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A private concert on the beach

August 21, 2011
By KATHRYN SPIRA , For The Leader Herald

Last Tuesday afternoon as Herman and I were going down to our deck on the beach, we were intrigued to hear the beautiful sound of a single violin in the midst of an Irish jig.

Once down on the deck, we saw a young woman playing a violin while three young children frolicked in the sand at the water's edge, oblivious to her violin playing. The children were so used to hearing her play, they seemed inured to it.

When the woman finished her song, Herman called out to her, "Don't stop, it sounds great! Keep playing!"

Article Photos

Inge Wood, right, and Kathryn?Spira enjoy the beach in Caroga recently.
Photo submitted

And I said to Herman, "Tell her it's my favorite instrument." She was far enough away down the beach that I wasn't sure that my voice would carry that distance.

Herman also asked her if she played professionally.

She walked over to us and introduced herself as Inge Wood, of the Tennessee duo, Jim and Inge Wood, visiting her sister here at the lake.

I told her that I had met the great violinist Itzhak Perlman when he played at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center several years ago. I recounted the story to her about my adoptive father in his weakened state during the last days in the hospital as he would listen to recordings by Perlman and lift his fork and spoon as if conductingwhile he listened.

Inge said that was a wonderful story. She too shared my love of Perlman and classical music, especially Baroque and composers like vivaldi, Handel and Bach. She said she had just been playing the "Winter" portion of "The Four Seasons" by Vivaldi that morning, but needed the sheet music to play it.

Herman ran to the house and got a copy of one of my columns with my website address and she gave us her web address. She said she wanted to take her children to an animal event locally, and we suggested Adirondack Animal Land east of Gloversville and gave her directions.

While Herman was in the house, she played a small portion of Vivaldi's "Winter" movement that she had memorized. She protested she wasn't doing the piece justice without the sheet music and she assured me she'd bring sheet music the following day after I invited her and her children to share our beach.

She said she would enjoy that. I enclose a picture Herman took of Inge and me on the beach. If you would like to see and hear her play with her husband Jim, go to and click on "concert video" under "free downloads."

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in New York City and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns and contact information may be accessed at her website at



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