partners. I’m not a big fan of Scottish fiddle music but it’s one of Mara’s specialties and we’ve playe …

Exceptional Teachers – Exceptional Students

Two events last weekend by organizations that I’ve been involved with for a very long time reminded me of the importance of dedicated teachers in the arts. The Duke University Pre-Collegiate String School (or DUSS), founded by Dorothy Kitchen, celebrated it’s 40th anniversary Saturday. I’ve had the privilege of working with Dorothy for almost 25 years now and have witnessed her transform/mold/empower/encourage the lives of so many young people.

Bad Memories

From time to time I get sudden flashbacks to some bad or embarrassing scene from the past. They make me shudder or exhale or sometimes even mutter something to try and make the thought pass on. They are nothing big and I don’t know why they plague me decades later but they live on in my body somewhere. One of the most frequent visitors is from college days – freshmen orientation, to be exact. It was the only time in my life I asked a total, absolute stranger for a date. We’d hardly had 20 words together before I asked her out. She declined, of course, but it was the gaping moment of silence that preceded that jabs me in the gut every now and then. I doubt she was stunned. I think she just wanted to see me squirm for a bit before she replied – give me time to regret. It worked. But the memory that caught me off guard this morning is one that I’d forgotten for many years. It was third grade. Spring. The teacher told us to write a poem about Spring. I wrote the first thing that came to mind which was a song we’d learned to sing in second grade. It went like this: "Robin, Robin, singing in the rain Robin, Robin, Spring has come again" and finished with something like: "Pretty little Robin in the apple tree" The teacher liked it so much (perhaps it had that familiar ring to it) that she sent it off to a children’s literary magazine who published it. I knew none of this until it was printed. My parents had signed a waiver to allow the publication, I might have even received some money, I don’t remember. I just remember being horrified that I would be found out – I had stolen this poem from our second grade sing-a-long book. I seem to remember trying to tell my mom that I hadn’t written this poem but I don’t remember her reaction or if she even understood what I was telling her. I guess this all came back because it’s Spring – the robins are here. I can’t remember the third line of the song (and there were other verses but I only used the first one). If you know the rest or where it comes from let me know. I’ll put the tune up later when I have time.

Message of the Day

No one saves us but ourselves.

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